First-Ever Online Dating Site Launches For Black Singles Living With Disabilities

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New Site Focuses on Needs of Overlooked Population in the Disability Community: Black People With Disabilities Connect

Friendship is essential to the soul

It may not seem readily apparent, but people living with disabilities are just as eager to find a partner for love and romance as anyone else. And a new website launching on August 20, 2013, promises to serve as “the online love connection” for African American singles with disabilities, making it the first of its kind anywhere. At Black People with Disabilities Connect (, black people living with physical, emotional or communication disabilities can meet people who want to be with them for friendship, casual dating or even to find “the love of their lives.”

“Currently, there are no online dating websites that specifically address the dating needs of the community of black people with disabilities,” said Derek Marryshow, Ph.D., President/CEO of Akoma Connect, LLC, which is launching the brand new site. African Americans represent 22.2% of people with disabilities, which is a larger share of this population than Hispanics and other minority groups.

As the online dating world has exploded in recent years, many specialty and niche dating sites have focused on helping people find a match according to preferred categories such as religious beliefs, residency (rural dwellers looking for other rural dwellers), age, sexual preference, and including numerous other online dating sites for people living with disabilities. But these sites have proven incapable of meeting the needs and desires of African Americans living with disabilities, many who are looking for partners who share their cultural heritage and partners of all racial and ethnic backgrounds with and without a disability. Many single African Americans with Disabilities would be attractive partners for others in the general population interested in seeking out their demographic for friendship and romance.

Dr. Marryshow wants the site to be as diverse as the population it is working to serve. While the new site is focused squarely on African Americans living with disabilities, Black People with Disabilities Connect wants to be a broad pipeline to dating for blacks living with disabilities. For example:

"There's a myth that people with disabilities only want to date other people with disabilities. Not so," says Dr. Marryshow. "Many people who are not challenged with disabilities are open to romantic relationships with persons who are living with disabilities and our site will help African Americans from both worlds make a connection."

The bottom line is African Americans living with disabilities should not have their personal relationship options confined to just their disability population. That’s why Dr. Marryshow sees the site as more than blacks living with disabilities meeting other blacks living with disabilities. Instead, he sees the site also:

  • increasing awareness of the thousands of attractive and eligible black singles who happen to have a disability.
  • empowering singles without disabilities to consider singles with disabilities as a viable dating option.
  • connecting black singles with disabilities with singles of other racial and ethnic backgrounds.
  • and creating a dating community in which singles with and without disabilities, of all racial and ethnic backgrounds can find friendship, romance, and love.

Several weeks ago, Black People with Disabilities Connect ( opened a Facebook fan page and that has given an early indicator of success. “Since launching our Facebook page, we have received a very positive response from the community with over 2,500 likes, and the internal numbers from Facebook Insights tell an even stronger story.”

Black People with Disabilities Connect has also developed other companion social media sites including Facebook, Twitter (@bpwdconnect), LinkedIn (BPWD Connect) and a Blog (

Initially, the site is targeting eight U.S. cities for a marketing emphasis: New York City; Newark, N.J.; Dover, DE; Baltimore, MD; Washington, D.C.; Richmond and Atlanta. Maryshow says Black People with Disabilities Connect would like to sign up 1,000 premium members in each of these cities as part of the initial launch phase.

Dr. Marryshow is available for media interviews at the contact information above.

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Derek Marryshow
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