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.

Fight Against Use of Disabled, Handicapped Terms

Fight Against Use of Disabled, Handicapped Terms

What’s your preference: Do you want to be described as disabled? Handicapped? Wheelchair user? PWD? Crip? You’d probably like to avoid all labels, but in our stereotype-obsessed culture, that’s impossible.  Still, Juliet Martinez , Arizona’s Ms. Wheelchair America 2014, is challenging her state to stop using terms she believes limit the perception of what people […]

Cruising Alaska in a Wheelchair

Cruising Alaska in a Wheelchair

Rugged Alaska can be an unforgettable journey for wheelers — with smart planning.

Books About Disability for Children

Books About Disability for Children

When I was raising my family, I couldn’t find children’s books that addressed the issue of disability in smart, eye-opening ways. There were books on just about every other subject a child could be interested in, but none I felt would open the door for a conversation about disability in language that kids understand and […]

Big Cheer for Wheelchair Cheerleaders

Big Cheer for Wheelchair Cheerleaders

I hardly ever mention what I’m about to disclose out of fear people will laugh at me. Looking back on my life, I have a hard time believing I did it. But the truth is, I once was a cheerleader. That’s right, a wheelchair cheerleader during my college years at the University of Illinois — […]

Broadway to be More Accommodating

Broadway to be More Accommodating

Good news for Broadway lovers: some theaters are going to be more accessible. The feds have brokered an agreement with the powerful Nederlander Organization to improve access at nine of its Broadway theaters after finding numerous ADA violations. It took years of negotiation, but the company has agreed to add wheelchair seating locations; provide more […]

Demand More Paralympics Coverage

Demand More Paralympics Coverage

Media don’t consider the Paralympics a serious sporting event, so coverage is limited unless we speak up and demand more TV reports and sports articles.

Stuck Inside this Winter? Here are Some Ideas

Stuck Inside this Winter? Here are Some Ideas

As I write this, the winds are blowing fiercely and the snow is piling up like icy sand dunes  — just another winter’s day in the frigid northeastern U.S. Winter always seems like the longest season of the year but in 2014, it appears as if this extreme weather will never end. Since I work […]

Pushing for American Girl Doll in Wheelchair

Pushing for American Girl Doll in Wheelchair

When my family was growing up a decade or so ago, American Girl dolls were big. The girls loved reading the books that told the story of a doll that represented a specific historical era. Mostly, though, they lusted after all the very expensive clothing, accessories and furniture displayed in the slick catalog. One year, […]

Person of Year's Belize Adventure

Person of Year’s Belize Adventure

When I interviewed Deborah Davis for New Mobility’s Person of the Year profile, she was about to leave for Belize — yet another travel adventure for this dynamic, daring woman. If you’re like me and have no clue where Belize is located, here’s what I learned: The country is on the northeastern coast of Central […]

Media's Seasonal 'Pity Party'

Media’s Seasonal ‘Pity Party’

Serious breaking news is typically slow between Christmas Eve and the days following New Year’s, and that makes it difficult for editors who must fill daily TV news broadcasts and newspaper pages. Since the staples of the season — weather reports and holiday spending stories — take up only so much space and time, media […]