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Rooted in Rights

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Knowledge is Power When Advocating for Disability Rights

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Traveling is a stressful process for anyone; but after navigating the city of Las Vegas upon flying in, I hoped to have a little time to unwind. I was relaxing to the sound of my guide dog, Jason, lapping up some fresh water when there was an unexpected knock at the door. Not expecting company,

Dear United, What If David Dao Had Been Disabled?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dear United, Earlier this month, David Dao was dragged off a flight from Chicago to Louisville. He suffered a concussion, a broken nose, sinus damage, and several lost teeth. While I’m empathetic toward Dao and his family, this is not the first time I’ve heard of airlines grabbing passengers with numerous injuries ensuing. Once, while

My Journey with Disability Language and Identity

Monday, April 10, 2017

Are we “handicapped” or “disabled,” “disabled people” or “people with disabilities,” “differently abled” or “special needs?” The debate over disability language is exhausting and exasperating. But I come back to it because the ever-changing ways we talk and think about disability track my own journey with disability. When I was very young, I remember my

Valuing Activism of All Kinds

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Recently, disabled activists from ADAPT protested in Washington, DC as the House debated the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Fifty-four badass disabled people put their bodies on the line, chanting and drawing media attention on what is at stake if the AHCA passes. They were arrested inside the Capitol Rotunda for obstructing passage in a

Why Disability Advocacy on a Local Level Matters

Thursday, March 30, 2017

With so many national political events rapidly unfolding, it can feel like what you’re doing on a local level in your community “doesn’t matter.” I’m here to tell you otherwise. It actually matters a LOT, especially for the disability community. While an assortment of federal laws, regulations, and caselaw protect disability rights, the fact is

Why I Believe Cerebral Palsy “Awareness” is Important

Friday, March 24, 2017

I had to explain spastic diplegia to my doctor a few weeks ago. It’s the particular type of cerebral palsy (CP) I have, and it’s also the most common type. I’ve long since given up hope of any general practitioner (GP) I see knowing what CP is, despite the fact that it’s such a common physical

When Emotional Support Becomes Unintended Gaslighting

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gaslighting is a psychological term used to describe a type of emotional and psychological abuse. Rooted in manipulation, it refers to someone’s attempt to alter someone else’s reality. The term stems from the 1938 stage play and 1944 film, Gaslight – a story in which a husband systematically convinces his wife she’s mentally unstable. In

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