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.

NPR's Interview with Disabled Travel Expert

NPR’s Interview with Disabled Travel Expert

Carole Zoom has the perfect name for a person who loves to travel and write about it. She’s been all over the world — Spain, China, Argentina, Ireland,  Denmark — and has become an expert at traveling with a disability. In fact, she was featured in a segment on NPR recently, which opened thusly: “Planning […]

From the ER to the OR With Weeks in Between

From the ER to the OR With Weeks in Between

A few weeks ago I wrote about a friend with osteogenesis imperfecta — or brittle bone disease — who went to the ER after breaking her arm at work. She’s had hundreds of fractures over the years, and this latest was a bone that had been broken and repaired surgically several years ago. She knows […]

Discovering the San Juan Islands

Discovering the San Juan Islands

Beautiful, serene and unspoiled, Washington state’s San Juan Islands are easy to reach — and mostly wheelchair accessible.

Sex and the School Board Candidate

Sex and the School Board Candidate

Angela J. Bray campaigned for a seat on the Niagara Falls School Board in New York — but lost. I wouldn’t be surprised if the openness she displays about her sexuality as a disabled woman convinced voters to cast their ballots for someone else. Headlines in local newspapers certainly didn’t help: “Disabled Model, Sex Coach […]

Laughter Yoga for a Healthier You

Laughter Yoga for a Healthier You

Countless times I’ve been urged to take an adaptive yoga class to reduce stress and, hopefully, be healthier. But meditation and yoga poses never interested me until I heard about Laughter Yoga at the recent Abilities Expo at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center. Laughter Yoga, really? Beth Bongar, who calls herself the Laughing […]

On 'The Good Wife,' Disabled Actors Play the 'Bad Guys'

On ‘The Good Wife,’ Disabled Actors Play the ‘Bad Guys’

Imagine my surprise the other night when watching the latest episode of “The Good Wife” and seeing two bona fide actors with disabilities playing two characters with disabilities. The bigger surprise was that neither character was inspirational nor sad and pathetic. They were just plain bad guys! Michael J. Fox has a recurring role on […]

My Love/Hate Relationship With Hotels

My Love/Hate Relationship With Hotels

I love hotels. I hate hotels. Know the feeling? While adventure travel is big business these days, for wheelers “adventure” often implies something different: access problems. What’s most frustrating about hotels is how inconsistent they are. Case in point: over the winter I took a break from the cold and snow and headed to the […]

At Work, Are You Just One of the Workers — or 'Special'?

At Work, Are You Just One of the Workers — or ‘Special’?

For most of us, work is the key to independence and self-worth. Our jobs get us out of bed every day allowing us to share our skills and talents. From 9 to 5, we’d like to believe we’re just one of many workers getting paid to be productive. Or, are we fooling ourselves? The syndicated […]

Can a Doctor Refuse Treatment?

Can a Doctor Refuse Treatment?

What happens if a doctor refuses to treat you? That happened to a friend, a wheelchair user with osteogenesis imperfecta (or brittle bone disease).  My friend, like others with OI, has had countless bone fractures.  Recently, she broke her arm as she was reaching for a pencil while working with a group of young students […]

Behind the Wheel of a New Van

Behind the Wheel of a New Van

Wow, am I sitting up high now!  So high in fact, I can see over almost all the other vehicles on the road. What a feeling of power behind the wheel!  It’s also one of the benefits of ditching my much smaller and lower Honda Civic for a  newly equipped and very accessible van. I’ve […]