The SC State Primary is less than two weeks away, and I plan to rock my disabled vote as I have done since I became a registered voter at the age of 18. The voting process as a disabled South Carolinian has changed in many ways, particularly in the area of accessibility with new voting methods being made available.
As a wheelchair user, accessibility is undeniably on my mind when I venture out in public, especially when visiting new venues with friends. Worrying about ramps, accessible restrooms, having enough room to maneuver about comfortably, etc., can cause anxiety because in 2016, these are still problems for me and millions of others who use mobility devices. Technology has been a major game-changer in pointing out public places that are accessible or inaccessible, and this week, I am spotlighting a new resource that will allow those with disabilities to travel a bit easier with less stress.
2016 is a bittersweet political year; President Obama will be finishing his last year in office, and we as Americans will have to elect a new president in November. There is so much going on with this year’s presidential election that it may be exhausting to keep up with the latest news, the candidates running, and when to vote in your state caucus or primary. This week, I wanted to share pertinent information that will help disabled and non-disabled voters know who the candidates are, when to vote, and when to watch the debates to empower oneself about which candidates are focused on the issues that matter to you.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, I know that there will be some lucky disabled brides and grooms putting a ring on it this week. After the ring, comes the planning, of course! Wedding planning is stressful as it is, but when you add disability into the mix, it can make brides and grooms worry about how to appropriately and seamlessly incorporate their disability into their special day. (more…)
Though it may be the most wonderful time of the year, the Holiday season can be dangerous for individuals and families impacted by domestic violence. Those who work in this field explains that the increase of incidences during the holidays is exacerbated by the build up of anger and stress, which accompanies the season. The holiday season also marks the time of year when children experience domestic violence at the highest rates seen. It may be a joyous celebration for many of us; however, we cannot forget or fail to protect and assist those who are enduring brutal, and sadly, potential life-ending, abuse.
A few weeks ago, I came across a post on the Creative Social Worker Tumblr page spotlighting a new tool to assist in finding shelter and support for individuals and families experiencing domestic violence. Being that I wrote an article on this subject in October discussing the prevalence of disabled women and domestic violence, I knew that I had to share this resource on the Tools You Can Use series. (more…)
As a former disabled child, I am very adamant about ensuring that our disabled children and teens receive the best healthcare, education, and support system in order to grow and prosper in their environment as beautiful human beings. For our youngest disabled children, assistive devices that would afford them the opportunity to gain independence by moving freely in their homes is a considerable and serious gap that exists for them. The University of Delaware and Fisher-Price aim to change that by offering affordable, adapted Power Wheels cars to our disabled kids who cannot afford to be slowed down by their disability. (more…)
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. (more…)
When I read the press release about the new Elder Justice website, I knew that I had to feature it as a part of RYV!’s “Tools You Can Use” Series. Being the caregiver of a member of the Silent Generation (my beloved Grandmother I have mentioned on the blog), and being a helping professional, I knew how dire it is to protect the older members in our society, and to report any forms of abuse or neglect they may endure. With a plethora of resources out there, it can be overwhelming to figure out what information is appropriate and current to utilize and pass along to those who need it. The U.S. Justice Department has taken steps to provide an online informational “hub” for older Americans, their families, law enforcement, helping professionals, and other stakeholders who have a vested interest in ensuring that older Americans’ rights and humanness are respected. (more…)
Disability.gov, the federal government’s one-stop access website for disability-related resources, services, and information, has a plethora of guides that breaks down topics that matter to those with disabilities, caregivers and families, and helping professionals who interact with this particular population.
For the first Ramp Your Voice! article of 2014, I wanted to share a new technology tool called AbleRoad that connects people with accessible venues. AbleRoad is a new technological tool that aims to inform people with disabilities about accessible places and spaces in their communities, and across the globe. With the advances of the internet and the worldwide use of social media, new websites and applications (apps) are created every day to assist in establishing a more equal playing field for people with disabilities, both domestically and abroad. As a person with a disability, I am constantly searching for innovative tools that makes inclusion of people with disabilities a high priority. (more…)
Black-ish & Speechless: The Night Primetime TV Got It Right January 28, 2017 Vilissa Thompson, LMSW
Despite the seemingly limitless TV programming options that exist for our entertainment pleasure, very few target the identities I have in a manner that are affirmative and validating. However, this month, two shows managed to meet this feat. Black-ish and Speechless aired episodes that touched on difficult topics that rarely are discussed as candidly as ...
The Woodland Hills High School-to-Prison Pipeline December 16, 2016 Vilissa Thompson, LMSWThe intersection of race and disability is often ignored when we discuss the injustices that disadvantage disabled students of color within our schools. This oversight can mean grave consequences to students who live within these margins. The school-to-prison pipeline disproportionately impacts disabled students of color (especially Black disabled students), yet very few are addressing what ...
Living in Trump’s America: Thoughts From a Black Disabled Woman December 9, 2016 Vilissa Thompson, LMSW
It has been a month since the Presidential election, and the dust still has not settled from the shock of Donald Trump winning the coveted seat or the demand for recounts of votes.
It took me some time to find the words to articulate the reality that I will live in a Trump-led America come January. ...
Luke Cage: The Black Disabled Superhero We Need October 25, 2016 Vilissa Thompson, LMSW
Luke Cage was one of Netflix’s original series I had waited all summer to watch. Being a blerd and someone who enjoys comics, I was proudly a part of the #Cagetember fandom seen on Twitter. What excited me was not just Luke’s amazing abilities, but the fact that he was a Black disabled character, an ...
If I Die in Police Custody… September 22, 2016 Vilissa Thompson, LMSW
If I die in police custody,
I died a soldier, a warrior, a hell-raiser, an instigator, a maker of the good trouble.
If I die in police custody,
Make them respect my disabilities in the news reports. Don’t dare let them erase a damn thing. I am unapologetically Black and disabled.
If I ...
Being a Black Disabled Woman Is An Act of Defiance: Remembering #KorrynGaines August 10, 2016 Vilissa Thompson, LMSW
Being a Black disabled woman in America is a sheer act of defiance.
What brought me to this statement was the gross amounts of ableism, racism, and misogynoir I witnessed and read last week during the coverage surrounding Korryn Gaines’ encounter and death at the hands of the police.
Korryn’s existence represents me – a ...
#GetWokeADA26: Disabled People of Color Speak Out, Part 1 July 26, 2016 Vilissa Thompson, LMSW
#GetWokeADA26: Disabled People of Color Speak Out, Part One
by Vilissa Thompson and Alice Wong
On July 5th, we published the #GetWokeADA26 Call for Stories, asking for disabled people to share how the Americans with Disabilities Act has impacted their life experiences, gaps in the mandate that fail to support the unique challenges of disabled people or ...
Black America is Hurting & Tired. White America, Do You Even Care? July 11, 2016 Vilissa Thompson, LMSW
I am tired.
Black America is tired.
We are at our boiling point in this country. The police violence that transpired within the last week set off a deep fire within all of us with the murders of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Minnesota. To see two Black men murdered during encounters ...