Archive: Oct 2014

  1. Domestic Violence & Disabled Women – The Silent Epidemic within Our Community

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    Kendall could tell by the slam of the door that Mark was in a foul mood.  She was sitting on the couch in the living room of their small apartment reading her book, with her wheelchair positioned beside her.  She looked up, and saw the expression on his face that signified that this evening wasn’t going to be a peaceful one.

    “Did you make dinner yet?,” he said curtly.

    “No.  I was just about to get up and do so,” she uttered in a meek voice.

    “Damn it, woman.  I work this hell of a job all day.  At least you can have a hot meal waiting for me when I get home!!,” he yelled while leaning forward to get in her face.

    Kendall let out a small whimper while Mark glared at her as he proceeded to walk towards her wheelchair.  He shoved it across the room, and gave her a sadistic smirk.

    “How are you going to go make dinner now without your precious damn wheelchair?!?!,” he barked in a condescending tone.

    “Please Mark, just give me my chair back.  I’m sorry,” Kendall sobbed as Mark continued to tower over her, making her feel inferior for the 1,000th time.

    “You’ll learn one goddamn day to do what’s right!  You do this on purpose to make me angry!,” Mark shouted as he raised his hand in the position to hit her, but the threat of being smacked alone was enough abuse for him to inflict on Kendall that day.  Seeing how small she felt, he jerked the chair back toward the couch, and stomped off.

    Why do I keep putting up with this? Kendall thought to herself.  I feel so trapped by being here; I have no friends, no job, or money to support myself – how much longer do I have to endure this?  With shaky nerves, she locked the brakes on her wheelchair, transferred herself into it, and wheeled to the kitchen to make dinner, all while tears streamed from her eyes.

    Domestic Violence Observance Ribbon

    This fictitious narrative is sadly the situation many disabled women endure from their significant others every day in America, and across the world.  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and I thought that this would be the opportune time to spotlight the silent epidemic that is killing and destroying the lives of the disabled women we love, work with, and who bring incredible joy to our lives.

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  2. Hateful Anons, Trolls, & Chatrooms: How Cyberbullying Affected Me as a Disabled Person

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    Bullying Prevention Observance Ribbon

    October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and I wanted to share my personal testimony regarding bullying for this observance, and to let others who have endured this that they are not alone.  National Bullying Prevention Month was established in 2006 by the PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.  This campaign aims to unite communities, local and nationwide, through activities, education, and awareness building during the observance period.  In the month of October, schools and organizations by the hundreds sign up as partners to respond to bullying behaviors that exist and work to shift the way students, parents, and community residents view bullying from being simply “child’s play” or a “rite of passage” to a serious, and at times, life-threatening issue that needs to be addressed.

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  3. Blog Action Day 2014: Inequality & Disability

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    Blog Action Day 2014 - Inequality

    This is the second year I have had the Ramp Your Voice! blog participate in Blog Action Day.  (Last year’s theme was about human rights.)  This year’s theme revolves around inequality, and this theme undeniably fits into the focus of RYV!  On the blog, I have written countless articles about inequality as it relates to disability, from difficulty accessing health care services; how we are viewed by society as less than and second class individuals; and the misconceptions surrounding our sexuality and the effects those ideals have on us and our ability to relate to others.

    For #BAD2014, I decided to take the approach of providing a brief rundown of the most common barriers people with disabilities are subjected to that unfairly disadvantage us.  Though I am certain that my readers are familiar with some (if not all) of these issues, I wanted to provide a mini overview for those who may find this article in the Blog Action Day tags online.

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  4. Tools You Can Use series: Talkitt, A Life Changer for Individuals Living with Speech Disabilities

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    Talkitt Logo

    Late September, I was contacted about a new product called Talkitt, created by VoiceItt, a company that aims to develop innovative speech technology that will improve the quality of life of children and adults living with motor, speech, and language disorders.  VoiceItt seeks to allow these individuals to better communicate with loved ones and others by “translating” the unintelligible pronunciation into understanding speech, all while using their own voices.

    The social media manager at VoiceItt wanted to know if I would be interested in spotlighting VoiceItt’s crowdfunding campaign for Talkitt, which they seek to release during the first quarter of 2015.  When I reviewed the information that was provided to me, I immediately knew that this was a product I had to share with my RYV! readers because technological advances that improve the lives of those with disabilities has to be supported.

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  5. Making the Decision to Parent with a Disability: Discussion & Personal Reflections From Disabled Women

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    Adult Holding Child's Hand 1

    Last Tuesday, I came across an article posted on the TIME’s website about a woman who decided to become a parent with a disability.  The writer of the piece has the same disability as I, Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), and she passed OI onto her daughter.  The article shared the struggles the mother had in watching her daughter live with OI, and the strong tinges of regret she held dear to her heart for bestowing this condition and disabled life onto her daughter.  Her candor was striking to me, and I shared the following reaction with my friends on Facebook:

    I’m conflicted about this article, especially since the writer has OI. Though one of the reasons why I’ve always been hesitant about having children is because I know there’s a 50/50 chance of passing OI along to my offspring, that doesn’t fully deter me from having children. If my children ends up having OI, then that’s what God would want. If they’re “healthy,” then that’s God’s plans, too. I know that with some types of OI, the health complications can be severe, but with my type, I don’t have so many health problems.

    I know that everyone is different, but I really did not like the overall tone of the article. There are many folks of various disabilities who “pass” their genes onto their offspring, & they help their children “cope” with being disabled.

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