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HEAVEN — Hoping to make their home more inclusive for souls who enter, a group of angels set out to replace the longstanding Stairway to Heaven with a fully refurbished elevator. Angels Jedediah and Ruth are the founders of the Angel Accessibility Committee, which was created to ensure that Heaven complied with ADA standards.
“We realized how far behind we were as soon as we formed this committee,” Jedediah told reporters via an eagle messenger. “We had countless residents complain about transportation issues they experienced getting from one part of paradise to another. Wheelchair users and blind residents especially had difficulty getting across the ocean. Even up here, we still don’t have airplanes that accommodate wheelchairs. Thankfully, our committee is working to address this issue with afterlife lawmakers.”
Jedediah said the biggest accessibility problem was that so many disabled residents had trouble just getting to the pearly gates in the first place. He and Ruth knew they had to do something about the infamous stairway.
Established in 3,500,000,000 B.C.E., the Stairway to Heaven was created with the knowledge that it would eventually become the subject of an iconic Led Zeppelin song of the same name. However, accessibility wasn’t a priority in those days for the architects who built it.
Today, with a progressive leadership team and more resources, the various angel subcommittees are working together to create a more inclusive atmosphere. Replacing the outdated stairway with a functional elevator marked the first step in this process.
“It’s really encouraging to see more people who I used to know in my previous life get here without any issues,” said Shilpa Patel, a Heavenly resident who used to be an accessibility coordinator on Earth.
Jedediah said the accessibility committee has many other plans to make Heaven more welcoming to disabled residents.
“Assuming there’s room in the budget and we get approval, we want to provide every wheelchair user with a jetpack so they can easily fly through the clouds at their leisure,” he said. “Cloud-hopping is one of our favorite activities here, and we don’t want anyone to be left out of participating.”
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Millennials are one of the most underpaid, overworked generations in history, a situation made even worse if you’re disabled. But there’s hope on the horizon! Hundreds of disabled millennials have made their own opportunities by taking to the high seas in a new-age pirate fleet.
“Piracy has always been so welcoming to disabled workers,” said Marina Lamb, Rear Admiral of the fleet. “The eye patches are now a fashion statement, the peg legs are all titanium and the sea shanties are far less problematic. But we’re embracing that inclusive spirit.” Despite the inclusive work environment, the daily grind of piracy remains unchanged. “We mostly raid COVID-infested cruise liners and billionaires’ yachts. British fishing vessels too, although the only thing you can really plunder from them is a sense of post-imperial ennui.”
But Lamb hasn’t just made the applications process less discriminatory, she also runs a fleet with far better working conditions. “It’s not about what I can’t do anymore, it’s about what I can do,” one disabled able seaman told us. “In my last job, they’d constantly question my ability to swing a cutlass or fire a cannon. Not here. Applebee’s just didn’t value those skills.”
Lamb prides herself on tailoring every job role to each individual crew member. “Our deaf crew have no complaints operating the cannons, and our soldiering amputees are just glad they have fewer limbs to lose. All of our officers are wheelchair users, which is great. Leadership roles require a lot of sitting on your arse.”
The pay is good too, as one midshipman told us. “We get an equal share in any plundered booty. When I was waiting tables, my boss didn’t even let us keep our tips! It’s a bit inconvenient having to bury our earnings only to track them back down months later with a labyrinthine treasure map. Still, it’s easier than getting support from SSDI.”
But not everyone is championing the marauding pirate fleet as a win for disabled rights. A crowd gathered in Trafalgar Square this week to protest Lamb’s extralegal enterprise. “It looks proper fun and I am fuming!” one protester told us. “Seamanship is for hard-working patriotic types, like … like Lord Nelson!” he said, pointing up at the admiral’s statue. It was only after we pointed out the statue’s blind eye and missing arm that he responded with a quiet “Oh. Oh no.”
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The recent upgrades that have made the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) buses and trains run on more efficient schedules were not, in fact, the work of the MBTA itself. Instead, the changes were found to be the work of a four-year-old nonvocal autistic boy from Somerville named Jerry Adams.
“There were many changes going on during the pandemic,” explains Dave Laureton, head of technology at the MBTA. “Everybody assumed that another department had done it.”
“I love it,” gushed Edith Young of East Arlington. “There are no more bunching buses, and the apps are accurate about when the next train or bus will come. I was so happy that the MBTA had done this.”
Laureton enjoyed getting the accolades but thought it strange when nobody would take the credit. Eventually, he was curious enough to trace the IP address. It turned out to belong to young Mr. Adams’ iPad, which he primarily uses as a communication device.
“But that’s impossible,” Harriet Adams, his mother, said. “There are parental controls on it!”
When questioned, Jerry quickly showed his parents that he knew all of their passwords, including the ones to their bank accounts, and that he could navigate the Internet with ease, despite the fact that he has never been taught how to read.
“Train late. Bus late. Daddy mommy mad sad late stupid,” Jerry said via his communication app. “Easy. H A C K I N G fun. Peppa Pig.”
