disabled-youth

used my wheelchair at the airport today while I was traveling with my grandmother who is not physically disabled. every. single. person. who was working at the airport assumed that the person asking for accommodations was my grandmother and that it was her wheelchair .. WHILE I WAS LITERALLY WHEELING MYSELF IN IT. it is crazy how engrained in our head it is as a society that youth =/= disability. 

Open letter to sick kids and disabled kids.

Dear sick kids, dear disabled kids,

You may be facing a lot of adults who want to believe that your therapy is fun. You may feel differently. You may not be having fun. That’s ok. You’re not failing. You don’t owe it to anyone to enjoy the things that are happening to you.  

Even if you think the therapy is important, you might not think it’s fun. You don’t have to think that it’s fun. Your feelings are yours, and your feelings matter. No one has the right to tell you how to feel. No one has the right to insist that you think something is fun.

If you don’t think the therapy is a good idea, you have the right to have that opinion. Your parents or other adults may be able to decide what treatments you get. They don’t get to decide what you think, or how you feel. They can’t make things fun by loudly insisting that they are fun, or by making you smile.

It’s ok not to think that your breathing treatments are a fun game. Even if your mask is fish shaped. Even if you put frog stickers on it. Even if you had a lot of fun picking out the stickers. Even if you know that you need it in order to breathe properly. Push come to shove, it’s still a breathing treatment. You are under no obligation to enjoy it. If you’re not having fun, then it’s not fun. Even if people make you smile.

It’s ok if you don’t think a purple hospital gown means that the hospital is fun. Even if you love purple. Even if you put your favorite sparkly heart stickers on it.   Even if you want the operation or procedure you’re having, you don’t have to think that what you’re doing is fun. Even if the volunteers and play therapists are really nice. You’re still in the hospital, and it’s ok to feel however you feel about it.

It’s ok to dislike the tracing exercises your occupational therapist makes you do. Even if she says that they’re really fun and that she loved them when she was your age. It’s ok to think of it as work rather than fun. It’s also ok to think it’s a waste of your time. You are not her, and it’s not ok for her to tell you how to feel. She is not the boss of your feelings, or your likes and dislikes. You are under no obligation to have fun.

It’s ok to dislike singing silly songs with your speech therapist. Even if he tells you in an excited voice all about the great new conversation starter iPad app, it’s ok not to think it’s fun. Even if other kids seem to like it. Even if there are fun prizes for cooperating and smiling. Even if people frown when you don’t seem happy enough. You don’t have to think anything is fun. Your feelings are yours. You don’t owe it to him to like the activities you do, even if he expects it from you.

It’s ok to dislike the sensory diet an occupational therapist puts you on. You don’t have to like being brushed.You don’t have to like weights or weighted blankets.You don’t have to believe that squeezing a fidget toy is better than rocking, and you don’t have to think that chewing a tube makes the lighting and noise any less painful. Your feelings are real. If you like something, that matters, whether or not anyone else thinks it’s important. If something hurts, your pain is real whether or not anyone acknowledges it.

And so on. If you’re sick, or you’re disabled, or you’re both, there are probably a lot of things happening to you that aren’t happening to other kids. It’s ok to have whatever feelings you have about that, even if others desperately want to believe that you think all of it is really fun. It’s ok for you to think that something isn’t fun, even when adults speak in enthusiastic voices, put stickers on things, use fun toys, or whatever else.

It’s ok to think something is fun, and it’s ok to think it’s really not fun. It’s also ok to find something helpful without finding it fun. You have the right to like what you like, and dislike waht you dislike. Your feelings are your own, even if you have to smile to get people to leave you alone. 

It’s ok to like things, and it’s ok to dislike things. You are a real person, your feelings are yours, and your feelings matter. Illness, disability, and youth don’t make you any less real.

I need help

I know I haven’t been on in ages, I’m sorry, but I need help. In two days I’m going to be on the streets and need money until I get approved through a housing application. It’s still in the screening process and I need money for food and hotel until then. 

I need $400

That’s a lot to ask, I know, but I need it if I’m going to survive. 

My family won’t help me, I’ve been living with my ex for a while and her step mom told me I have to be out.

As a mentally disabled youth I don’t have a lot to work with and I’m terrified of being on the streets. I don’t have work yet and have been trying hard. The area has little to offer and transportation is small and expensive.

Donations, commissions– whatever is okay, please. I need the help desperately to be able to last long enough to get the house and my funds are next to nothing. If you want commissions we can talk about it.

my paypal is aura.mann@yahoo.com 

just…. anything helps. 

