It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Friday, May 28, 2010

3 Things People Have Called Me This Week

empathetic, authentic, loving
6 Words That Used to Define Me:
loud, obnoxious, abrasive, explosive, stubborn, blunt
Over the last year I guess I've grown more then I thought I have. I guess when you surround yourself with people that are empathetic, authentic, and loving instead of people who are abrasive and judgmental, they start to rub off on you. Hopefully this means that good things will be coming my way.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

From Around the Net

Just 2 stories:

AAPD has decided to release a youtube video a week from now until ADA Day in their Countdown to the ADA Series. Their first one from this week features Bobby Coward, fellow ADAPTer.

Jen from Born Just Right has started a campaign to collect used/outgrown "helper" limbs to be sent to Haiti. Check out Helpers4Hati to see how you can help!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Often students come to OOO because they are required to attend for class credit and write a paper. They can go to any type of meeting, AA, weight watchers, etc, and sometimes they choose us. That's the background.

Recently someone came into OOO clutching their planner to their chest. They looked rather put together, in jeans and a top I think and like they have better hygiene then me and some of my friends. That coupled with the planner lead me to think that this person was a student.

One of the first things a staff member asks when someone new comes in is how they found us. "oh," I thought in my head after the answer, "this person is one of 'us'." Then I thought about the fact that neither I nor my friends (the ones who will admit to bad hygiene) look like we don't shower daily.

I've been thinking since then about how I'm still buying into the ableist assumption that people with psychiatric issues are "'...the woman waiting for the city bus with the drool,'" to quote a recent Baltimore Magazine article about Therese / Beyond Blue. If someone looks like they shower daily then they must be functional, NOT crazy, NOT one of "us." Forget about the ones of "us" who do shower daily.

I then connected this to my irrational intense fear about discussing my psychiatric issues (in any capacity) with my supervisor this summer. I'm terrified that people will find out that my hygiene is less then stelar (which is a big possibility now that it's out here on the net), that I will be outed, and they will judge me. But actually, people keep telling me recently that they would have had no idea if I hadn't outed myself.

I've also been thinking a lot about disclosure this summer, as you know. But one day, also recently, I was processing things out loud and realized that over several occasions I'd already told 4 or 5 people my supervisor works with regularly, so what was I hiding for? The ridiculousness. It feels so much better now that I've gotten that crap outta my head and can be truly transparent now. I was forsaking my entire value system not to be.

I've also gotten past the whole "crazy people are unreliable," stereotype I hope. I realized last night, which is why I'm writing this, that I AM generally unreliable, but it is unfair to project my personal feelings of inadequatecy onto another person, who probably, in all reality, does not hold that view. And who says that I have to be unreliable anymore? My biggest fear though is still that I will be unreliable transportation wise, which is something I have feared for the last 10 years. I had an OOO staff meeting 5 days ago and I was picked up 3 minutes before the meeting started. If the meeting was only 3 minutes away I would have rolled. I feel like this is a realistic fear.

I'm saddened that I have not been able to get rid of all these ableist fears. I thought I was enlightened enough now to know better. It's just that just because I know something, it doesn't mean other people know it, and apparently also, just because I know something it doesn't mean that I believe it. Interesting, isn't it?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sleep is Better Then Sex

There are at least half a dozen things that I want to post about, but right now I am so sleep deprived that I can't think. I don't have anyone I'd feel comfortable asking to be a reference on my resume right now, so I'm trying to kick ass at my summer internship so I can put down my supervisor's boss, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of [keeping hidden from google, but I bet you could guess]. How many people can list a Secretary as a reference? Which means, since it starts in a week, that this week I have to get up earlier then I have in a LONG time. Even though I do not need to be there until 10am, I need to start heading down to the bus at 8:30 (the office is pretty far downtown), and my body is not hardwired for this. I'm NOT a morning person.

So I thought since I am so tired I would blog about sleep. Earlier in the week I had a txt conversation with someone where I said my body hates me. That was after only 2 days of getting up at 7 (since then have been 2 days of 6:30 which have not gone as smoothly). Plenty of people get up at 7. 7 is not ridiculously early. I should be able to count myself as lucky, shouldn't I? Tell that to my CP fatigue.