The new schedules are working out so well that the MBTA has decided to keep them in place for now. Jerry’s parents have given up on restricting his access to the Internet, although they stopped doing any online shopping after he ordered $2000 worth of Peppa Pig merchandise from Amazon.
“If he doesn’t end up in jail for computer espionage, we can’t wait to hire him when he turns 18,” Laureton said.
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Let the ills of your genes match our wheels made of jeans with the timeless design of the first-ever Jealchair.
You asked for it, and you got it. The new all-denim motorized mobility device has hit the market, allowing trendy wheelchair users to ride in style and dazzle in a flappy contraption of tailored fabric.
Sitting at the intersection of fashion and mobility, the $32,000 device is a statement piece that says, “I may not be able to walk, but I am able to have a crush on Vanessa Hudgens in ‘High School Musical.’” It’s for the truckers, it’s for the gays, and it’s for the everyday wheelers who just want to roll the streets looking like a freshly pressed pair of Super Mario’s overalls.
The new line of chairs also has models in leopard print, flannel and ugly Christmas sweater, allowing for every disabled individual to express their true identity — as long as their true identity is tacky and aligns with one of those four patterns.
Whether you’re looking to cruise the runways of Paris or the narrow lanes of your grandpap’s cornfield, the Jealchair allows you to feel confident while doing it.
Did your less cool disabled friend Tiffany steal your boyfriend? Imagine the look on her face when you pull up in a brand new Jealchair with a sparkly, bedazzled base and ripped-headrest premium add-ons.
Do people often mistake you for a senior or, even worse, a child? The Jealchair screams, “I grew up in the early 2000s,” so you’ll never have that problem again.
Disability is not just a medical diagnosis. It’s a culture, it’s a lifestyle, and now it’s fashion, all because of the #Jealchair.more
If you ask Amy Danvers, there are certain guaranteed pleasures in life: cats making silly faces, the music of Josh Groban, and dinner. For the past thirteen years, Danvers has had macaroni and cheese for dinner and doesn’t plan to stop any time soon.
“Ever since I was a kid, I wanted it for dinner every day. My parents didn’t like that, so I had to eat foods with bad textures like broccoli, boiled carrots and grilled cheese sandwiches. But since I’m an adult and living on my own, they can’t tell me otherwise,” says Danvers.
Her pantry is stocked with a variety of boxed macaroni and cheese dinners. “It’s a mix of generic and brand name. I’m partial to Kraft myself, but, as I’ve learned over the years, there’s room for variety. The world is so chaotic these days that it’s nice to come home and have something simple and dependable. That’s why I love macaroni and cheese. As long as I have the meal in some form, I won’t complain.”
This adherence to routine has backfired a few times. “I’ve walked out on a few dates because the restaurant either didn’t have it on the menu or my date laughed at me when they looked at my collection. Food doesn’t mock you for your disability.”
Danvers has some recommendations to offer. “Don’t get Beecher’s frozen meal. It claims it serves two to four people, but I can eat that in one sitting because the container is so small. Also, they’re asking for $11 for one meal. I could get a six-pack of Blake’s Hard Cider for that price, and that’s a great cider. For something called ‘world’s best mac and cheese,’ it’s underwhelming. Also, the Cheetos brand is more of a novelty, and the colors the ‘cheese’ produces are something out of a Lisa Frank picture. Stouffer’s is okay but, as they said in their ’80s commercials, ‘People expect us to be better.’ That’s just telling on yourself.”
When asked how long this will continue, Danvers shrugs and says, “I guess it’ll stop when I’m tired of it. Then I’ll find something else and the whole process will start over.”
The post What’s for Dinner? This Autistic Woman Has Literally One Answer appeared first on The Squeaky Wheel.more
As part of New York Metro Hospital’s new promotional program, chronically ill repeat patients are eligible for a free diagnosis after paying for their first nine. Local freelancer and neck pillow expert Jill Ponds is eager to get that next hole punch in her card and capitalize on the freebie.
“After my first appointment I didn’t think I would even come close to ten, because my doctor told me it was just a small UTI. But then it got worse, and it wasn’t a UTI, it was a kidney infection. And then after another visit they said while it technically was a kidney infection, it was being caused by a chemical imbalance.”
The recurring sequence of getting a diagnosis, receiving a treatment and then discovering a new symptom became a frequent pattern for Ponds. Like a game of anatomical whack-a-mole, with each new solution she found herself with an unexplained ache or discomfort.
“Before I knew it, I had seen each specialist in the building and was even added to their iMessage group chat,” she said while eating a handful of her custom “party mix” (made of TUMS, Skittles, Tylenol, Flintstones Multivitamins and a Cough Drop). “I became a local celebrity of sorts, and after diagnosis number seven (IBS) and diagnosis number eight (allergy to IBS medication), I started taking the card seriously and even got it laminated.”
Just days later, Ponds found a weird rash on her fingers and knew she was destined to complete the promotion. She had racked up $40,000 in medical debt along the way, but at least she could sleep knowing her next mysterious illness would be diagnosed on the hospital’s dime.
“I might go redeem my free diagnosis on my birthday, just as a treat to myself,” she told us. “I’m sure something will pop up by then.”more