For years I have always heard that unemployment for people with disabilities has been at or around 70%. This number has always been the same in my 10 plus years of public speaking, 20 years in the workforce of serving people with disabilities and the 30 plus years that I have been a person with a disability. At times it seems as if this would never change. How can it? How would we know for sure? Something has got to change. What can be done to make a dent in this number?
Posts Tagged 'wheelchair'
When faced with disability, it may have a profound impact on you, but it can transform your life in unexpected ways. Adjusting to your new reality can be a struggle but it can be overcome. You can battle and continue to live life successfully by keeping certain things in mind.
When trying to decide what to write for this week I kept coming back to the fact that schools across my portion of the country are beginning to start back and many of those students will have disabilities. Here are a few tips and explanations to help the beginning of your school year go as smoothly as possible.
Today I dropped the cap to my water bottle under my desk and thought with dismay, how am I ever going to get that? In case you didn’t know I am pregnant. Which in and of itself is a story for another time. But amongst the many arduous tasks that come with pregnancy bending over is one of them. Especially having to bend over all the way to the floor! Do you know how far away that is? That’s Pluto in pregnancy language. Being pregnant is an amazing gift. Feeling a life move inside you is absolutely incredible until about midnight when you haven’t slept in a week, and your bed has turned into a torture chamber instead of the cloud of awesomeness it was just a few short months ago and all you want in this life is just to get a few hours of sleep!
I lost my limbs in 1979 due to rare blood disease, what that moment has done is made me a member of a very prestigious club. No, it’s not the 50/50 club in baseball or the AARP club, at least not yet. What it has done is made me a lifetime member of the ADA club. What does that mean?
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), I have been reflecting on what the ADA has meant to me. I acknowledge that we still have work to do in order to have complete equal rights for people with disabilities but, looking back, it becomes more apparent how far we have come.
Service animals are a reliable resource for millions of Americans with disabilities; therefore, it is worth understanding their importance as it relates to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA not only sets the definition of a service animal, it also protects people with service animals from being discriminated against. A service animal is an animal that is trained to complete duties that assist people with disabilities including physical, mental, sensory, intellectual and psychiatric. Under the ADA, service animals are allowed to accompany people with disabilities in public spaces as long as the service animal is under control and does not compromise the health of the environment (such as keeping an operating room sterile).
Born without a right hand and forearm, Natalia Partyka won the Paralympic championship in 2004. Paola Fantato has been a wheelchair user since the age of eight, yet she was the first athlete to compete in the Olympics and the Paralympics in 1996. Silver-medal-winner Terence Parkin has been deaf since birth, but that didn’t stop him from winning medals in swimming competitions. There are many athletes with disabilities who inspire us with their competitive spirit. Whether it’s winning races, grappling on the wrestling mat, or riding the ocean waves, athletes with disabilities stand as the epitome of strength and success.
In 2008, I achieved my greatest athletic goal. I became a Paralympian. Shortly after I joined Team USA, I like most elite athletes, attended a media training session. I nervously sat in a beige hotel conference room, staring at the abstractly-designed carpet beneath my feet. 20 Paralympians surrounded me, representing almost every Paralympic sport. Gold medalists, world-record holders, the poster-children of the Games – we breathed the same air. Suddenly, the leader of the session walked in and began to speak.