RSSAuthor Archive for Sue LoTempio

Since it's difficult to trust mainstream media to accurately tell the story of living with a disability in America, SpokeSpeak will go behind the headlines and add context, commentary and snarky viewpoints on the day's news and other happenings. Susan LoTempio, a long-time newspaper writer and editor, has published articles on the disability experience in New Mobility, the New York Times and other national newspapers and magazines. Her biggest joys come from her family and friends; her biggest frustrations come from trying to explain to doctors under the age of 50 what polio is and why they should care about it.

Dems to Tammy Duckworth: No Accommodation

Dems to Tammy Duckworth: No Accommodation

Tammy Duckworth — congresswoman, double amputee, Iraq war veteran, mother-to-be — recently asked her Democratic boss in Congress to accommodate her. It seems that Duckworth’s doctor advised her not to travel during the last weeks of her high-risk pregnancy, and she wanted to cast her vote in the elections for House Democratic Caucus leadership and […]

When Discrimination Happens to You

When Discrimination Happens to You

We all know that discrimination exists in the real world, but when it happens to you, it’s like a hard slap in the face. Here’s what happened to me recently: For years I’ve had Botox bladder injections at my urologist’s office. It was easy, low-stress and cost-effective. But when I called the office a few […]

Sled Hockey Team Gets Ice Time

Sled Hockey Team Gets Ice Time

Sometimes good comes out of bad. Just ask the sled hockey team that plays at the Depew Ice Pavilion, located right outside Buffalo, N.Y. That rink recently was retrofitted to make it accessible for the disabled hockey athletes, but it’s where the money came from to pay for the accommodations that’s unusual. The former treasurer […]

October's Focus: Jobs and Disability

October’s Focus: Jobs and Disability

It’s truly sad that only during the month of October, aka National Disability Employment Awareness Month, is attention officially paid to the critical issue of jobs and the disability community. The problem is, after all, huge: The U.S. Department of Labor reports that about eight in 10 working-age Americans with disabilities don’t hold a job, […]

Meet the Amazing Amy Van Dyken-Rouen

Meet the Amazing Amy Van Dyken-Rouen

Have you heard about Amy Van Dyken-Rouen? I just found out what an amazing athlete she is: six Gold medals in Olympic swimming competitions, four at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, and two at the Sydney Games in 2000. In 1996, she was the most successful athlete of those Olympics winning the most medals of […]

Kayne West vs. His Disabled Fans

Kayne West vs. His Disabled Fans

I normally don’t pay an ounce of attention to Kayne West and his vapid wife, but when the news broke over the weekend about his bullish behavior at the concert in Sydney, Australia, there was no ignoring him. For those who missed it, here’s a recap: West ordered everyone in the audience to stand up […]

Stop Sending Disabled Kids to "Special Land"

Stop Sending Disabled Kids to “Special Land”

Kids head back to school this week bursting with stories about their summer fun — swimming, hiking, biking, roasting marshmallows around the fire, telling ghost stories during camping trips. You have to wonder, though — do disabled kids have as many stories to tell or did they spend most of their summer indoors, in front […]

Where are the disabled in TV ads?

Where are the disabled in TV ads?

A friend tells me I go out of my way to make things harder for myself, so when I recently needed a new washing machine, I purchased a front-loader. Believe me, it makes doing laundry almost bearable. So, if it works for me, wouldn’t many others benefit — disabled and non-disabled alike (i.e., short and […]

Trouble on the Streets of New York City

Trouble on the Streets of New York City

Last time I visited New York City, I was frustratingly reminded how tough the place is for wheelers. Besides the millions of walking people packing streets and crosswalks, Manhattan’s curb cuts are either nonexistent or in terrible shape. (If you’re lucky, there’s one useable curb cut at a major intersection.) Sidewalks are ragged and bumpy, […]

Emergency Preparedness: Are You Ready for a Disaster?

Emergency Preparedness: Are You Ready for a Disaster?

Do you know what you’d do if your life was threatened by a disaster? Though the headlines rarely report it, too many people with disabilities died during the blockbuster storms Katrina, Sandy and Irene. We may never know how many died, were injured or left homeless by the tornadoes that recently ripped through the middle […]