I also said that I thought my therapist was going to faint after I told her what I was doing. I have a lot riding on this experiance. This person I was texting hasn't known me very long, not quite 4 months, and she's really behind the 8 ball when it comes to my natural behaviors. So she didn't get it. Then I said

not that I would know really but sleep is better then sex
The way I figure it, sex is just a lot of work, a lot of muscle coordination, something I could see being rather difficult in many different aspects for somebody with mobility issues, and right now if I had the choice between sex and sleep (which very unfortunately I do not) I'd choose sleep hands down.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Where's Wendy?

You Can't see me, but you can see my mom
From CDR in Rochester

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How to Become a Disability Awareness Speaker

I don't know if I'll ever get through all of the BADD posts, but I tried to at least read the ones from my regular readers, such as Laura from Lefty By Default. The Seahorse left a comment to her post asking how to become a disability awareness speaker, and I thought I would answer as well. If writing is half of my essence, then my ability to publicly speak on the fly is another quarter (ADAPT is the 4th).

So here's how to become a disability awareness speaker in one easy step:


It's that simple, and basically what Laura does as well.

I received some formal training, but you don't have to. Most of what I did was just go in and talk about myself, until more recently. When you talk to little kids, that's what you do, and that's what I did for my first 3 years of speaking. Or I did teacher trainings and talked about my issues with school and what I did/did not like about teachers I'd had and what the best things are that teachers can do for their students. How hard is it to talk about yourself?
Hi, I'm Cheryl, I'm 17 and a senior at XY high school (yes I started that young). My favorite class is AP psychology. I have 1 brother and my favorite thing to do is horseback ride (that's how they instructed us to start).

I have cerebral palsy, which is a neuromuscular disorder (older kids / adults) / that means that when I was born the part of my brain that tells my body how to move didn't work right (young kids). Go on to explain more about the spectrum of CP/how it manifests itself to me. Talk about school/work, whatever it is you do. Talk about how things were for you when you were their age. Give advice for
interacting with peers with disabilities. Open up to Q&A
It is just that simple. Little kids want to know if you like soccer (no) or what your favorite color is (purple). It's cute. Now of course I also talk about bipolar

So the asking part. When I was a freshman and lived in Long Island New York for a year there was a professor who always went through disability support and had students come in to talk to his special ed masters degree students. A friend who had been doing it asked me to join him, not knowing that I had 3 years experience under my belt. I jumped at the chance. Did it for a few classes both semesters.

After I dropped out of school (the first time) I didn't do any speaking for about a year and a half, and I was missing it. Then, through my mom I found out about a program where high school students were being trained to be buddies to younger kids with "special needs" (ick) so that they could participate more in hebrew school and youth group activities. In Maryland you need a certain amount of community service hours to get your high school diploma, so they got hours for this.

What did I do? I jumped at the chance and emailed the coordinator and asked if I could come in and speak. They weren't planning on having any "real worlders" (for lack of a better term) and I think they were taken aback, but decided to have me. I talked some about myself and my experiences in youth group and gave advice for how to interact with the kids, get them involved with their peers. When they asked the kids what the best part of the training was, many said me. This lead to several other experiences speaking to students/professionals through this organization, even after I moved to Baltimore, until the coordinator left for another job.

[left is a picture I used to illustrate that even visible disabilities aren't always visible. Who else in that picture has a physical disability?]

Which leads me to after I moved to Baltimore. In the last 4 years all of the other times, except for 2, that I've guest lectured have been because I've asked. I've actually gone up to professors after the first day of class and asked them if I could give a presentation and clarified that I wasn't asking for extra credit. I got shocked looks and then yes. I've also emailed groups of professors and said that except for XX times I was available to anyone who wants me to talk about whatever they want.

Since I've done some research on ableism, abuse in the disability community, family dynamics, human development, etc I've been able to tailor my lectures more and make myself sound more professional. My resume says
Presentation topics include disability & education, community inclusion, disability & the family, and disability/ableism awareness, among others
But you don't have to be that formal. I think the best way to start is to just be as open and honest about yourself and your experiences as possible. That seems to be what resonates with people the most.

So, if you're interested in becoming a disability awareness speaker, I say go for it! Jump in with both feet, be outgoing, keep an ear out, and pipe in. People might be apprehensive to approach you for a variety of reasons, but I have never once been turned down and have never once had a bad experience.

Monday, May 17, 2010

When Did I become a Writer?