Thank you for everything already, I love you all and even if you can’t donate or commission, please signal boost?

You Need to Be Seen

“You cannot be what you cannot see”

Marian Wright Edelman

The little boy in the wheelchair at the Starbucks needs to see you carry your own drink. Take your coffee and go up to him. Ask him his name and tell him you like the colors on his leg braces. 

That little girl in the walker needs to see you and how you carry yourself with pride because you’ve learned to love who you are. 

That teenage boy needs to see you get in and out of your modified car all on your own. 

The next generation of disabled youth need to see strong, independent, self-reliant disabled people in order to become strong, independent, self-reliant disabled people. 

You need to be seen.

I cannot tell you the number of times disabled kids and their parents would say things like “You drive?! Can I see your car?” or “You live by yourself? In your own apartment?!” 

You have to understand that, for a lot of disabled people, they’re the only disabled person they know. Our community is starving for positive role models. 

I spent over a decade volunteering with disabled kids in order to give them a positive role model and to help remove the barriers (and excuses!) between them and success. The program I was with literally had a group activity where we practiced opening doors by ourselves, and I can’t tell you the number of teenagers I helped into the driver’s seat of my car just so they can imagine what it would feel like to drive a car. 

If you have an opportunity to volunteer with disabled kids, please do it. They need to see people like us helping people like them. They need to know what they can become.

You need to be seen.

PLEASE HELP DONATE TO CHASING DREAMS E.C.!

We have three horses for our program now! And the one we bought is coming in today at 2 :D


If anyone would like to donate to Chasing Dreams Equestrian Center (therapeutic riding center for disabled and underprivlaged youth), anything helps us, money or supplies. And all money donations are tax deductible since this is an official non-profit organization.

You can donate at the “Chasing Dreams Equestrian Center” facebook page.

If aanyome has questions about this program, feel free to pm me!

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?

Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Leaders & Organizations Join In Solidarity, We Won’t Go Back

Ninety organizations came together on December 13, 2016 in Washington, D.C. to declare our unity and dedicate our collective power to protecting and advancing sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice in the United States and around the world. Every person has the basic human right to quality health care, and no individual or community should be left behind. Each of us should have the chance to live safe, healthy lives and be free to determine our own path – including if, when, and how to create a family. We will resist every attempt to roll back those rights or undermine those opportunities.

WE BELIEVE IN:

  • protecting and expanding access to sexual and reproductive health education, care, and services;
  • safeguarding and advancing abortion rights and access;
  • promoting health, safety and wellness for all communities;
  • fostering fairness and equity in sexual and reproductive health.

WE DEMAND THAT:

  • the policies of our government recognize and respond to the needs and priorities of the diverse range of individuals, families, and communities we represent, especially those who face disproportionate, burdensome, and unfair barriers to accessing quality health care, including women and girls in the Global South and low-income women, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, indigenous peoples, young people, and women of color in the United States;
  • appointees, nominees, and elected officials uphold our nation’s laws and the U.S. Constitution, affirm protections and safety for individuals, especially those most marginalized, and work to ensure health equity in the United States and around the world.

WE COMMIT TO:

  • mobilizing to defeat actions that threaten to undermine sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice in any community in the United States and across the globe;
  • exercising the collective power of our movement to create a world where all people have the rights and resources they need to thrive;
  • standing together with our progressive allies to advocate for policies that advance sexual and reproductive health and rights and that ensure all communities have the resources to exercise those rights;
  • working across movements to advance immigrant rights, youth rights, disability rights, LGBTQ equality, economic justice and racial justice and to ensure the safety of our communities.

We won’t allow roll-backs on hard-won rights. We will hold firm to ensuring that all people are treated with dignity, compassion, and respect and can achieve full reproductive freedom. Together, we will work for a world where equitable access to sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice is realized for all.

See the whole list of organizations here>>

mute!r and ASL amis headcanons

  • mute!r meeting éponine and montparnasse and surprisingly, they both speak ASL
  • mute!r dragging éponine to ami meetings and they talk in ASL together about politics and about what the others are talking about
  • éponine talking for r sometimes and everyone is really surprised by what he says so all the amis decide to learn ASL for him
  • all the amis talking slowly in broken ASL with r and he’s never been happier
  • mute!r working at deaf schools and excitedly talking with them in ASL
  • courfeyrac working with r, telling the kids really really cheesy jokes in ASL
  • enjolras and combeferre working with disabled homeless youths in ASL
  • feuilly trying to find work for mute and deaf people, using his knowledge of ASL
  • ASL and the amis <3

anonymous asked:

"Oi, you. Move. You're too young to actually need that walking stick. I need the space to put my bag down." <- on a bus

“I am really ignorant and don’t believe younger people can have disabilities. I am really rude and put disabled youth in danger of injuring themselves because I refuse to wrap my brain around the idea that disability exists.”

