disability

Toward Independence Report Issued: A Precursor to the ADA

Toward Independence Report Issued: A Precursor to the ADA

Four years prior to the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, a report called Toward Independence was issued by the National Council on Disability (NCD), based in Washington D.C. The Council is comprised of roughly a dozen council members, and led and supported by an Executive Director, legislative and administrative support staff. The NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.

As described on its website, the NCD works to fulfill its mission by NCD fulfills its advisory roles regarding disability policies, programs, procedures, and practices that enhance equal opportunity by:

  • Convening stakeholders to acquire timely and relevant input for recommendations and action steps

  • Gathering and analyzing data and other information

  • Engaging and influencing current debates and agendas

  • Identifying and formulating solutions to emerging and long-standing challenges; and

  • Providing tools to facilitate effective implementation

Why I Love Mobility Grabbers/Reachers

Why I Love Mobility Grabbers/Reachers

One of the tools that my husband and I use the most around our house is our grabbers. I have to admit that I never owned one prior to living with him, but since he introduced me to them, I use them all the time.

When you are shopping for a grabber, I recommend you consider the following features. You want a grabber with a strong aluminum frame construction. The handle should feel comfortable to grip. And most of all, you want the "mouth," if you will, to be strong! Ours use a thin rope mechanism that pulls the grabbing mouth closed when you pull the trigger on the handle. The harder you squeeze, the tighter it will hold on to whatever you are picking up.

We like this style (verses the suction cup style that is also popular) for its small pinching profile. It can fit into tight corners and pick up fairly small objects. Coins or thin paper on the ground is fairly easy for us to pick up with this grabber.

Why I Use and Advocate for Identity-First Language

Why I Use and Advocate for Identity-First Language

You have probably noticed in posts throughout my Love Disabled Life blog that I often write "disabled people" rather than "people with disabilities." This is known as "identity-first" language and not "person-first" language. Identity-first language embraces the term (or label) of disability as being at one with the identity of who a person is. The same as a person would do if they were referring to themselves racially or ethnically. For example it is not common nomenclature to say "person with a Swedishness" (I, happen to be of Swedish heritage) You would say, Swedish person.

Yes, I Love My Scooter! Thank You For Asking

Yes, I Love My Scooter! Thank You For Asking

For all of the times I get approached in public, the one time that I mind the least is when people inquire (politely) about my mobility scooter. It happened again yesterday. I was out grocery shopping and a woman using the store motorized cart approached me and asked where I got my scooter.

"I think I could really use one of those," she said.

Thank You target, for your disability inclusion

Thank You target, for your disability inclusion

Whoever the executive team is at Target that is working hard to include disabilities in their advertising and children's fashion line should be applauded. I came upon this Huffington Post article today about a boy named Charlie who has Cerebral Palsy who saw a large promotional picture of a boy standing with a walker. He was so happy to see an image of a boy who he could relate to.

The Challenges With Disabled Parking

The Challenges With Disabled Parking

One of the most coveted, but also controversial, aspects of being disabled is the ability to park in disabled (or as the larger public refers to them, "handicapped") parking spots. Here in my home state of California we have two factors impacting the availability for disabled people to park in disabled parking spots: 1) increased population density and 2) a generation of people who are simply aging (and thus acquiring disabling conditions, many times requiring the use of disabled parking). There is a third factor, that of the increased diagnosing of "invisible disabilities," a topic I will explore in this post.

How I Deal with Being Stared At

How I Deal with Being Stared At

Burping, spitting, passing gas, nose-picking, gum slapping: most of these come to mind as topping the list of public etiquette taboos. One, however, that often doesn’t come to mind—not because it isn’t a common practice—is staring. Believe me, I should know.

I have found myself the object of many unwanted stares. I was born with a rare muscle disorder that wrecked havoc on my skeletal system leaving me physically challenged and my body deformed. My hips were displaced at a very young age, and progressive Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) disfigured my rib cage.

Flirting With My Identity As A Disabled Woman

Flirting With My Identity As A Disabled Woman

A major part of my identity is that I am disabled. This is not a newsflash to those of you who know me. In fact you may be thinking, "This is the big revelation? Who cares." That's kind of true. One look at me and you can easily see that I am disabled. But what I draw issue with is the term of disability. It is a label that concludes a value judgement or assessment of ability. The truth is, I have pride in being disabled. It is part of who I am. But it is the often misguided negative associations with the label of disability that I reject.

Disability Pride: Not just slogans and protest posters

Disability Pride: Not just slogans and protest posters

Disability pride is the open and vocal declaration, dare I say unapologetic, of one's disability identity. Those who are disabled and proud not only acknowledge they are disabled, but they embrace it as part of their being. It reflects much more of the social model of disability. That is, that the construct of disability resides in the environment, and not in themselves. People who are proud to be disabled aren't looking to be cured, fixed or appeased. Rather, they seek the same rights, access and freedoms that any non-disabled person is afforded.

What is an independent living center?

What is an independent living center?

In learning about SVILC I became engaged with the disability community in a way I never had prior. I met many disabled people, leaders in our civil rights movement, and became exposed to a disabled history and culture that I never knew existed. I volunteered for several months with SVILC and then eventually was hired part-time as their marketing and communications specialist. Shortly after leaving SVILC I was invited to serve on the Board for the Center of Independence for Individuals With Disabilities (CID) which serves people one county north of SVILC. I've been on the CID Board for going on five years now. It is some of the most fun and rewarding work I have ever done in my life.