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When Disaster Strikes, We Must Change Our Trajectories

By Brianna Albers / 2022-06-27
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I could tell you about Old Santa Fe, New Mexico. Cobblestone streets, framed by blooms of green. The town jail turned bookstore — a refuge

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True Allies: Paul Rudd and McDonald’s Team Up to Support Disability Rights by Making ‘Mac and Me’ Sequel

By kwschaef / 2022-06-20
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LOS ANGELES — In the 1988 sci-fi fast-food film “Mac and Me,” wheelchair-using Eric Cruise befriends a weird little alien dude, and then they party with Ronald McDonald. After years of taunting Conan O’Brien with a clip from the film, actor Paul Rudd is taking his love of this cult classic to the next level. Rudd is set to partner with McDonald’s to write and direct a “Mac and Me” sequel, one that he hopes will mark a major advancement for disability representation in mainstream media.

“In the original movie, main character Eric Cruise is a wheelchair user who helps his extraterrestrial friend MAC and MAC’s family become American citizens, but I always wondered what happened next for this guy,” Rudd told reporters. “Then it hit me: What if Eric used his diplomatic prowess and teamed up with MAC to launch an intergalactic disability rights organization?” 

The idea hit Rudd like a lightning bolt, and he began writing a screenplay that night. He said his story includes a romance between Eric and a Martian woman, MAC struggling to maintain control of his fast-food empire, and a climactic battle with an interplanetary insurance company trying to take Eric down.

“People think that the original ‘Mac and Me’ is just a bad ‘E.T.’ rip-off, but true fans understand that it’s a beautiful tale of friendship, breaking multicultural barriers, and inclusivity,” Rudd said. “With this movie, I want to honor those themes of disability inclusion, expand on the world that MAC and his family hail from, and share the beautiful crunch of a nice six-piece McNuggets meal.”

Rudd’s film, titled “Mac and Me: Eric Fights for Disability McRights,” is currently in pre-production. While every major film studio passed on it, Rudd was able to secure funding through the partnership with McDonald’s. Given the fast food chain’s prominent role in the original film, Rudd was eager to make a deal with the company.     

“We cut Paul a check after he promised us that the movie would feature an entire subplot about a McDonald’s on Mars,” said a McDonald’s representative. “Our involvement in this movie also prompted management to launch a new line of inclusive Happy Meal toys. We’re especially excited about the Wheelchair Martian action figure and the cochlear implant set for MAC’s deaf relative.”

Perhaps the most exciting development is that Rudd convinced Jade Calegory, the disabled actor who played Eric in the original movie, to reprise his role for the sequel.

“I retired from acting years ago, but I couldn’t say no to Paul,” Calegory said. “And if I didn’t take the role, some non-disabled actor would probably steal it. No way I’m letting that sh*t happen.” 

The post True Allies: Paul Rudd and McDonald’s Team Up to Support Disability Rights by Making ‘Mac and Me’ Sequel appeared first on The Squeaky Wheel.

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Me and My Wheelchair, Somehow Surviving in the Middle of Nowhere

By Brianna Albers / 2022-06-06
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My parents’ dreams revolve around the middle of nowhere.

You probably think I’m joking. But the fact remains that I’m writing this column from a

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Angel Accessibility Committee Finds Stairway to Heaven Violates ADA and Installs New Elevator

By kwschaef / 2022-05-18
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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.”

The post Angel Accessibility Committee Finds Stairway to Heaven Violates ADA and Installs New Elevator appeared first on The Squeaky Wheel.

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Date’s Wheelchair Looked Totally Different in Profile Picture

By Nate Woogen / 2022-05-12
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Sitting at the local French bistro for a first date, Ryan Bowman, 26, couldn’t help but be distracted by the clear difference between his date’s actual wheelchair and the one in his profile picture on the dating app.

“I stood there for like ten seconds as I saw him,” said Bowman. “I even started to get my phone out to check the picture again.”

Howard Perry, 24, who was paralyzed in a car accident, had taken his photo with the camera angled upward, making his seat height look closer to 19 inches than 18 inches.

“Of course, it doesn’t matter in the end,” said Bowman, recalling that he had been particularly attracted to the wheelchair’s broad frame and wide wheels. “But it feels dishonest.”

He kept pausing the conversation to check the wheelchair, which had a noticeably less glossy finish than in the photo.

“Maybe the lighting was different,” said Bowman. “I want to give him the benefit of the doubt.”

The wheelchair was completely oblivious to Bowman’s silent judgment and spent the rest of the date innocently parked on the ground.

As he left the date, Bowman changed his dating profile to include: “19-inch seat height or don’t bother.”

The post Date’s Wheelchair Looked Totally Different in Profile Picture appeared first on The Squeaky Wheel.

