Opinion

My Journey with Disability Language and Identity

Monday, April 10, 2017Are 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…

Why I Believe Cerebral Palsy “Awareness” is Important

Friday, March 24, 2017I 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…

How the Positivity Only Movement Has a Negative Impact on the Disability Community

Thursday, February 23, 2017In September of 2012 I was young, hopelessly optimistic, and terrified of the implications two newly diagnosed autoimmune diseases would have on my existence. Having already been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 18, I knew that this would be a…

Dear Meryl Streep: We Don’t Want Pity, We Want Progress

Thursday, January 12, 2017I didn’t watch the Golden Globes, but saw Meryl Streep’s speech the next day. As she blatantly called out the president-elect on his bullying of Serge Kovaleski, a disabled reporter, I wondered why that specific incident “sank its hooks in…

Why Archer’s Challenge Misrepresents the Experience of Wheelchair Users

Wednesday, December 14, 2016“As you saw, it’s a lot of coordination involved between moving the chair, pointing to maps and of course using the weather clicker,” Chikage Windler, chief meteorologist at CBS Austin, explains about her experience of using a wheelchair on the

True Activists Don’t Just “Drive-by”

Friday, December 9, 2016Here’s an unpopular opinion: Anderson Cooper’s recent coverage of “drive-by lawsuits” on 60 Minutes wasn’t nearly as egregious as many disabled people seem to believe. Such lawsuits, named for the speed and lack of warning with which they are…

The Public Health Statistic that Fails Disabled People

Wednesday, October 19, 2016I first encountered the term “Disability-Adjusted Life Years,” or DALYs, during my second year of studying public health in college, and as a disabled person, the concept is concerning to me. DALYs are a measure used to calculate

26 years later – The ADA is not a suggestion

Tuesday, July 26, 2016July twenty-sixth will mark the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, our “Emancipation Proclamation.” This sweeping law was the result of decades of work by activists committed to the idea that everyone has a place in society. It…

Evaluating new film ‘Me Before You’

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Me Before You portrays life with disability as hopeless
Hollywood’s latest attempt to portray people with disabilities in film debuted to a flood of criticism from disability rights advocates. Me Before You, released on June 3, tells the story…