My Hurricane Shelter Experience with Tips


By Kirsy Rodriguez
Around this time last year, I experienced staying at a shelter for the very first time. Something that I honestly never thought I would have to experience.
You see, prior to moving to Florida three years ago, I lived in Brooklyn, New York. Hurricanes in that part of the country are very rare and the closest that I’ve ever came to experiencing a hurricane, was when Hurricane Sandy came to the New York area. I was in a safe area so we didn’t have to go to a shelter. Not that that option was even in my thoughts, honestly. As many New Yorkers, I just prepared very much like I did plenty of other times during blizzards; I stocked up on food (mainly junk food), water, flashlights, extra batteries and a few candles, in case we lost power.
When I moved to Florida, I learned that hurricane season is alive and well, in this part of the country and that stocking up on the essentials, is great but I also needed to have a secondary plan. That secondary plan involved knowing where my closest wheelchair accessible shelters were, in case we were going to be hit by a major hurricane.
Our first lesson in staying at a shelter came last year, during Hurricane Matthew. My family and I, honestly didn’t know what to expect and you can say that we were a little underprepared when we went in. I guess that always happens when it’s your first time experiencing something new like this. This year however was a little different when we went to seek shelter from Hurricane Irma and we have Hurricane Matthew to thank.
So with that said, below I will share with you my top personal tips when going to a shelter. My prayer is that you never have to use these tips but in case you do face such situation, I hope that these points may be of some help to you in being prepared and knowing what to expect.

Gadgets for Independence Series: Beauty

By Wendy Crawford & Kirsy Rodriguez


Some of you may have been following our “Gadgets for Independence” Series for those with limited hand function (although these gadgets can make life easier for anyone!). So far,  we shared with you some helpful gadgets that are specifically for cutting items like packages, paper, envelopes etc. and gadgets to be used in the kitchen.

For our next “gadget” topic, we have chosen an extremely important one, especially with the upcoming holidays which will be here before you know it: Beauty :-) Let’s face it. There are some tasks that you want executed just right and can not easily be delegated to others and this is one of them! Typically, most aides don’t have the background or experience to be a hairdresser or makeup artist. That’s where Youtube videos and some helpful gadgets can help you to achieve your “beauty vision”. Being independent can be empowering and liberating!

We have compiled a list of some of our favorites that cover makeup, nails and hair. We haven’t  tried all of them yet, although looking forward to giving them a shot! We do not receive any reimbursement for promotion.

We would love to hear your suggestions too so please share them on our mobileWOMEN.org Facebook page. If you are not a member yet just send us a request and we’ll be happy to grant you access.

Universal Grips
To start, we’ve listed some universal grips that can be used on any handles whether it’s for beauty tools or other purposes in your daily life.

Foam Tubing for Grip: These inexpensive cylindrical foam tubes come in various diameters which can be cut with scissors to desired length to increase grip for makeup brushes, mascara, eyeliner, hair brushes etc.

Hand Grip: This universal sleeve can be used on utensils like hair brush, makeup handles etc. It can be easily removed and reused throughout the day.

Nails
Often I’ve resorted going to a nail salon even though I just need my nails cut and filed. This can get costly and time-consuming. We searched around to find these options that with a little patience and practice, could do the trick! (Note: Those with no sensation, need to be extremely cautious.)


In-Depth with "Patti+Ricky"


By mobileWOMEN Team

Founder, Alexandra Connell
If you are on social media lately, you may have noticed that the Internet has been abuzz about a new company that sells functional fashion for people with disabilities called “Patti + Ricky”. What caught our attention was the fact that they refer to themselves as an “online department store for people with disabilities”! Whaaaaat? Sounds interesting but what exactly does that mean?

Their website features products from 20+ different designers, many of whom live with disabilities themselves. To better understand this "new to our community" concept, we decided to get up close and personal with “Patti & Ricky”. See below, our in-depth interview with founder and “Creative Energy Officer”, Alexandra Connell: 

Mw: What inspired you to start your company? Who is PATTI + RICKY? How did you come up with the name?

AC: I saw a need for a marketplace that offered stylish and functional clothing that catered to people of all abilities. Thinking back, there were many experiences in my life that led me to find PATTIandRICKY.com. Both of my parents worked in the New York City fashion and accessory industry. Conversations in my home included what would be the next fashion trend or what was going to be the “it” colors for fall. I like to joke that I was born into retail and it’s in my blood.

I also grew up with dyslexia and ADHD. During and after college, I worked for nonprofits focused on fostering inclusion. Much of that time inspired me to earn my masters in disAbility Studies.