A Handicapped Girl in an Inaccessible World

by Katy Blake

So, I know I said my next blog would be about the dangers of disability predators, but I had an experience yesterday that I just had to share.

My girlfriends and I were going to go out for dinner down the coast. It was an unbelievably gorgeous day and we wanted to have dinner outside on or near the beach. We decided on a popular place on the beach and decided to call ahead to restaurant A (I’ve decided not to identify said restaurants) to check if they had outdoor seating and the accessibility of it. The first restaurant said they only had ONE wheelchair accessible table outdoors and they did not take reservations. Yes, we could have sat inside, but we were insistent on being outside. Disappointed but not defeated, we called another restaurant (B) we had heard good things about. We got a yes on the outdoor seating and, after a slight hesitation, another yes on the accessibility. Score! We were on our way.

NOT Giving UP

by Dr. Julie Ann Allender
Dr. Julie Ann Allender
What does giving UP look like? Is it quitting? Is it going to bed? Is it throwing something? Does giving up have any feelings to it? Is it something that we do consciously? Is it something I can control? Is it something I can turn off or on? Is it something that hurts? Is it something that goes away?

Giving UP is all of the above and much more. It is the feeling that whatever is happening has become too much: too much to do, too much to face, too much to feel. It is the feeling that no matter what I do I will fail. I can’t possibly accomplish whatever I set out to do or what someone else has asked me to do. Giving UP is the feeling that life has put too many bumps in front of me and that it just isn’t worth it anymore.

Monkey Business

 by Wendy Crawford

Maryanne with helper, Jessica
An Interview with mobileWOMAN, Maryanne McCauley About her Helper Monkey, Jessica!
MW: Please tell us a little about yourself. 
MM: My name is Maryanne McCauley and I am a T11 paraplegic woman. I have been a para for almost six years due to a spinal cord injury as a result of a blood clot on my spine. My son was a senior in high school at the time of my injury – now he is a US Naval Officer.  I am a single mom, and now I find myself an "empty nester".
MW: What is your disability and capabilities? 
MM: It's strange because I never thought of my circumstances as disabilities and capabilities just a different way of accomplishing different activities. But if I had to get technical, I suppose I would say I have  complete use of my arms, my legs are another story. I do have some movement and sensation in my legs, however I cannot bear weight or walk. I am completely reliant on my wheelchair. I tend to drop things a lot, and some doors give me difficulty, my balance is so-so which means sometimes I have difficulty reaching for something such as stretching into the mailbox to get out the mail or reaching a light switch. My legs spasm often, and sometimes my feet slide off my foot plate.
MW: How did you hear about helper monkeys? 
MM: While visiting family, a relative mentioned it in passing and I was intrigued. I decided to search the web to see if there were actually service monkeys...it certainly made sense.