Not all that long ago when I was depressed I wrote my shrink an email. I was trying to accurately describe the state of mind I was in and nothing was coming forth. So I sent her something that wasn't quite right, but close enough. Later that day it came to me. I sent her another email that simply said in large bold type

I've lost my essence.
I couldn't write. I couldn't write anything but depressing posts, and all I wanted to write was this. On the way home from OOO I'd written the entire thing in my head, but when I got home that night I sat with my laptop in my lap to a brain with intense fog. And there was nothing. Who am I without my ability to write? That is my essence.

That was it! If I could come up with something that precise, concise, profound, to describe my feelings then clearly my essence, my ability to think was still in tact in there somewhere. My essence was not gone, just buried under a pile of crap.

Within 3 or 4 days I was completely not depressed. I could write again and all was right with the world. "I've lost my essence" was my springboard.

The question though is when writing became such an integral part of who I am. When I was in 2nd grade we had to research a "community worker." Someone we wanted to be when we grew up. Talk about what a firefighter or a chef did. I chose children's book author.

In 6th grade I decided I'd rather be a journalist. In 8th grade I decided writing was just too hard. I'd sit at a computer and stare. I couldn't focus to write. I don't remember what I decided I wanted to be then.

I started blogging right at the time I was diagnosed. When I'm depressed, obviously, I cannot write. When I am stable, obviously, I can. When I am manic or anxious, of course, I write a bit too much.

So I wonder if/how my enthusiasm or disinclination towards writing mirrors the progression of my mood disorder and if it could have been a great diagnostic and/or tracking tool for me back in the day? Not that it matters. It's a great tracking tool now. One of the reasons I've kept at it.

Writing is so much a part of my essence that when I told my shrink I couldn't blog anymore she asked me if I thought I needed to go to the ER. I laughed because if I were her I would have replied the same way. My not eating, my sleeping 12+ hrs/day was not as much a concern as my not writing. Glad we're on the same page (pun not intended).

It's interesting, isn't it? 2 years ago I wouldn't have considered myself a writer, and now that's most of who I am.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It's Been Awhile Since I Posted a Quote

I happened across a very old post about Amanda Baggs who is autistic and blogs

“…in a world in which those determine whether you have any rights, there are people being tortured, people dying because they are considered non persons, because their kind of thought is so unusual to be considered thought at all. Only when the many shapes of personhood are recognized will justice and human rights be possible.”

~ Amanda Baggs

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Guest Post on Seclusion & Restraint

My friend wrote this recently and wanted me to share her experiences in order to bring greater awareness about seclusion and restraint. She was pretty much incarcerated in a psych hospital for a year over 2 decades ago. You would hope things were better, wouldn't you? But things like this still go on in developed nations today.


She couldn’t comprehend the hospital’s rules. She went into her bedroom to escape the racket of people crackling, shoes squeaking, Bob Barker barking from the T.V. set, and the fax shrilly ringing. The noise hurt her ears. The next thing she knew a crowd of men stormed her room. Pinning her limbs behind her back they carried her kicking and screaming to a dirty, barren room. Unceremoniously they dumped her on a gym mat, rushed out and locked the door.

She was bewildered as to why they would play a trick on her. She panicked even more because the walls were closing in on her. Banging on the door she screamed in vain to be freed.

She thought they wanted her to do gymnastics on the gym mat. After several handsprings she found instead the men surged back in. She fought them tooth and nail, but was overpowered. They forced her on a table and tied her in four point restraints. Outnumbered, but not defeated she escaped twice, shouting gleefully she was the great Houdini reincarnate. She thought surely her cleverness would win her release. Each time they tied the leather tighter until she was truly trapped.

She thought that if she peed on herself they would set her free. They just took her gown and underwear away. She laid naked and spread eagle for all to see.

After a time her terror grew so great that she forgot where she was. She forgot she was in restraints.
A great epidemic had swept the nation. She was contagious and in isolation, paralyzed and dying, in desperate need of someone to hold her hand and comfort her, to tell her she was not alone. A worried nurse peeked in the window in the door, but didn’t stop. Because of the epidemic the staff shortage was severe. They too were dying.

When she passed her soul entered a soft green space. She watched it shine and ascend toward Heaven. Before entering Heaven’s gate her soul was examined and found wanting. She crashed into the depths of Hell.
Later her doctor came to visit. She stretched her hand as far as she could reach to touch his hand. He stepped back quickly so as not to touch her. She hurt.

