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.
With a huge swath of the country covered by mounds of snow, it’s time to face a seasonal truth: for wheelers, unless you’re skiing or otherwise playing in the snow, dealing with the snow and the cold stinks! Big wheels caked with snow. Small wheels covered in dirty slush. All four wheels bringing snow and […]
You can go through a whole week, maybe even a month, thinking that life is getting easier for people with disabilities. But then you come across some news items that jolt you off that cloud of delusion. Borrowing a page from Mr. Ripley, I present you with three recent news items and challenge you to […]
It feels like a cyber assault these last couple of days every time I signed into my email account and find countless, screaming offers for CYBER MONDAY DEALS! BIG DISCOUNTS! FREE SHIPPING! ONE-OF-A KIND SAVINGS! Whoa. How much online Christmas shopping can one person handle? As it turns out – quite a lot. But I […]
My appointment for the dreaded annual mammogram is coming up fast. (Note to self: start praying now for a blinding blizzard to hit that morning.) It doesn’t make much sense that after all the medical challenges I’ve endured, my knees buckle (figuratively not literally, folks) at the thought of this X-ray. I’m sure most women […]
I blogged recently about making the decision to switch from car to wheelchair van, and since vans are out-of-the world expensive, I’ve been checking other alternatives – like public transportation. Unfortunately, I don’t live anywhere near a bus stop, and even if I did, I’d bet that half the time, according to many stories I’ve […]
How do you handle the embarrassing situation when a stranger pushes your wheelchair out on the dance floor with your permission?
We celebrated a big family wedding over the weekend with the ceremony and reception held at a hotel built in the early 1900s. I worry about access when a building is described as “a fine example of French Renaissance style of architecture.” Since the celebration would continue into the wee hours, we decided to book […]
Anyone surprised by a recent study that found voters with disabilities still face significant barriers trying to vote in federal elections? That nearly 40 percent of those surveyed said they face physical barriers to the polling place and 45 percent said they had problems with the voting machines? The cynic in me is only surprised […]
I may be retired from journalism, but the topic of how media covers issues important to the disability community still ranks high on my list of worries. So last week I got up very early from my nice, warm bed and headed over to a local college campus for a conference on that very subject. […]
There’s an interesting “People in the News” item in the current issue of New Mobility about writers with disabilities. Caitlin Wood created Criptique to showcase the writings of those “who push boundaries and go beyond traditional conceptions of disability,” she explained in the article. Wood mentions three women whose writings she particularly admires, and I’m […]