What’s Your Deaf Community Awareness Quotient?

Photograph of Shruti Pushkarna

Growing up in the 1980s in New Delhi, India, I was allowed limited television time. One of the permitted indulgences included a feature film on the national channel, Doordarshan on the weekend. It was preceded or followed by a news bulletin which had sign language interpretation. That acted as an effective tool of sensitisation for…

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Social Security Disability Revealed – Reviewed

Book cover for Social Security Disability Revealed by Spencer Bishins - subtitle Why it's so hard to access benefits and what you can do about it

Social Security Disability Revealed, by Spencer Bishins, is an excellent and detailed book on how the Social Security Administration(SSA) makes its decisions on Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income(SSI) claims. He clearly explains the legal process and the many ways in which it is and can be manipulated toward making decisions that are…

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Living in Disability Limbo

An empty black asphalt road leading to nowhere in an empty field surrounded by dried brush with an "Dead End" sign

According to the US Department of Labor, nearly 19.1% of people with disabilities are employed. Many more, especially with Long Covid, are employed without realizing they qualify as disabled. Asking for accommodations is a process fraught with complications, and even if your employer grants them, they can be revoked at any time. At my previous…

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Disabled and Un-degreed – and Unpublished

Caz Killjoy photo from the upper chest to top of head of a pale white-skinned person with dark brown hair with natural streaks of silver; hair runs past shoulders and out of picture frame; diagonal microbangs on forehead. Thin brown eyebrows with several scars on the right brow. Dark hazel eyes with bright blue eyeliner. Dark purple-red lips. Face may be smirking; dimples are evident. Background is a rainbow curtain with the colors red, orange, yellow, green, and blue running vertically behind the person.

Like many people with disabilities, I was not able to finish high school. In my case, it was not ableism that pushed me out of high school. Rather, I was too physically ill and otherwise impaired to participate in any way, regardless of what accommodations were available. While ableism did not make it easy for…

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Self-Employment while Disabled

A bunch of Scrabble tiles with the letters in the center spelling "Work from Home"

Can you work as a disabled person while maintaining your 1. Supplemental Security Income or 2. Social Security Disability Insurance? Can you be self-employed? 1. Yes. 2. Yes… but it is a bit tricky…. Alison Hayes launched Thriving While Disabled in 2018. Her primary goal is to help other disabled people understand and navigate the…

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The End of Transportation Accessibility?

Woman in wheelchair exiting accessible minivan

It was happening even before the pandemic struck. I couldn’t reliably get a wheelchair cab. It was hard to find an accessible restroom (one that fits my wheelchair and the door will still close). Public transit wasn’t up to snuff. My wheelchair was broken during airplane travel. Accessibility—full and real accessibility—for people with disabilities was…

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On Celebrating Disability Pride Month

Group of Disabled People Socializing at a Bar

Disability Pride Month is here! Shame isolates people, but we can change it with Disability Pride celebrations. Throughout July, encourage your communities to amplify disabled voices & the beauty and joy in our lives. It’s high time to stand in solidarity and own our spaces which is long due. Divided by ages, races, genders, classes,…

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Making Discharging Student Loan Debt Easier

Worn, weathered brick wall with "Until Debt Tear Us Apart" in written in large block letters

No one with a disability should have to choose between paying for rent or basic needs and student loans. I live in Silver Spring, Maryland. I am on the autism spectrum and have anxiety, ADD, seizures, and a learning disability. I am writing to talk about the importance of helping people with disabilities get their…

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Invisible Disabilities

The Lucky Donor painting by René Magritte - reverse siloete of a man in a bowler hat with a country house seen through him and a blank red field with a low wall in front.

… people with invisible disabilities face rejection by family, friends, peers and society at large. Only because they seem incongruous with our limited definition of ‘normal’. In fact, they may be worse off than the disabled people in wheelchairs, people with white canes or hearing aids, because their condition isn’t ‘obviously’ seen or recognized. Lately,…

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