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Rooted in Rights

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Picture This: a Disability Community That’s Truly Inclusive of All

Friday, August 10, 2018

Close your eyes and picture a disabled person. At work, one of my jobs is finding images to pair with our weekly newsletter articles. Since we are a non-profit that advocates for people with disabilities, I often find myself combing through stock photo websites looking for pictures of disabled people. I am met with hundreds

Anti-Stigma Mental Health Campaigns Often Ignore Our Realities

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

I have to be honest: I am not a fan of anti-stigma campaigns. Or, at least, not the way the campaigns are normally run. Let me explain why: I am forever grateful to live in a time where openness about mental health issues is being received more positively. I can’t count how often I’ve heard

Delta’s Pit Bull Service Dog Ban is Disability Discrimination: Here’s What You Need to Know

Monday, August 6, 2018

Defying disability rights, scientific fact and public outcry, Delta Airlines has prohibited pit bull-type service dogs on their flights.  As of July 10th, any person with a disability who attempts to bring a pit bull-type service dog on a Delta flight will be turned away.  Given that a pit bull is not a singular breed

Shock Therapy is Still Legal. It’s Time to #StopTheShock.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Judge Rotenberg Center, an educational and residential facility in Canton, Massachusetts, says it has a “near zero rejection policy,” accepting autistic people and those with developmental disabilities and mental health conditions whose families say they have nowhere else to go — “emotionally disturbed students with conduct, behavior, emotional, and/or psychiatric problems.” The facility claims to

Electronic Visit Verification: a Threat to Independence for Disabled People

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Dennis Borel of the Texas Coalition of People with Disabilities sums up Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) in one crisp comment: “What am I, a felon? Put an ankle bracelet on me.” If you’re not familiar with EVV, it involves the use of an electronic system to record hours worked by personal care attendants and certain

Have Schools Become More Inclusive and Accessible in the Last 28 Years?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

When I started school in the Malden public school system just outside Boston, Massachusetts in the late 1990s, accessibility and accommodations in the classroom were a significant challenge. It’s now been 28 years since the the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990. Because schools are covered under Title II of the ADA (along with Section

28 Years After the ADA, Disabled People are Still Fighting for Accessible Event Seating

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

This winter, my friends and I bought tickets to see “50 Shades Freed,” because hate-watching and laughing at the franchise’s terrible movies is a tradition that we started when the first film premiered for Valentine’s Day. When we got to the movie theater, we were unsurprised to find that there were only a few designated

Disabled Person Online? Here are Some Tips for Navigating the Internet.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

We are all a bit skittish about the internet these days. There’s shady data collection, “fake news,” and the addictive qualities of social media to contend with, not to mention the emotional toll that online life can take when it turns sour. And yet, disabled people still find friendship, empowerment, and vibrant community online. Traditional

We Need to Break Through the Silence on Abuses of Institutionalized Children

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Content note: this post discusses psychiatric hospitalization and sexual abuse. When I was thirteen years old, I was sexually abused by a staff member in a psychiatric hospital. The first time she abused me, she took me into the examination room for a routine strip-search. She stripped me of my clothes, threw a tissue box

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