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Healthcare Is Rarely a Walk in the Park

By Brianna Albers / 2022-05-09
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When it comes to healthcare, I’ve had remarkably good luck.

There are, of course, bad apples. See, for example, the gastroenterologist who rambled about “The

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The Jealchair Has Arrived

By Steven Verdile / 2022-04-12
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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.

The post The Jealchair Has Arrived appeared first on The Squeaky Wheel.

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Inspiring! Congressional Republicans Demonstrate Kindness by Inviting This Nice Disabled Boy to Their Cocaine Orgy

By Steven Verdile / 2022-04-05
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US Rep. Madison Cawthorn, the young, disabled Republican congressperson for North Carolina’s 11th district, recently claimed on a podcast that he has received invitations from his congressional peers to do cocaine and attend exclusive sex parties with them. In an era of division and hatred, it’s a story that warms our hearts and shows just how far inclusivity has come.

“At first I didn’t want to invite him, because he was … different than us. But then my mom told me if I wanted to host an orgy at our house, I have to invite all the congressmen, even the disabled ones,” said an anonymous Texas senator. “So nobody feels left out.”

The bearded Texas man wasn’t the only one to express hesitancy. Another Republican senator claimed he was reluctant to deliver Cawthorn’s invitation because “we planned this orgy really well, and if the head count changed that means two of us have to share a stripper. It’s simple math.

Despite our requests for him not to, he elaborated. “And nobody wants to share a stripper — that’s gay.”

Still, it seemed that once the congressmen got to know him, Cawthorn wasn’t actually that different after all. “Turns out he likes to snort lines off a fat juicy booty just like I do. Plus he has some really cool German memorabilia that he showed us at the party. I guess he’s just one of the guys!” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Word spread quickly throughout the GOP, and soon all the congressmen were lining up to invite Cawthorn to snort substances and do weird sex stuff at their homes.

By the end of the week, the charismatic Texas senator, who had just returned from Costa Rica, had a true change of heart. “I don’t even see the wheelchair anymore. I just see a gun-loving patriot tryna f*ck a bunch of people at once. And there ain’t nothing more American than that!”

The post Inspiring! Congressional Republicans Demonstrate Kindness by Inviting This Nice Disabled Boy to Their Cocaine Orgy appeared first on The Squeaky Wheel.

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Giving Up Isn’t a Personal Failure

By Brianna Albers / 2022-03-28
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When it comes to new wheelchairs, I’ve been known to drag my feet.

My parents love to tell the story of how my last chair

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This Woman Loves her Disabled Husband for his Personality, Not the Size of his Massive Mobility Tool

By 2shoes4eyes / 2022-03-21
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It was just another day for Keith Levinson and Rebecca Carter. For the 1,678th time, they explained to random strangers that they were married and not siblings.

“It has made our marriage more passionate,” said Levinson, who has GNE myopathy and whose personal motto is: When life gives you idiots, make them see through their ableist charade. “We figure actions speak louder than words, so whenever someone asks if we’re brother and sister, we just snog the hell out of each other and then say, ‘Yes, we are,’ and wait for eye rolls and looks of disgust.”

The loving couple has been married for 10 years, not that anyone ever asks or cares because everyone just wants to know why an able-bodied woman would destroy her life with such a disastrous, earth-shattering act as marrying a disabled man.

“Was it the size of his wheelchair?” said a random stranger, nodding towards Levinson, who has perfect hearing and was just a foot away.

“You’re such an angel! I can’t imagine being in your shoes. It looks like the only thing he can contribute is being a burden to you. It can’t be love; why did you really marry him? Because of that badass 300-pound chair?” interrogated another random person reeking of stupidity.

“Sure, sure, Keith has the fastest, biggest mobility tool I’ve seen. But, shockingly, I fell in love with his huge … ginormous … larger than life … ” Carter paused, choking up with emotion and tearing up just thinking about it. “ … Personality.” She explained that Levinson makes her laugh and she wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. The random stranger just shook her head hopelessly and said, “I’ll pray for you that your marriage works out.”

Contrary to popular belief, the inter-abled couple share responsibilities, have a mutual understanding of what one can or can’t do, and show support for each other. Puzzled as to why they would need prayers, Levinson and Carter thought it best to ignore her.

After yet another passerby inquired about their relationship, Carter snapped back quickly. “Look, of course the wheels are a chick magnet. But really, he’s just a tremendous guy.” She took a breath, paused, and decided to speak her full truth. “And, to be honest, it’s not only the chair that’s so massive.”

The post This Woman Loves her Disabled Husband for his Personality, Not the Size of his Massive Mobility Tool appeared first on The Squeaky Wheel.

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