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Rooted in Rights

Recent Posts

Activist Spotlight: Lillie Lainoff – Writer

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Lillie Lainoff always wanted to be a writer. When she came home from her first day of kindergarten with her first short story—two sentences about a girl with a pet goldfish—she announced that this was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. “Something I’ve come to truly appreciate about our community

I’m Tired of Being Accused of “Faking” My Need for a Service Animal

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Recently, while on a date, the subject of service animals came up. My date spoke of a female coworker of theirs who would occasionally bring a service dog to work. They expressed their disbelief about their coworker’s disability – an anxiety disorder – because she “seemed fine” most of the time, and didn’t always bring

As a Chronically Ill Mom, Even Tater Tots Are a Way to Show My Kids Love

Friday, May 11, 2018

My Nonnie was a gruff and funny woman who, even at Thanksgiving, put a huge slab of lasagna on our plates as an appetizer. Even with a turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, breaded cauliflower, oil and vinegar salad, pumpkin pie, apple pie, lemon knots, biscotti and pizzelle, we still began the meal with a substantial,

I’m a Mom with a Disability. Here’s How I “Run the Show” in My Family.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

I have several roles and identities that add a lot of meaning in my life. First and foremost, I LOVE being a woman. I like pink and sparkles and unicorns. I was raised by some incredibly fierce women: my mother, both grandmothers and three biological aunts, who are all confident, very loving and nurturing, intelligent,

Disabled People Have the Right to Raise Children

Monday, May 7, 2018

I didn’t see many families like mine growing up. All my childhood friends’ parents had cars and could drive. My mom was visually impaired and had Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. She was the first person to teach me that I shouldn’t be ashamed of being disabled, and she almost lost her parental rights as a result. Disabled

Can We Stop Arguing About the “Right Way” to Be a Disability Activist?

Friday, May 4, 2018

There is more than one way to do disability activism. This should be obvious, but needs repeating. There are plenty of internal arguments inside the disability community, about race, gender, sexual orientation, age, social class, and disability type, not to mention several vastly different philosophies of disability itself. These disagreements can be upsetting, but at

Hear Me Out: Being Inspired By Disabled People Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

When I was a student at the University of Iowa, a friend of a friend did her final project for a journalism class about the unique friendship between myself and a helper. I was happy with how this story turned out, because it wasn’t the stereotypical portrayal of a disabled student that I had become

15 Autistic Activists You Should Follow This Autism Acceptance Month

Thursday, April 26, 2018

It was around late 2012 or early 2013 when I first stumbled across the #ActuallyAutistic community online. Before I found the community, my ideas about what it means to be autistic came from my personal experience or from limited and often stereotypical portrayals in the media. Reading, listening to, and joining that autistic community online

First Doctors Told Me My Pain Was All In My Head, Then They Told Me I Would Die

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

My disability requires me to carry memory foam pillows with me everywhere I go.  My disability is invisible — the pillows are not. At a recent cardiology appointment, a nurse made fun of my memory foam pillows, assuming I was a “lazy, stuck up princess” rather than a patient with vasculitis whose veins break easily