It’s weird that they are quick to believe disability exists when watching the news or reading inspirational porn on the Internet, but as soon as they are actually in the presence of a disabled youth, suddenly disability doesn’t exist. It’s ridiculous.

~Admincam

My Life In An Open Institution, Part 1

As many of you know, I have been living in an open institution for mentally ill and developmentally disabled youth for the last year. I have never really described my experience with institutionalization before, but I have decided to write a couple posts on the topic in an attempt to answer your questions. In this post I will try to give an overview of what my organization is and how it works. Before starting, I want to remind everyone that there isn’t one unambiguous institutionalization experience, and that people will have different experiences depending on many different factors such as type of organization, country, income, etc. This is an attempt at describing life in my institution - an open institution for mentally ill and developmentally disabled youth in Denmark - not an elaborate attempt at describing institutionalization in general. 

Money:

  • The institution is sponsored by the Danish state which means that your stay, including therapy, medication, food, housing, education and transport is free.
  • Each patient gets an allowance at about 300 kroner (40 dollars) a week that they can spend at will.
  • We also get 650 kroner (95 dollars) a month to buy new clothes and other necessities.
  • When moving in, we get to order furniture for an unspecified amount of money - usually about 5000 kroner (736 dollars) - to furnish our room.

Personnel: 

  • My Institution has at least one therapist in the house all the time with very few exceptions. The therapists often work 12 hour shifts. During the day - 8AM to 11PM - 2-5 therapists are available. During the night - 11PM to 8AM - one therapist is sleeping in the building.
  • One psychiatrist is associated with the institution. He has little contact with us in our everyday life and his main task is diagnosing us as well as administrating and prescribing medication.
  • One cleaning lady is hired full-time to make sure that the bathrooms, main areas and the kitchens are clean.
  • The therapists don’t just provide therapy, they also help out with cooking, cleaning, laundry and transport, etc. You don’t just go to a therapist when you want to discuss your feelings, you also go to them when you  need help doing your laundry or fetching a snack.
  • Each patient has two therapists assigned. They will work with and interact with other therapists as well but the two assigned therapists will be more actively involved with your life and treatment.

Patients:

  • Currently 10 people between the ages of 15 and 19 are living in the institution. The maximum capacity is 14.
  • We each have a room that we can furnish and decorate at will, only limitation being that we’re not allowed to paint the walls.
  • The time a patient is expected to spend living in this institution is between one and three years.
  • Young people between 15 and 23 years old can be institutionalized here if they due to mental illness(es) or developmental disability need more support, help and therapy in their everyday life than their parents and an out-patient program can provide.
  • Examples of diagnoses that several current patients have  are psychosis-spectrum disorders, anxiety disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder, depression, eating disorders and autism.

Education:

  • The majority of the patients have at some point dropped out of school or otherwise failed to keep up with the expected education level of someone there age.
  • The institution has a collaboration with a so-called special education school that kids and teens from various full-time institutions attend. The goal is to catch up on lost education so that the patient can take further education later on.

Chores:

  • Each patient has a daily chore that they are expected to perform with the assistance from a therapist. Examples of those chores are: doing laundry, cleaning room, preparing dinner, doing dishes, etc.
  • If a patient is unable to do their chore, a therapist can take over or the chore can be postponed to another day.

Internet:

  • The institution has free internet access from 5pm to 9pm during the week. Additional internet has to be bought and set up by then individual patient.

Privacy:

  • The patients cannot lock the door to their room under any circumstances. Everybody are required to knock before entering another person’s room, including therapists, but preventing a therapist from entering your room if they insist on it isn’t possible. 
  • There are locks on bathroom doors.

I will end this post here, feel free to ask clarifying questions or tell me what you want to hear about in my next post on the topic. I’m open to talk about all the different aspects of being institutionalized.

Does Black Disabled Lives Matter?

#BlackLivesMatter

It’s the hash tag heard around the world, where it’s not a mere fad. It’s a rallying cry for the African Disapora’s wishes to see law enforcement abuse, police brutality, and hate crimes cease. The call to fight back against corrupted powers seeking to destroy the black community.