Three weeks later she left seclusion. The other patients were afraid of her. Her moans and screams of pain had echoed through the halls at night and sounded animal, not human.

I wish someone would have thought to hold my hand.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ain't No POWER Like the POWER of ADAPT...

My friend Scott [left, wearing a lot of flair] just created one of the most AWESOME ADAPT videos I have ever seen. You KICK ASS Scott! It's even CAPTIONED, and it embeds right, unlike the other one. I ♡ U, but you forgot to say who's speaking
  • Larry Biondi from Chicago
  • Mike from Memphis
  • German Parodi from Philly
  • Diane Colman of NOT DEAD YET from Rochester
  • Mike Oxford from Kansas
  • Larry again
  • Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    As Promised, More Pictures from ADAPT in DC

    The incredibly good looking Steve Gold at the fun*run in his hot pink Short Shorts

    That's Mike Ervin, the National Fun Runner, also at the fun*run. I am such a creeper! I totally didn't realize that my friend CCK and I were chatting right behind him until I posted it just now. The person who took the picture didn't know me yet. Behind us is Anita -- the real creeper.

    2 color leaders, Joe & Nicky, outside of the NGA the next day

    Media people I think. At least that's Amber, media team leader extraordinaire, sending out her 127th tweet of the day!

    Sign says "I'd RATHER GO TO JAIL" Where's the rest of the quote?

    Can't decide if this is a good pic of me (in my Maryland ADAPT shirt) or not. It's blurry cuz I was dancing

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    New to my Blogroll

    I just now noticed that Bethany Stevens, a self proclaimed "uppity crip scholar-activist and sexologist" extraordinaire (really, she's taught classes on sex) has a newish blog, Crip Confessions. I thought I'd give her a shout out.

    Speaking of OI bloggers (I don't know if Bethany blogs about OI, but Kara does) I'm not sure people know I've taken Kara's old blog and replaced it with Wheeler Mom. I sure hope she gets back to blogging again soon, but those sleepless nights don't lend themselves to clear enough brains to write.

    Lastly, of course, I had to add Beyond Blue, as it almost seems like I am obsessed with Therese.

    I think that's it! Look out for a few more posts on the DC Action. I need some info first. Would someone please respond to my facebook status?

    Oh and does anyone know what happened to Chalk & Cheese? I had to take it off because as you can see, it doesn't work.

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Freedom is...

    On Wednesday at OOO someone mentioned that they had seen this documentary on public television where someone interviewed people of various backgrounds about their personal definitions of freedom. I don't remember if they were famous people or not, although I imagine they weren't, or if they were from different countries or not, although I imagine they were. Anyone see this thing? All I remember from Wednesday night (I'm depressed, remember) is that this documentary made quite an impression on my friend, and she in turn made quite an impression on me. Nevermind I can't remember a single word she said.

    I knew instantly what my definition of freedom is, although I did not bring it up because I would have gone off on a thing. Quite frankly, I can't remember a word I said either... Anyway, I'm choosing to share it here.

    Freedom is...

    The wind blowing through my hair.
    [FYI this picture, left, is from this past June in Chicago at AYS, not from DC, but see, wind in my hair :D]

    Freedom is the ability to get into my chair and GO! Whenever and wherever I feel like. Freedom is the ability to turn up my ipod so loud I'm going to lose hearing (an acceptable consequence) and the ability to sing at the top of my lungs while I'm whipping top speed down the sidewalk towards my destination. I've had my Jazzy for 7 years and I have never and will never lose that joy that comes with passing other people by, and the joy of how good it feels to create your own wind on a gorgeous spring day (we've had a lot of those lately).

    I was going to write a Thankful Thursday a few weeks ago, because it was on a Thursday during that time where I was still barely "functionally non-functional" that I woke up super early and anxious and decided that I just wasn't going to school, because I just didn't want to. It took 2.5hrs and 3.5 episodes of Grey's Anatomy for me to be able to drum up enough sheer willpower to drag my butt out of bed, put some clothes on, and still get to class in plenty of time.

