Mikey Hamm

Top 40 Under 40 2016

Photography Curtis Comeau

Age: 30

Job Title: Writer, support worker

Why He’s Top 40: His documentaries shed light on the lives of people with disabilities.

Unexpected Hobby: “Designing my own role-playing game. I started playing with dice and cards and it went from there.”

When Mikey Hamm started his day job as a support worker for Anthony Barrett, a young man with autism, he felt that his client’s story needed to be told. So Hamm made a video documenting how Anthony was able to cope with his condition as an entrepreneur of his own delivery business.

Posted on YouTube in 2013, the video has since been viewed more than 200,000 times, including several screenings in seminars and classrooms where the topic of disability advocacy is addressed. The mini-documentary not only exceeded Hamm’s expectations, it also triggered a desire to share with the world more accounts of adults with disabilities.

“I like telling stories,” he says. “I like to help other people tell stories and I felt the best way to do it was to make really short documentaries.”

He’s since filmed other subjects such as a man with autism who assembles furniture and a Paralympic goalball athlete. The videos capture touching, sometimes humourous sides of the subjects’ personalities as they not only try to overcome their obstacles, but shed light on the need for more advocacy on their behalf. It’s a topic Hamm believes almost everyone can relate to. 

“Alberta has a higher than average population of people with disabilities,” he says. “Almost everyone knows someone with a disability, if they don’t have one themselves. I think it’s an important topic and connects really well with people.”

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