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Rooted in Rights

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Navigating the Twists and Turns of Healthcare as a Trans Disabled Person

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Statistics on the transgender community are hard to come by — we can’t even agree on how many people in the United States are trans. We do know, however, that trans people experience significant health care disparities, particularly in the case of trans people of color. And the scant data we have suggests the incidence

If You Really Value the Work of Disabled People, Pay Us For It

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Every week, I get at least a half-dozen requests from disability organizations to volunteer my time to them. They want me to come speak, write, design social media campaigns, join their boards, and provide expert advice on autistic community politics that could make or break outreach efforts. The organizations will tell me how much they

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


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