    I remember I rolled just outside my building (I live about 1mi from school, or a 12-15min roll) and stopped to detangle my headphones and set myself up, as I always do, either just outside or in the lobby, flipped down my sunglasses, and TOOK OFF down the driveway. I'm not even sure I was all the way down the driveway when I smiled and thought
    "Thank g-d for ipods. And thank g-d for old Grey's Anatomy DVDs (THAT was really what it took to be able to get to the point where I could reason myself out of bed). And thank g-d for my Jazzy, my freedom, my ability to get around."
    I often think about -- especially on bright and sunny days -- the fact that in Maryland, Medicaid will not pay for a powerchair if you are in a nursing facility. 'Cause, you know, where are you going? If you're leaving on an HCBS waiver, they have this thing about not delivering it to you until the moment you're discharged. G-d forbid something goes awry and you're still there, can't have that.

    I think about this because there are a ridiculous amount of nursing facilities surrounding me, one as close as 2 blocks, and I think about how every time I rolled into one, people would eye my chair and want to know how I got such a beautiful thing. Doesn't matter how much dirt is caked on, or how many scratches and dents there are (it's well worn). When I said I have private insurance the whole group would look forlorn.

    So lately I think about this everyday, because everyday lately I've spent several hours willing myself out of bed, but everyday, eventually, I put on my headphones, flip down my sunglasses, and roll down the sidewalk to somewhere. I think about the freedom I have to roll down the street, and about how great it feels to have the wind blow through my hair, and I long for a time when people don't have to fight so hard to have these feelings too.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    It Just Can't be That Easy

    Today I woke up and I was fine. Well not "fine" fine, but I'm definitely back to "functionally non-functional." What did I do? Nothing that qualifies as rocket science. I have these rules that I've been coming up with as I go and they seem very logical to me.

    Last Tuesday I felt like I'd spent the whole day in bed, even though it had just been since about 4pm. I had had this thing about how only pathetic people take naps, therefore forced myself with all my willpower to stay up and out, and that's as far as I got, 4pm.

    So then at some point I decided that I can lay in bed all day one day, that was OK, but not 2 days in a row. That is NOT ok. I felt like I was going to waste away. So sometime between 4pm and whenever I went to bed I arranged to meet someone at the gym the next day at 9:30. What did I do? I hauled ass in the morning and made it there before she did. Then I went home and took a nap. Naps have now been sanctified as OK, as not pathetic, so that is what I did. Then when I got up I took a SHOWER (wow) and got my ass out again. While it is now OK to take a nap during the day, it is NOT ok to then spend the rest of the day in bed after that. That is my rule.

    I also have this rule that I have to eat a minimum of twice a day, but there's no contingent of nutritional value. So I had chicken fingers and french fries for lunch and pumpkin pudding and ice cream for dinner. That still counts as twice. After OOO I felt kind of guilty that I had ice cream for dinner, so I zaped something from the freezer. That makes 3 times.

    Thursday I made it to class early, and yes, I did go home straight from there and spend time in bed, but after I got food delivered and force fed myself in bed, I did somehow convince myself to leave again. I don't know how, but that was the day the rule got solidifed.

    Friday I got up and attempted to get dressed, which I did, but it wore me out so much I had to crawl back in bed for a bit. That's OK though too because although I again took a nap in the middle of the day, I made it out to 2 places. But I only ate once :-(

    Yesterday, yesterday was kind of bad. It took me until after 1pm to get up, and even after that, I couldn't make myself get dressed in real clothes. That's when you know it's really bad. But you know what? After I got out finally I felt so much better I stayed out until after 8. I have this new rule that staying in bed half a day (complete with a nap) is OK, but then I have to spend the other half out. Logical. And I actually did (shocker). So I was in PJ pants. Who cares. I was out.

    Today I woke up and felt like the concrete was gone. It was that easy. How can it be that easy? It can't. All I did was drag my ass outside in the sun and make sure I took my meds. Which is something I never do when I'm depressed. I never take them. I don't feel like I'm out of the woods yet, I'm far from it (there's still a lagging exhaustion), but I can think again, and I can write again, and I think I'll shower today and put on real clothes. And maybe run.

    All I did is I just kept telling myself that I am better then this, that I don't deserve this -- I deserve better then this -- and that I can be better then this. I know I can, because before this episode hit me like a ton of bricks I was better then this. I kept telling myself I wasn't giving in this time.

