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Tongue Slips and Shoulder Chips

When you are in a wheelchair, it is clear that something is awry. I look different. Some can see past it and treat me like anyone else, but for others, it is a barrier. As a result, I am often met with responses that, while ignorant, are also…

On Getting Up Again

Part of being disabled is waking up one morning and wishing you could be done with it all. I’ve never admitted that before, least of all in a public forum, but I think it’s something we have to acknowledge at one point…

My Diagnosis Day

My parents say it was another beautiful, sunny Saturday in April. They had two perfect children, a boy and a girl, like they had always wanted, and they couldn’t wait to finally start a family together. However, the merriment that usually filled the room suddenly stopped on that…

Come Fly with Me

Traveling is an important part of life. While many take this ability for granted, it is next to impossible for those like me. I can take advantage of all the other modes of transportation, but airplanes are behind the times. I am unable to remain in my chair…

Joining the Fun

Surrounded by kids, friends from school, camera pointing at them, masks on, and backdrop chosen. A birthday party is in full force at a venue called Selfie Party Fun in Naperville, Illinois. A full array of activities was going on, most of which Ella can partake in,…

How to Make Movies About Disability More Accurate

The upcoming film “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” by director Gus Van Sant and starring Joaquin Phoenix is already stirring up controversy in many disabled communities. Depicting the life of the late quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan, the film is just one of many movies…

2018: A Year for New Beginnings

I like setting goals and making lists of everything I want to accomplish over the next 12 months. But resolutions feel dangerous to me — mainly because I never actually achieve them. I finish my to-do list every day for a week, maybe two, but…