Browsing: Voices of the Community

Pushing the Boundaries of Inclusive Travel, Design and Living

Health
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Healthcare Reform is Critical for People with Disabilities: Wheelchairs are not “Luxuries”

Believe me, nothing about being in a wheelchair or needing a titanium frame is a luxury. Wheelchairs are expected to last from three to five years before insurance covers another. My wheelchair is part of me. It gets a lot of wear and tear and needs to be replaced more often than insurance allows. I could go on and on. I am not a complainer. I do, however, feel the need to inform decision-makers that it’s time to ask questions, do research, investigate issues that desperately need to be addressed in all aspects of healthcare, not just insurance, both locally and nationally.

Lifestyle Gina leaning forward woth hands in lap while sitting in wheelchair. Wearing a cap backwards and smiling at camera
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Voices of the Community: My Wheelchair is My Legs, When it Breaks it IS an Emergency!

Why don’t they have stricter standards? Ignorance. The federal and state laws are written by able-bodied people who couldn’t be more ignorant of what someone with a true disability needs. The current situation and laws perpetuate the stereotype that people with disabilities are second class citizens. There is a lack of knowledge, and that needs to change. Our medical field and government perpetually victimize people with disabilities. Whether it be handing out disabled parking to anyone who asks or ignoring our pleas for changes. We have voices for a reason, let’s use them to educate people and demand change. I smell a class action, because after all the only language these greedy bastards speak is $$$

Design & Access Casey, a young man with blonde hair in wheelchair with a young girl posing next to him outside in the sun with his black labrador
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Voices of the Community: Bogus Service Dogs – The Scam Co-Opting the Rights of the Disabled

To some people, this may not seem like a big deal. What’s the problem with being allowed to bring one of your best friends with you everywhere? Unfortunately, it’s a huge problem. Every legitimate service animal has been evaluated, and will continue to be evaluated to make sure that it is suitable to be out in public where you may experience large crowds, loud noises, and a huge list of distractions. A lot of average pets can be easily scared by many of those things, which can also mean aggression and violent behavior. That is not safe at all for the public, and especially not safe for service animals.

Design & Access Man in wheelchair at Statue of Liberty
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The Disabled Vote: Why This Largest Minority Group Can No Longer be Ignored by Candidates

It is inevitable that everyone in their lifetime will get sick, old and in need of healthcare. The fact that we have private health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies profiting off of our illnesses is outrageous. Insurance is supposed to be for things that MIGHT happen. With 100% certainty, every American will get sick and old. There is no might about it. But as long as we have big money in politics with big pharma and the private health insurance lobby being in the pocket of our politicians, we will never see the end of corporations profiting from the most vulnerable among us.

Members of the disabili

Design & Access head shot of Alexandra Stoffel
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Why Should I Feel Shame or Guilt when Asking for My Wheelchair to be Accommodated?

This world is not fully accessible to me. However, that should not impede me from trying to participate fully in life. So what can be done about this guilt? I am trying to make it a daily practice, to ask for the things I need and reasoning with myself why it is necessary and why I should not feel bad about it. I should not feel bad about asking to use one of the three accessible spaces in a bar so that I can hang out with my friends on the same level. An inaccessible space is not something that I created; I am merely trying to exist in it the best way that I can.

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