While the black community is seeking to prevent another Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Charleston Nine, or Freddie Gray from happening, I can’t help but to ponder the following strings of questions in my mind:

- Whose black lives matter? All? Or “non-disabled” only? Any national news coverage on disabled black people being victimized by police brutality?

- Are there any black disabled people in the movement? Is it accessible and inclusive? How do they contribute to #BlackLivesMatter?

Those are silly questions on the surface. Of course ALL black lives matter, especially all black victims of hate crime and police brutality. However, I cannot help but to ask those questions. I have good reasons to question the disability community’s involvement in Black Lives Matter.

One night, I was enjoying a late night McDonald’s run with fellow disability rights activists and we shared our discontent with our overall impact on national movements like Black Lives Matter. The lament wasn’t our abilities, or lack thereof, to participate in actions. We may have various backgrounds, disabilities, and daily challenges. But all of us in the car are activists in our own right, all of us have attributes that can be essential to a social movement (e.g., charisma, hospitality, artistic skills, abundance of resources (including money), social media marketing, etc.), and most of us pursued post-secondary education at own point.

It’s not our abilities that are in question. I discovered in that time alone how my the disabled in the black community are sick and tired of feeling muzzled and babied when it comes to fighting for basic civil rights and opportunities. Also add little mainstream media coverage of disabled blacked harmed by police, and almost no marches or rallies to protest the monstrosity, to the mix. In this year alone, I heard the horrid stories of Kayleb Moon-Robinson, the 10-year-old autistic girl in Jefferson Parish, LA, Troy Canales, and Jason Harrison. Not only those victims of police brutality are black, but they’re also disabled in some form or fashion. In fact, they had no voices of their own; they need voices from family or community just to prove that they’re no immediate threat to law enforcement. In America, harming the elderly, the disabled, and the youth is a sin. I thought that America, including Black America, would be pissed to the point of rallying, like Bland, Gray, and the Charleston Nine. I got disappointed: only petitions for freeing Kayleb and no large-scale action/rally for others that I mentioned.

Some would quickly point out that organizations cannot rally for every single victim of police brutality and mainstream media can only air stories that are appealing to the masses (even if it is a tragedy). I agree with both. Furthermore, the mainstream news can only do so much, this I’ll leave them out of this conversation from here-on-out. On the other hand, I cannot help but to assume that Black Lives Matter or any affiliated org appear to be pro-black ableists only, considering media coverage and the swift, large-scale responses to police brutality nationally and globally (like Bland, Gray, Brown, Martin, and Charleston Nine). I know the movement is not really trying not to exclude people with disabilities. I just wish that we, the black community, can put as much energy into justice for Troy Canales as we do for Sandra Bland in a global and national scale. That way, it can ensure that ALL black lives matter, and not have it appear to protect CERTAIN black lives.

And now to my other important question: where are people with disabilities in the movement and how are they involved?

Again, it’s a stupid question on the surface. But I must ask the question to see how inclusive and accessible some of the actions are. I’m certain that there is a plethora of black disabled activists, speaking out on blogs and social networks. However, I wonder if actions are accessible and inclusive to black activists with disabilities. Some desire to not only air their discontent with the treatment of the African Diaspora online, but also go out into the streets and contribute to social movements.

But do organizations think about how people in wheelchairs may need transportation to and from actions, how many sign language interpreters will be on site, which volunteers will be willing to be nurses for those who may need medical attention or nourishments, and other accommodations and services that may be requested? I’m not suggesting that Afrocentric pegs don’t care about the disabled. Yet, it is important to consider those who have special needs and accommodations so that they can utilize as much talent and power as possible, no matter what condition they may have. Otherwise, pegs may run the risk of losing people due to feeling excluded in the planning process because of their disability.

No worries, there are ways for Afrocentric orgs like Black Lives Matter to be as inclusive as possible:

- For starters, if someone disabled children and of color (especially black) faced police mistreatment, don’t just give commentaries on social networks. Whip out the petitions. Meet with legislators and organizations who are willing to fight for your cause. Write an op-Ed about the matter. Organize marches, protests, etc. Utilize our freedoms and powers in the First Amendment; the black disability community can sure use the support.

- When planning for actions, consider all the possible accommodations and services to provide to people with disabilities, even if there’s no one with disabilities in planning committee (though it will be nice to some in the committee for insight and different inputs). Look to see how accessible is the place to people with disabilities. Provide materials in many formats, such as large-print, close-caption, and Braille. Get a few sign language interpreters. Provide medical assistance via volunteer street nurses. Also ask an expert or someone with an disability for advice when it comes to finding ways to make actions accessibility and disability-friendly.

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.

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,

-Z