Our Disabled Voices

Stories, essays, opinions, analyses and more from across the different disability communities and from their friends, families, and allies.


  • Palo Alto’s 504 Plan Puzzle

    Palo Alto Unified School District’s 504 Plan demographics are substantially different than California’s or the rest of the US states with around 7% of our students having a 504 plan (see attachments) vs. the national average of 2.7%, California at 4% and the highest state average New Hampshire at 6.2% (tab 2 of “Enrollment-Overall”) Thank…

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  • Segregated Special Education in Palo Alto – a long way to go

    “when students are included, they have more access to the general curriculumand effective instruction, they achieve at higher rates of academicperformance, and they acquire better social and behavioral outcomes.” According to the latest report under IDEA for Palo Alto, 7.75% of students spend less than 40% oftheir day in general education (reports from 2021). Compared…

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  • Deconstructing Ableism: Rethinking Cost and Priority in Accessibility

    In a world where every decision is often based on financial considerations, it’s crucial to examine how these tendencies influence our attitudes toward accessibility and accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

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  • Urgent Opportunity to Protect Living Organ Donors

    On March 15, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), will close comments on their controversial new proposal to change the way deceased donor organs are allocated to patients on the transplant waiting list. This proposal has a fundamental flaw, which will violate the trust of all prior living organ donors, while threatening to make…

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  • A call to end Institutional Bias in Attendant Pay Rates

    End the institutional bias in Attendant pay rates. I’m presenting a case for equity in Personal Care Attendants’ pay rates by sending this email*, The low pay of Consumer Directed (CD) in-home Personal Care Attendants has caused my husband not to return to work and is one of the factors of why I resigned from…

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  • Will the Twitter Takeover lead to Muzzling of the Disabled?

    Since Elon Musk’s takeover on November 4, Twitter has been constantly in the news: Firing around 3700 people within the first week in the name of cost-cutting. $8-a-month fee to get the verified blue tick status. Scammers popped up soon after the announcement of the Blue subscription plan. It’s been chaotic, in short. Both the…

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  • What’s Your Deaf Community Awareness Quotient?

    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

    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

    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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