    It can't be this easy can it? Willpower (from where, I have no clue), meds, some positive self talk, and finding friends that won't lecture me for not showering or make me feel inferior, and will let me invade their apartment so I can try to pry my eyes open there :D

    Saturday, May 8, 2010

    Proof I've Been Hiding Under a Rock

    Because I want to post something on my blog, here's another action alert. I had no idea another Supreme Court Judge was retiring until I got this email a few days ago. I don't have a TV, I've been sleeping a lot, and all radio DJs talk about is celebrity news (who cares?)

    Here is another very important Action Alert to respond to. Now that Chief Justice John Paul Stevens has retired from the U.S. Supreme Court, it is the task of president Obama to appoint another person to fill his seat. Let the President know that it is important to appoint a Supreme Court justice who will uphold the rights of people with disabilities. We need a strong leader like Justice Stevens! Contact the White House (the numbers and email are below) and ask President Obama to: Choose a justice who understands the effects of Supreme Court decisions on people with disabilities, who will interpret disability rights laws broadly, and who respects the role of Congress in protecting disability rights.

    Issue: Tell the President We Need a Disability Rights Leader Like Justice Stevens!

    Action: Contact the White House at (202) 456-1111 (phone), (202) 456-6213 (TTY) or online at and tell the President why he should name someone who will uphold the rights of people with disabilities. Ask President Obama to:
    • Choose a justice who will interpret disability rights laws broadly, as Congress intended.
    • Choose a justice who understands the effect of Supreme Court decisions on people with disabilities.
    • Choose a justice who respects the role of Congress in protecting disability rights.
    Background: Very soon, President Obama will name a replacement for Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court. For the past 35 years, Justice Stevens has been a strong voice on the Court for the disability community, consistently voting to protect the rights of people with disabilities in cases involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    The President now has his second opportunity to shape the Supreme Court for years to come. As he considers potential nominees, the stakes are high for people with disabilities.

    Despite Congress's bipartisan passage in 2008 of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) to restore the law's broad reach after years of hostile court rulings, judges are still getting the ADA wrong - still shutting the courthouse door on people with disabilities. We need a leader every bit as strong as Justice Stevens to ensure full enforcement of the ADA and other important disability rights laws. Justice Stevens' replacement must be committed to the protection of disability rights.

    The White House needs to hear now from advocates for people with disabilities.

    Why this nomination is so critical:

    President Obama has voiced his support for the values -- including independence, integration and equal opportunity -- expressed in federal disability rights laws such as the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, the Medicaid Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). To advance disability rights, we ask the President to:

    Choose a justice who will give disability rights laws the broad remedial effect intended by Congress. In several significant decisions in the years before the ADAAA, the Supreme Court chipped away at core protections for people with disabilities. During this time, Justice Stevens concurred in important decisions affirming disability rights, including City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, 473 U.S. 432 (1985); Bragdon v. Abbott, 524 U.S. 624 (1998); and Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999). In his dissent in Sutton v. United Air Lines, 527 U.S. 471 (1999), he argued forcefully that whether a person is disabled and thus protected by the ADA should be considered without regard to mitigating measures. Although his colleagues on the Court disagreed, Congress later followed Justice Stevens' dissent on this very point in enacting the ADAAA.

    We want President Obama to select a justice who will interpret the ADA and other disability rights laws as broadly as Congress intended, so that all people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to succeed in school and at work and to lead independent lives in their communities.

    Choose a justice who understands the effect of Supreme Court decisions on people with disabilities. Supreme Court decisions have consequences, not just for the parties before the court, but for everyone. For example, when the Supreme Court ruled that Casey Martin, a golfer with a mobility disability, could use a golf cart on the PGA tour, this made it easier for everyone, including students and workers (not just golfers), to get the accommodations they need for an equal opportunity. Justice Stevens authored the decision in P.G.A. Tour, Inc. v. Martin, 432 U.S. 661 (2001). Similarly, the Court's recent decision in Forest Grove Sch. Dist. v. T.A., 129 S. Ct. 2484 (2009), also authored by Justice Stevens, made it easier for families everywhere to access special education for children with disabilities when public schools have failed to provide needed services.

    We want President Obama to choose a justice who understands how important Supreme Court decisions are to the everyday lives of people with disabilities.

