BLACK LIVES MATTER. All day and every damned day of the week.
Young Black Lives Matter.
Black Trans Lives Matter.
Black Women’s Lives Matter.
Black Disabled Lives Matter.
I will never stop saying this. It needs to be said again and again.
—  YM Carrington via Facebook
Six Questions Before Publishing About Children -- An Editorial Guideline
How do we protect the privacy of children with disabilities while allowing parents to share their family's experience ?

Writing & Publishing Content About Children

1.If I were dependent upon a partner, caregiver, or adult child and they published the same information about me, would I be okay with it?

If the answer is “No”, then don’t publish it.

If the answer is “Yes” — see number two.

2. If my parents had published the same information about me when I was a child, would  I be comfortable with the world  reading  it today?

If the answer is “No”, then don’t publish it.

If the answer is “Yes” — see number three.

3. Did the child give their permission?

If the answer is “No”, then don’t publish it.

If the answer is “No, but …”, then don’t publish it.

If the answer is “Yes”— see number four.

4. Would I publish the same information about a non-disabled child?

If the answer is “No”, then don’t publish it.

If the answer is “Yes” see number five.

5. Would  the child’s doctor or educators publish the same content along with personally identifying information ?

If the answer is “No”, then don’t publish it.

If the answer is “Yes”, and you’re familiar with HIPAA and FERPA, then it might be okay, see number six.

6. Could the information I am publishing be harmful to my child in five years? Fifty years?

If the answer is “No”, then publish it.

The most realistic answer is “I don’t know.”

why do we never ever talk about disabled youth who take their lives? Or even, why do we never talk about disabled youth who have been murdered by their goverment/parents/guardians/doctors because their lives were deemed with no quality? Better yet, why dont we ever talk about disabled youth?

ASAN & NCIL Sponsoring Real Talk: Sex and Disability

Hi all! The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, HSC (National Youth Transitions Initiative), and NCIL are presenting a great new project for youth with disabilities that seemed like a good idea to share!

“Via a series of in-person and virtual conversations, Real Talk will provide young people with disabilities a forum to discuss sexuality, relationships, and lived experience. Real Talk will also be empowering young people with disabilities to identify and develop resources to enable sexual health providers to become more accessible and inclusive.”

First in-person DC Area Dialogue

Like the Facebook page for more!

Twitter Event

[image: blue-purple square with “Real Talk: #sexanddisability” in pink, yellow and white text.]

housing needed in Philly

My dear friend Violet deerdyke is currently very much in need of housing or temporary accommodations in Philadelphia in the next two weeks. Vi is a trans woman trying to find a stable living situation in the city. She is able to pay rent as long as it is under 300, and is willing to sublet. Her main needs are that she has a private space to work. She would also strongly prefer to live with other transfeminine or queer people. Please message me or her if you have any information or know anyone who is looking for a roommate or who has space where she can stay until she finds something more permanent. Please share this post regardless.


CONGO, Africa—The boys in red-and-blue-striped jerseys race across the field—their eyes fixated on the bright yellow ball as sweat drips from their brows. Palm trees border one side of the playing field while the Congo River ripples behind; it’s a gorgeous setting for a soccer game. On the other side a road cuts through Kinshasa’s tony embassy neighborhood. Many of the locals have taken to jogging there, and some enjoy being spectators at today’s match.

If you look at the boys only from the waist up, you might think this was just another soccer game. It is not. The players have braces on their legs—some are short to support just the ankle, others longer for knee and hip support. A few players hit the ball with their crutches.

The team players live in the Ngaliema neighborhood in a small compound run by an organization called StandProud. This nonprofit supports Congolese children with physical disabilities such as polio. The center now houses 35 boys and young men, ages 5 to 23; several staff members are graduates of the program.

For polio, one of the world’s worst scourges, these are end days. Since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, 2.5 billion children have been immunized. The number of new cases has plummeted from 350,000 in 1988 to less than 400 in 2013. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has made great strides too, and is no longer listed among the dwindling numbers of country where polio is still endemic (Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan).

Yet the risk of contracting polio still exists, especially in areas where vaccines are rarely administered. According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, as many as 8 to 12 percent of Congolese children under the age of five are unvaccinated. Some parents avoid vaccination programs out of fear or for religious reasons.

The boys with their braces and crutches are a reminder that behind the global success is a generation left behind, and those with polio and other physical disabilities are too often consigned to lives at the margin. StandProud has stood up for them—and with them—in centers where the victims of diseases like polio learn to care for each other. StandProud is a US registered non-profit as well as a UK charity that partners with a Congolese organization called ACDF (Association Congolaise Debout et Fier). For 14 years the two groups have worked together, and they now have centers in six locations across Congo.

Futila, a 15-year-old resident at StandProud, has two braces and has just learned to walk using an outdoor ramp. Méchak, who is uncertain of his age but must be younger than eight, contracted konzo, a disease resulting from cassava poisoning that paralyzes the legs. Brossy, 15, underwent surgery in a hospital that was paid for by StandProud. He now has a plaster cast to straighten his leg. It will become less painful as it heals. Obed, a 16-year-old with polio, has been at the center since 2010. His legs must also be straightened before he can receive braces. He has developed painful pressure sores from his plaster casts.

