We Are Not Less…We are More - A Journey of Self-discovery

By Wendy Crawford

Deborah Mellen, photo by Ginny Dixon

Now on tour, the Raw Beauty NYC photography exhibit was recently shipped from Acorda Therapeutics, a New York based, bio-tech company aimed at improving the lives of those with nervous disorders, where it was displayed for a month, to Shake-a-Leg Miami. Shake-a-Leg is a non-profit organization whose mission is to use the marine environment to improve the health, education and independence of adults and children with disabilities as well as disadvantaged youth and their families. This organization opens the sailing world to those who may have never been able to experience it, otherwise.

The exhibit was unveiled on the evening of May 14 to approximately 200 attendees and the funds raised went to Shake-a-Leg Miami and another non-profit,  Impossible Dream which was founded by Raw Beauty NYC model, Deborah Mellen.  

Intimacy and Disability: It's Not as Complicated as They Think

Christinne Rudd and her son

The word "intimacy" conjures up ideas that may or may not be accurate.  In the realm of dating, more often than not, people with disabilities aren't seen as potential partners by those who aren't disabled.  There are even many misconceptions by potential partners and even our parents, about this inevitable part of our lives. That doesn't mean that the person themselves hasn't thought about having a boyfriend or girlfriend, by the time they hit puberty. It makes me think about the "Law and Order: SVU" episode where there's a girl with Down Syndrome, who ends up pregnant and wants to take care of her baby. When thinking about becoming a mother, her disability doesn't even cross her mind.

When we're younger, and it's time for "The Talk", a lot of parents avoid it all together. I often wonder, how many parents realize that if they have a child who is or becomes disabled, they could still have the potential to lead a full life, complete with successful relationships and a happy family? Probably not too many. Some parents feel like if they don't talk about it with us, it just won't happen.  I don't think there's any malice in this line of thinking. It seems more like a way to protect us from the world, outside the safety of our homes. The downfall to that is if we don't get accurate information from our parents, we'll learn from our friends, and they might not be the best source of information.

Shannon DeVido: Making Us Look at Disability and Humor in a Whole New Light

by Kara Aiello
Comedian and mobileWOMAN, Shannon Devido
Shannon DeVido is shaking up the world of comedy and proving that humor can come in the form of a strong, funny and intelligent woman who just happens to use a wheelchair as she entertains.  Below is her story and I promise, you will come away rolling with laughter.