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Rooted in Rights

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In Appalachia, Disability Stigma Has Dangerous Effects

Friday, September 21, 2018

My mother-in-law tried to get Travis (not his real name) on disability. But it was complicated. Not just the process of navigating the bureaucracy around the application—another part of her problem was that being “on disability” in East Tennessee is emotionally fraught territory. There’s an ongoing conversation outside of Appalachia about it: witness this Washington

Call for Blog Posts and Videos on the Disability Vote

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

With November 6th midterm elections rapidly approaching, it’s time again for disabled Americans to prepare to go to the polls. To shine a spotlight on this crucial political moment, #CripTheVote and Rooted in Rights are partnering to call for stories about voting. We are asking people with disabilities to take the #CripTheVote Challenge by sending

No, I’m Not the Patient: Caring for an Aging Parent When You’re Disabled and Everyone Thinks You’re the One Dying

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Caring for an aging (or ill) parent or loved one is always complicated. That subtle shift that takes place over time— where the parent becomes the one being cared for, instead of the other way around. It’s a journey as old as life itself. Under the best of circumstances, it’s a stressful time— for a

Home Health Aides Help Me Live My Life. We Need to Pay Them Better.

Monday, September 17, 2018

When I decided to begin living on my own after my mother’s stroke, I knew I would receive an increase in the number of weekly attendant hours assigned to me. Since I required assistance with several activities of daily living, my hours increased from seven to thirty-two per week.  One of my new responsibilities of

Identifying as “Disabled” Brings Me Peace in a World Hostile to My Existence

Friday, September 14, 2018

Before I entered college, I never thought about disability. Or at least, I never thought about it with that exact word. Mental illness. Mentally ill. Disorder. Burden. These were all words I used to describe myself before “disabled” and “disability” became my home. Even as I struggled to seek accommodations and receive support for various

A Guide to Determining Accessibility at Vocational and Technical High Schools

Thursday, September 13, 2018

On my first day at Bristol County Agricultural High School, I found out that I’d learn to take apart an engine and put it back together, climb trees, wade through the pond, ride horses, work with cows and livestock, arrange flowers, and weld basic metal objects. I had a lot of questions, but my main

Here’s How You Can Show Solidarity to Disabled Classmates

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Back-to-school season can be a stressful time for members of the disability community, especially those who are entering new schools and new phases of their educations. Inaccessibility is a constant problem on campuses, and that doesn’t just include physical access issues like stairs, lack of interpreters, and unusable bathrooms. It also includes a campus climate

Empower Your Students Through Disability-Conscious Teaching

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Historically, disabled people have been subjected to isolated, segregated education. And there’s still a notion that a disabled person in the classroom is a shocking and novel thing, and disabled people don’t belong in school. In a classroom space where there are no visibly disabled people, teachers and staff may incorrectly assume that no one

Sex Education is for Everyone. Even Disabled Kids.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

We live in a society that desexualizes disabled bodies. This allows the topics of sex and sexuality to be left out of the educations of many young disabled people. As disabled students head back into the classroom this year, this absence of high-quality sexual education can instill at least two dangerous lessons within them. First,