    Choose a justice who respects the role of Congress in protecting disability rights. In enacting the ADA and other disability rights laws, Congress carefully considered the history of people with disabilities in the United States. The lawmakers acknowledged that many people with disabilities have been ostracized from their families and communities - prevented from going to their neighborhood schools, from working at jobs for which they were qualified and from participating in all aspects of community life. Congress passed laws like the ADA to combat these problems. But in recent years, the Supreme Court has declared that Congress lacked the power to pass some of these laws. Justice Stevens disagreed. For example, he authored the ruling in Tennessee v. Lane, 541 U.S. 509 (2004), that Congress could require states to make courthouses and the entire justice system accessible to people with disabilities. Lower courts have followed this ruling, holding that the ADA requires states to provide access in schools, hospitals, and prisons.

    We want President Obama to choose a Supreme Court justice who will respect Congress's important role and hard work in writing and enacting the disability rights laws on which so many people with disabilities depend for protection from discrimination and an equal opportunity to succeed in life.

    As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ADA, it is especially crucial that President Obama name, as Justice Stevens' replacement, a disability rights champion for the 21st Century Supreme Court.

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Whatcha Gotta Do

    There is only so much Grey's Anatomy one can watch (I know, shocking coming from me) and if you're going to spend extended time in bed, IMHO, you should watch movies. Grey's is best suited for sleeping and studying. Finding Nemo is one of my favs as almost every character has either physical or psychiatric disabilities, AND there seems to be no overt ableism.

    Of course it spoke to me even more this time. Should this be my new motto? It's EXHAUSTING you know, swimming, in both the literal and figurative sense, but I try--both figuratively and literally. At least I haven't yet turned into Ms Grumpy Gills.

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    I Don't Like Writing About Depression on My Blog

    but I'm a bipolar blogger and if I want to own up to both of my disabilities, I should work through my episodes on this blog. It's just that, you know, putting things out on the internet...

    I knew this episode was coming and I tried to be proactive beforehand, but it didn't work so well being that a few weeks ago when I attempted this I wasn't depressed enough to make an impression. I was bouncing back and forth between being just a tad depressed (which my therapist picked up on) and being fine. Then I was "functionally non-functional" (a term I coined myself) and now not so much.

    I guess I could write about this without going too much into the details. Right now I feel like I'm neglecting my blog. I still have some posts about the action and even more, like one that's been in the back of my brain since Feb. Not that neglecting my blog is the worst thing in the world, it's far from it, but my brain is starting to feel like cement [I cant believe I found a cement sad face from a google search, left], I'm starting to feel like a sloth, and as of this morning I'm having CP related coordination issues stemming from my exhaustion. I'm trying to blog to get my brain up and moving again, but I. Just. Can't. I have some cool stuff to write.

    My friends say I have a lot of willpower and I guess I do. I'm trying harder then I've ever tried before. I ate 3 times yesterday, dragged myself out of bed and went to the gym at 10am because laying in bed 1 day is ok, but laying in bed 2 days in a row is not. I stopped on my way to class today and got a bagel, which I ate before class and I hardly ever eat in the morning even when I'm not depressed. Not only did I get up today, get dressed, and stayed awake in class, I got to class a half hr early, even with 2 stops. That's an accomplishment any day.

    Except that all this trying not to be depressed (a conversation this morning went like this, "How's it going?" "Not good, but I'm pretending like it is." "Good.") is EXHAUSTING and wearing me out more then if I just surrendered to my depression.

    I'm going home to take a nap, for the 5th or 6th time in a week. At least I left all those days...

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    What Do We Want?


    When do we want them?


    3 ADAPT Women, 3 25th birthdays [left picture 2nd row], 16 chocolate cupcakes, 16 vanilla, 8 marble, milk chocolate frosting, & funfetti frosting, all in the lobby of the hotel. What better way is there to celebrate a big birthday [April 5, April 7, May 9] then with DIY cupcakes at a national action?

    As the tag line of the facebook album says:

    Same revolution, same power, same bright signs. Now with cupcakes.

    Saturday, May 1, 2010

    It's BADD 2010

    It's that time of year again! It's the 5th Blogging Against Disableism Day 2010 [link goes to the 'swarm] which is again being hosted by the goldfish. I almost forgot, but how could I forget? There are always to many great posts to read and despite my efforts, I can never get through them all. So you better go over there and get started.

    You can see my past BADD entries by looking at my sidebar. This year I chose to submit Hurtful Words Part 1 & It's All About Intentionality -- Hurtful Words Part 2. Have a favorite from this year? Please comment below.

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