“The time that it takes for healing depends on the mental attitude. It takes longer for some,” says StandProud supervisor Chérif Mohamed, who is from Ivory Coast.

Read the whole story, written by Pulitzer Center Contributing Editor Kem Sawyer, here.

Photographs by Kem Sawyer and Jon Sawyer. 

Harper government left $97M unspent on social services, report shows

The Harper government’s promises to help jobless youth, the disabled, immigrants and illiterate adults fell short last year by almost $100 million.

That’s the amount of so-called “lapsed” funding — money promised but never spent — at Canada’s biggest social services department, Employment and Social Development Canada.

An internal report shows that in 2013-14, the department fell short by $97.1 million of its promised dollars for 16 major programs, the largest such lapse in any of the five years since the 2008 economic meltdown.

The biggest shortfall, $30 million, was for the government’s touted Youth Employment Strategy, or about 17 per cent of the strategy’s total budget for that year. The program is meant to help reduce the youth jobless rate of about 13 per cent.

Continue Reading.

Bi Health Month: Bi+ Youth with Disabilities #BHAM

From @biresourcecenter:

Resources: If you are a bi+ youth with a disability, know that there are several organizations, resources, and networks available to support you:

Featured blog post: Aud Traher (@nooffswitch)  writes “On Being a Disabled Bi Trans Person and the Idea of Passing.”

(read more on BRC’s blog)

Our addition to the resource list: Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)

Please help a queer financially struggling Trans woman find housing in DC

Hi all, I’m sorry to do this again but I am getting really desperate about finding a place to live by the end of the month.

PLEASE reblog and signal boost even if you can’t help directly, as I really need to find something immediately.

If you don’t know me, I am a queer disabled Trans woman, who has a lot of financial troubles due to medical bills (diabetes, ADHD, transition and mental health) and due to working a service job in an extremely expensive city (Washington dc). I am currently subletting a space until August 1, at which point i will be forced to move out. I don’t have a lot of options as a Trans woman, and I need to find something ASAP. Also, if I am forced to move out of the city and quit my job because I can’t find a place, I will be forced by my employers to pay the 260$ for the liquor license they paid for (if I don’t work there for at least 6 months), and I absolutely cannot afford that right now.

Please message me if you know of any spaces available, especially if they are on the red line or have public transportation to DuPont circle (where I work). I would strongly prefer to live with other queer folks or women, but I’m open to other options depending on the situation.

Thanks all,



Youth Job Training and Coffee for the Community

Many of us have fond memories of our first jobs as teenagers. We developed skills that would last a lifetime, all while learning the value of a hard earned dollar. I spent many days in high school working at my town’s local video rental store. People depended on me to show up and be responsible for my shifts and I learned how to communicate and cooperate with customers and co-workers. I look back fondly on this time in my life, realizing now that I gained valuable training that I can take with me throughout life. The skills you develop at that age are such an important facet of your education as you transform into a young adult and become a contributing member of society. Unfortunately not everyone gets the chance to experience this rite of passage. Teenagers with disabilities strive on a daily basis to be seen and treated as equals by society, yet they have an extremely tough time finding part-time competitive employment as high school students. This trend then inevitably follows them into adulthood, as just 21 percent of adults with disabilities are employed.

A Cup on the Hill is reversing this trend, creating a world where every young person has the opportunity to learn responsibility through a part-time job and develop into a successful member of society. A Cup on the Hill is a Kansas City based non-profit that provides on-the-job training for youths with or without disabilities that want to learn valuable life skills and develop into productive young adults. Through community connections and a social enterprise coffee shop, youths with disabilities can get paid and work as equals alongside their peers while connecting with businesses, schools, and community agencies to create awareness and inspire change. Awareness will lead to other businesses opening their doors to see the advantages of hiring those with disabilities. 

A Cup on the Hill’s first project is a coffee shop in Kansas City. Before becoming officially employed, they will go through a 6-12 month program depending on their existing capabilities and ambitions for job placement. The cafe’s food will be sourced from local farmers markets and the gourmet coffee will come from a local family-owned roaster. Youth Job Training and Coffee for the Community is raising $10,000 to cover various equipment, inventory, and operating expenses needed to launch the cafe. With 11 days left, the campaign is just about 1/3 of the way there and looking to pick up some momentum. In addition to receiving the peace of mind knowing they are helping disabled youths find employment, supporters of this campaign will get treated to some really awesome rewards, including the same delicious bags of gourmet coffee that will be served at the cafe. 


What good do you want to create?  Visit our site to learn about how to start your own campaign.



This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Sisters, Eva and Melissa Shang, imagine a world where girls with disabilities matter. They discuss the importance of representation of disabilities in children’s toys and the power of kindness.

I say: Love how the elder sister is promoting self-advocacy and the young girl with a disability is a fabulous change-maker as demonstrated by her advocacy.