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Taking on disability together

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    Last year Easterseals published a guest post I wrote called How One Student Who is Blind Planned the Perfect Date. Our perfect date didn’t work out that time, unfortunately. Joe and I had tried to plan a trip to Andy’s Jazz Club in Chicago last year for our second anniversary, but when it didn’t work […]

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    With all the hubbub the past couple weeks about our Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth (pictured right) casting a vote on the Senate floor with her newborn baby in her arms, very little attention was given to the fact that Senator Duckworth is a mother who has a disability. And I kind of like that. Senator […]

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    Knowing that every parent wants their children to grow up healthy and happy, it dawns on me now that it must have been hard on my mother (I called her by her first name, Flo) to take it all in when I lost my sight. I was 26 years old then. She was 69, and […]

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    I am completely blind. I can’t see emojis. The speech synthesizers on my laptop and phone describe them to me when they appear on screen, though. Want an example? Here’s a sampling of what I hear when choosing from the list of “Smileys and Other People” emojis: “Winking face with stuck-out tongue” “Smirking face” “Face […]

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    Before I had an iPhone, I had a Samsung Jack. It’s been six years since I had that old phone, but I can vaguely remember the layout — it looked like a Blackberry. The speech software for the Samsung Jack was called Mobile Speak, and it didn’t come with the device. We had to download […]

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  • 05/24/18--08:30: Coding For Everyone
  • I love writing blog posts about things that make common sense. This is one of those posts. Last week Apple commemorated Global Accessibility Awareness Day (a day emphasizing the importance of accessible tech and design) by announcing a new partnership with Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired to bring its Everyone Can Code […]

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    Just got back from a trip to Washington, DC. While walking around with friends there, I couldn’t help but notice how nice the streets and sidewalks in DC and nearby Alexandria are — guess I’ve become too accustomed to the cracks and potholes and construction cut-outs here in Chicago! Turns out I’m not the only […]

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  • 06/06/18--09:30: Is That A Service Dog?
  • A small dog yipped and lunged at my Seeing Eye dog Whitney as we checked in for a flight at Chicago’s Midway Airport last month. No one got hurt, but it was alarming. I know to ready myself for distractions from other dogs when I’m outside with Whitney, I just forget that I have to […]

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    The Cerebral Palsy Foundation launched the first episode of its new Awkward Moments animated series last month. I. Loved. It. the spots are about a minute long and created to address two audiences: Average people who aren’t sure what to say or how to act around those of us who have disabilities, and Those of […]

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    For people with disabilities and older adults across the country, transportation is key to independence including but not limited to running errands, social activities, and working. At Easterseals, we want to ensure that you know your options when it comes to getting from point A to point B. Check out our overview of transportation options […]

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    When my mother died a few years ago, she left a small amount of money to each of her grandchildren. Except for our son Gus. We specifically asked her not to include him in her will. Gus has significant physical and developmental disabilities and receives Medicaid and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). Before my mother […]

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    Is it just me, or have you noticed a trend in “adaptive fashion” lately? It seems more and more stylish apparel is being designed for a variety of audiences: People with disabilities People who have suffered an injury Patients undergoing various medical treatments People with sensory issues who need clothing made of extra-soft materials Older […]

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    It’s July already, and you know what that means: it’s the anniversary of the ADA and many cities across the country are celebrating disability pride! One way to celebrate and learn about the contributions of people with disabilities is by reading books about them. Looking for a book recommendation? Check out this list of some […]

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    Magnets and Ladders publishes writing by people with disabilities, and they’ll be holding contests in the areas of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for the Fall/Winter 2018 issue. Cash prizes of $30 and $20 will be awarded to the first and second place winners in each category. Their submission guidelines are pretty clear: Writers with disabilities […]

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    Independence Day has come and gone, but there’s still a lot to celebrate this month: It’s the anniversary of the ADA and many cities across the country are celebrating disability pride! One way to celebrate and learn about the contributions of people with disabilities is by reading books about them. Earlier this month I put […]

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    This week is National Disability Voter Registration Week. Are you registered to vote? If not, learn more here! I’ve published posts here about the obstacles people with disabilities often run into at polling places, and after an op-ed piece I wrote about this appeared in the New York Daily News in 2016, people started asking […]

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    This week is National Disability Voter Registration Week. Are you registered to vote? If not, learn more here! With cyber concerns in the news these days, many polling places are considering returning to paper ballots in future elections. I get that, but here’s the thing: many people with disabilities cannot mark paper ballots without assistance. I’m […]

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    The 28th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is this Thursday, July 26. My husband Mike and I will be celebrating with a visit to see our son at his group home in Wisconsin. Gus moved away from home when he was 16 years old — he was born with […]

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    Earlier I walked you through a typical visit to see our son Gus at his group home. To complete the celebration of the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act — and to further explain how much the ADA affects our everyday lives — here’s an account of a train ride back to Chicago […]

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    My Seeing Eye dog and I are heading to California this afternoon — I was awarded a grant to attend the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference from August 2 to August 5, 2018. I was flattered – and surprised – to receive the grant. Flattered, since it means I will be in the midst of so […]

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