Creator Mya Pol on what real accessibility looks like

June 20, 2024
Emmy Liederman
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Mya Poll (@immarollwithit) has an audience of nearly 500 thousand followers across Instagram and TikTok.

Mya Pol first had her eyes on a black Labradoodle. But when her once daunting goal of using TikTok donations to pay for a service dog was complete, stopping there didn’t feel quite right. 

“I thought I was maybe going to share some cute pictures of my dog and move on with my life, and here I am with my own personal business,” said Pol, aka @immarollwithit, who has since made content creation and disability advocacy a full-time job. 

@immarollwithit Winston is wonderful ☺️ I have had the pleasure of working with Winston for over a year, and we have grown so much as a team! Every day he surprises me with his skills and intelligence and has given me much more confidence and independence in my every day life. This last year has been really hard on me where it feels like my tires are constantly slipping and spinning out. But through it all Winston is right there by my side picking me up alongside everything else I drop. Thank you again to everyone who helped bring Winston into my life🤗 #ServiceDog #Independence #LifeChanging ♬ Little Things - Adrian Berenguer

Across social media, Pol offers support to others living with disabilities while highlighting the daily challenges, from navigating public facilities to meeting strict deadlines, that are often only visible to those who face them. 

Pol, who said she has now reached her ultimate goal of finding the right sponsors to fuel her  advocacy, broke down the inspiration behind her work, the dynamics of true accessibility and where brands might be missing the mark when working with disabled creators. 

Making inclusion cross-functional 

When Pol researched the adoption process before picking up Winston in 2022, she was inundated with videos of hotels that gave owners flack for bringing their service dogs. When Pol was met with the opposite tone at a Hilton, she shared her experience on TikTok.

The brand then sent Winston a care package, and they have worked together on content since. Pol, who said “every Hilton individual that (she’s) interacted with since has had a clear, definite understanding of service dog law,” looks to work with brands that make inclusion more than a marketing department initiative. 

Elliot Grossman, Hilton’s director of social and influencer marketing, said “When our team came across Mya’s story, we knew we had to engage.” While service animals are welcome at every property, Grossman initiated Pol as an ambassador for the accessible rooms in Home2Suites, which are designed for extended stays. He added that creator relationships are stronger when the marketing team collaborates with teams across the company. 

“We wanted to ensure Mya’s future stays were authentic to her and the audiences that follow her,” he said, “so in addition to our traditional research, we also brought in Hilton’s  accessibility team to help us determine which brand would be best for her.” 

Prioritizing creator needs 

In her series “Do It Before You Lose It,” Pol documents the life experiences that she doesn’t want to miss out on. 

Last year, Pol was scheduled to stay in a Home2Suites location in Arkansas, but when she decided the risk of damaging her chair on the flight wasn’t worth the trip, she worked with Hilton to make a dent in her list.  

@immarollwithit Today I stood on top of a mountain! Thank you Home2 Suites by @hilton for an incredible stay🤗 #Home2Partner #HiltonStayCollective #MtWashington #DIBYLI ♬ original sound - Mya💕

 “I’ve always wanted to stand on top of a mountain, and Hilton wanted to put me in their location near Mount Washington in New Hampshire,” she said. “I said ‘This is near trees and mountains and everything I need in life. When the partnership has that personal spark, it makes the content just so much more fun.” 

According to Grossman, planning content around a creator’s schedule and needs is at the core of Hilton’s strategy. He shared that Hilton regularly shares surveys with creators about their interests and upcoming plans to find the most natural partnership fits.  

@samyra #hiltonpartner We’re going to the GRAMMYs with @hilton 🤩 Thank you Hilton for recognizing my unique artistry and continuously choosing to support me and other artists at every stage of our careers. Whether you’re an artist, fan, guests, or Hilton Honors Member, Hilton will make sure you’re always able to #stayinthemusic 🎤💙 Now let’s BABOP from Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills to the GRAMMYs! See you on the red carpet📸 #hiltonforthestay ♬ original sound - Samyra

“We’re always focused on meeting current and future guests in the ways that are most natural to them,” said Dan Reynolds, senior vice president of global content, media and partnerships at Hilton. “We lean on the strength of our platform to invite others to tell our story for us.” 

Sharing an accessibility checklist 

While Pol has stayed with Hilton to fuel her personal and professional goals, which have ranged from standing on top of Mount Washington to attending a conference across the country, her page is also a resource to help followers with disabilities navigate the world. 

“As a wheelchair user, I go into these hotel rooms and say ‘Is the door handle at the right height? Is the light switch at the right height? Are the buttons for the automatic blinds hidden behind a piece of furniture that you can’t reach?’” she said. “Are the soap dispensers near the seat cushion in the right spot in the shower? Or, are they at the opposite end of the shower where you have to stand, get soap and sit back down? I think about what makes it easiest for me to be comfortable in a room, and what might other people need.” 

@immarollwithit Let me know your travel tips! I've partnered with Home2Suites by @hilton to share my top three travel tips and I'd love to know yours! #Home2Partner #TravelTips #TSATips ♬ original sound - Mya💕

Just as Pol is used to breaking down accessibility for her followers, Grossman looks for creators with a clear investment in their audiences, which has in turn created loyal communities. 

“We want to make sure they see us as partners, rather than a customer of their content,” he said. 

Offering the right lead time 

Pol is set on showing brands that while it may require more planning, being deadline-driven does not need to be at odds with inclusion. Instead of hoping that brands will be flexible, she sets this standard from the start by adding an extended deadline to every contract. She stressed that this system might require more planning, but it doesn’t have to be at odds with productivity.

“All brands that want to work with disabled clientele should be doing that as the bare minimum,” she said. “If brands plan more time in advance for anything disability or mental health related, their deadlines could still be as deadliney as they want them to be.” 

Influencing audience advocacy

As Pol continues to grow her following and tack on more brand partners, she has noticed a change in her audience. After setting out to spark more interest in accessibility rights, Pol now witnesses her audience carry the conversation into new spaces without even being prompted. 

“I may not even realize it, but someone will comment underneath a video and say 'Wow, that thing you did was so accessible,’ and then that person will apply it to their personal life and talk to their manager about it,” she said. “I think that’s the best part.” 

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