Thursday, January 22, 2009

Insomnia Turns Mild Mannered Woman into Lover of Fighters of Foo!

Ok, ok, so I have always loved the Foo Fighters but it is true that my lack of melatonin bliss has made me a little quirky or at least more so than usual.

I have tried warm milk which just gave me indigestion, sleeping pills that knock me out for exactly 2 hours and I am back up again. I have tried journaling. I have even tried staying up all night well into the next day in the hopes that delirium will knock my insomniatic behind out for about six hours.

Ok, I confess I sleep just fine during the day…there I have said it. I have turned into a Vampire! I am sure it will work itself out. Winter always kinda gives me the blahs anyway...I am a summer girl through and through(must be the leo sun sign thing ;).

Maybe my body is still celebrating the freedom of school and having to be somewhere at a certain time or the fact that we are in a new house, but at least I am still productive. Since my laptop is down and we only have one computer and my daughter is home schooled, she gets on the computer during the day for school and I go to work at night (I work from home) It makes it kind of hard when you have to call people but it is only till I either get the laptop fixed or I get a new one, which ever comes first…LOL or maybe I should just rent one ;)

I am also getting my house together, drawing, writing and even shooting a couple of people (with my camera of course). I really miss all my friends at school and being in class though. I am a social creature despite being a Fighters of Foo loving vampire. Maybe it is time to FINALLY set up that party I have been wanting to have.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Many Disabled Americans Share This Minority Victory on Inauguration Day

While I have never been spit on, enslaved or beaten and I have never experienced the bold disdain for being disabled I still identify with the discrimination that many African Americans face. You see, in my life, I have been asked to leave a restaurant by a manager who claimed that my presence was upsetting the other patrons. I have been denied access to classroom activities in school. I know what it is like to have teachers refuse to have me in their class rooms and I have also been denied jobs I was qualified for. I have tasted the bitterness of discrimination and I have witnessed first hand the heart wrenching abuse of those who have in history been viewed as less than human.

In our American history disabled people have been enslaved, imprisoned and euthanized. Cases among cases go to court every year over sterilization and institutionalization and the right to live.

I will never forget Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks but I will also not forget Terri Schiavo and the bitter fight her parents gave to keep her alive and the failure of our system to not only rule on the side of life but to allow a woman to starve in her bed. While Thomas Condon will spend 2.5 years in prison for gross abuse of a corpse for taking pictures. There is a grey distorted line in what is sacred.

While Obama isn’t a super hero and he is not going to change things over night this Inauguration day is a celebration of the changes and the strides we have made in our society. A Black man is our President and he represents that we can all achieve regardless of our condition. He represents how attitudes can change and America is paving the way for a more tolerant and accepting generation that can take diversity and use it to bridge gaps. He represents the “Dream” that Martin Luther King had. So while he may not be a super hero that is going to replenish our economy over night or rid the world of her evils and bring world peace, President Obama is still an American Hero and his inspiration could become contagious and we could all work together to usher in a new America, and the change that she so desperately needs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Accessibility a Disappointment for the Biggest Inauguration of Our Time

This Election Day was an exciting and proud day for all minorities. Obama’s win is a profound example of how the face of America has changed over the last five decades. It is a representation of true equality and equal access to the greatest job anyone could have in the United States of America.

This January 20th America will unite to swear in her very first African American President marking this Inauguration the biggest of our time. Despite claims of being the most accessible of inaugurations the International Press takes notice that equal access unfortunately does not apply; including seniors, the disabled and parents of young children, it's going to be a fierce challenge to see Barack Obama take the oath of office.

Washington Metro has warned that the days before, during and after the Inauguration crowds and security conditions will limit access of service. Station escalators will be turned off which means long lines at elevators that are needed for wheelchairs, strollers and the elderly. Washington Metro went as far as to advise all those who need assistance or special accommodations avoid coming downtown Washington on these days.

What about the challenged people who work downtown?

Then once people in wheelchairs or with walkers get to the site where swearing-in is due to take place, they will be met with the challenge of bumpy surfaces, grassy areas, and possible weather issues not to mention the challenge of inaccessible porta-potties and limited accessible restrooms. Backpacks and diaper bags are banned from the seated area on the National Mall as well as push chairs such as wheelchairs and strollers.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Technology Exceeds Health Care Service and Repair

As you know, I work for a technology rental firm, and the service that they provide is invaluable to the traveling business person that has to jet all around the country and even the world for presentations or meetings. For example if you have a presentation to give in Miami you could have all your audio visual needs set up and ready to go when you get there. You can even have a laptop waiting for you with all the software you need waiting for you at your hotel.

As a disabled person I truly wish that all services could be made this worry free. Over the holidays I had the joy of not only wrestling with a Winn 32 Worm but I also had wheelchair battery go bad. I would charge it over night and be dead within the hour and I would have to charge it again. What a nightmare to be reliant on technology for daily functions. I called 7 different companies in a 20 mile radius and the ones that carried my batteries would either not accept my insurance or want up to $250.00 up front.

My insurance is willing to pay 80%. After three weeks of searching, arguing, calling insurance companies I finally found a company in Covington KY who traded my bad batteries for new ones and I paid no money up front. They even took the time out to answer my questions as to why they were willing to work with my insurance and all these other companies would not. We come to the conclusion that many health supply companies must be suffering and cannot wait for a insurance pay out when the possibility of getting cash upfront is presented. I had paid cash for my wheelchair so I imagine it was easy to assume that if I have the resources to buy a whole scooter, then batteries should be no problem. My situation three years ago was completely different.

Moral of the story is good companies are out there if you shop around for them. Given the right resources people with disabilities are able to do just about anything. However independence is fragile. So I find myself hoping that concept of worry free technology rental will become contagious in other areas and become the next new craze!

So my wheelchair and my computer are back up and running and I am running all over the place. I have new lessons learned and some inspiration to do a little research on why it was so difficult for me to get batteries. I am sure this is not just isolated in one area. What are your thoughts?