Posted in Uncategorized

Happy 30th Birthday, ADA!

 

The following article from Forbes has an excellent summary about how the Americans with Disabilities Act has helped everyone – not just those of us who have disabilities.

This ultimate goal of “universal design” will hopefully allow ALL of us to live easier lives.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiegold/2020/07/26/the-ada-on-its-30th-anniversary-looking-back-and-forward/#5d0e37165b14

For more information about the ADA, go to https://www.ada.gov.

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

Please Understand that these Cards are FAKE

So it’s not enough to create these fake certified service animal cards or to concoct false disabled parking placards? Now there are  fake Department of Justice cards that declare that the bearer does not have to wear masks because he/she has a disability.

With all the stigmas that people with disabilities have to bear, it is particularly disheartening to see scams like this, that further exploit our situation. While there may be some situations where a person’s disability may legitimately excuse them from wearing a mask, it would not be manifested in a card like this.

So for the record, let me say definitively that THESE CARDS ARE FAKE AND BEAR NO RELATION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OR TO THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT.

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See the article below for more information:

https://www.khq.com/news/local-disability-activists-warn-about-fake-ada-mask-cards-circulating-online/article_97eda7bc-b781-11ea-a239-9befe75e5e0d.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

Posted in Disability etiquette, Disability sterotypes, Uncategorized

Communicating “Normally” with People who have Disabilities

The following New York Times article gives many common-sense ideas about interacting with people who have disabilities. In reading it, I realized that very little is new. It just reminds us of the value of treating EVERYONE with dignity and respect.
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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/02/opinion/disabled-human-rights.html

Posted in Disability sterotypes, Uncategorized, Wheelchair Barbie

Welcome to the Real World, “Wheelchair Barbie” and Friends!

 

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/12/us/barbie-doll-disabilities-trnd/index.html

Okay, I’ll admit it – on some level I wanted to look like Barbie. Even though I intellectually knew that she wasn’t real and didn’t resemble any person I knew, that skinny piece of painted plastic still had the power to make me feel woefully inferior, if I let it. There was something about her silent perfection that could not help but scream “pretty,” “hip” and “athletic” to me, especially when she was dressed up to go hiking or rollerblading with the ever-hunky Ken.

Of course, most children go through something like this as we are growing up. And because I did not develop MS until well into adulthood, I at least did not have the additional burden of incorporating a cane, a walker or a wheelchair into my developing self-image. That would only have made things more difficult and infinitely more confusing.

And it’s not just Barbie. Traditionally, images have abounded on television and in books and movies about “desirable” people, who almost never include people with disabilities (unless we are shown as unrealistically cheery and inspirational or as sinister and even evil, driven mad by our disabilities).

But it’s refreshing to see that things are slowly but steadily changing. There are more television shows, movies and even commercials that feature people with disabilities as just regular people – because that’s all we really are.

And it was good to read that later in 2019, Mattel is going to introduce new Barbie dolls that will look a lot more like real people. As shown in the above photo and accompanying CNN article, the dolls will be varied in their bodies, hair, skin and clothes, just like we all are. And significantly, one of the dolls is a wheelchair user and another one has a removable prosthetic leg.

So while the new Barbie is not going to feed the world, stop global warming or eliminate all discrimination, she can at least provide a little reassurance to children with disabilities who want to feel a little more connected to a very confusing world.

UPDATE: I’m now in my 60’s and have had multiple sclerosis for about three decades.  I haven’t played with dolls for a long time, and I think I’m pretty much over “Barbie Envy.”

 But when I feel particularly frustrated with my limping and tripping, it gives me some measure of comfort to see more and more people like me represented on television, in movies and elsewhere in the public domain. It reminds me that “real” people are not (usually) made of plastic!