Why Self Esteem is the First Ingredient to a Positive Relationship

By Christinne Rudd

Relationships and intimacy require a level of risk to be taken by both parties. The risk that you're taking is to expose your feelings and other personal things about yourself to someone else. In order to do that and fully enjoy the result of a successful relationship, you have to know your self-worth and posses positive self esteem. For someone with a disability, this may be difficult for a myriad of reasons, depending on their personal circumstances but this really doesn't have to be the case at all. When our children are young, one of the first indicators of their growth and development is how they interact with others. It also seems to be a gauge to our success as parents. As I've read in many articles on parenting, the first place our kids learn acceptable behaviors and other levels of interaction is at home.

Christinne Rudd & her son
This is also true of their self-esteem and how they view others. If parents aren't confident in their roles, and more importantly in themselves, our kids are the first to know it.  Along the same lines, the feedback they receive from their parents on self-image and acceptable behaviors comes from us, their first, and in my opinion, most important teachers. When raising kids with disabilities, the territory may seem new to you , even if you have other children. Kids with disabilities need the same positive role models and influences as children with out disabilities. Just because someone has a disability doesn't mean they can't or don't understand what they're being taught or what they see being modeled by their parents. Even if your children have some sort of intellectual disability, plenty of material exists and professionals are available to help along the way. We're no longer in archaic times where we might need to invent the wheel on different aspects of getting a message to a child.

mobileWOMEN In the Workforce

By Amy Saffell
Amy Saffell

We’ve all seen the statistics. People with disabilities traditionally are underrepresented in the workforce, and, just like people without disabilities, women with disabilities have an even lower employment rate than men. Maybe you’ve contemplated getting into the workforce but believed that you couldn’t do it…that you don’t have the skills to offer, that your disability would get in the way physically or attitudinally, or that your state benefits wouldn’t allow it. Five women, including myself, want to tell you that those concerns can all be overcome. While not every person is suited for every job, there are plenty of types of jobs, whether they’re paying or volunteer, that people with disabilities can do. If you have been contemplating the feasibility of joining the workforce or volunteering, let the experiences of our panel of working women with disabilities encourage and inform you based on their real world experiences.

A Multitude of Job Possibilities

There are many jobs that people with disabilities can do, both inside and outside of the home. I have a full time job at a record label in sales, marketing, and customer service. Having a job in an office allows me a stable work environment where I can set up my surroundings to fit my needs. On the side, I also am a programming and marketing coordinator for a local sports and independence program for kids who use wheelchairs. I work from home, often on the computer. Working from home with the use of technology is another great option for people with disabilities because it allows flexible work hours and the best use of technology that fits the ability of the user.  As I have also found by working with kids who are wheelchair users and their families, many times, firsthand knowledge of life with a disability is an asset to certain fields.

Jenny Smith
Jenny Smith has worked in Member Care with a nonprofit organization. Her employer has 340 workers who live in roughly 40 different countries. She helps train, counsel, support, encourage, and debrief workers as they live and work in a cross-cultural setting with many stressors.  She also worked part-time in college and grad school, and then after she graduated with her Master’s Degree, she taught K-5 English As A Second Language for one year before working for a non-profit organization for eight years that distributed wheelchairs in developing countries.

Searching for Raw Beauty LA Models - Spearheaded by Angela Rockwood

Angela Rockwood's photo for Raw Beauty NYC

Angela Rockwood,actress, model, Push Girls star, (not to mention producer!) was also a model for Raw Beauty NYC which was unveiled on September 20, 2014 at ACA Galleries in Chelsea to benefit the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The mobileWOMAN extraordinaire was inspired to bring the project to her city, Los Angeles.

‘’Life is a gift and what we do with our life is our gift back to the world, to others and to ourselves. ‘’Raw Beauty’’ is a platform that embodies this mission effortlessly by allowing a woman to share her life’s journey through words, empower others profoundly with a photograph and to make a shift within her being from the process of embracing her inner essence to share with the world. This is a powerful and empowering movement that needs to be worldwide, but first we share it in the City of Angels, Los Angeles.’’, shares Angela.

As an official Ambassador of the Raw Beauty Project, Angela will spearhead the event along with Raw Beauty NYC co-chairwomen, Dr. Susan Solman and Wendy Crawford, founder of mobileWOMEN.org.

Paralympian Alana Nichols Rides the Wave of Success

by Cheryl Price

We all know Alana Nichols as a Paralympic basketball player and alpine skier. You’ve most certainly watched clips of her competing in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Games, as well as the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games. You may even recognize the 32-year-old New Mexico native from her awesome segment on “Conan” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hngHluQe2o). If you follow her on Facebook, then you are surely in awe of her daily adventures that span the world.

But no matter how you’ve been introduced to Alana – be it via Internet or TV, or even in person -- then the only fact that matters is that you’ve somehow been in the presence of greatness. After all, Alana is the first American female athlete to win gold medals in both summer and winter Paralympic/Olympic Games. Alana is also a three-time ESPY Nominee. Moreover, in May of 2014, Alana was inducted into Warner Brothers’ “Superman Hall of Heroes” in the inaugural class of real-life heroes.