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The Coney Thing: Our Go-To Gadgets That Make Life Better


I hope you all had a lovely holiday, whatever you were celebrating. I celebrate the Solstice, but also Christmas because my family does. My favorite present this year was from a dear friend, a Tupperware garlic press with an ergonomic handle that will make short work of the fresh garlic I love to put in my cooking. That was the most dreaded part of meal prep for me before; my sad $5 garlic press was hard to use and it was starting to flake paint into my food. My new press is ideal for my damaged hand. It will make me forget my hand is even a problem.



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Using Accessibility Features When You Don’t Look Like You Need To

Here is a story that many of you will relate to. My friend Alice went to a local variety store to shop, and took the one remaining handicap parking space. She hung her blue (permanent) placard on the mirror stem and got out of the car. As she walked toward the door, a woman she didn’t know stepped in front of her and screamed in her face that she was using a handicap space illegally. This woman did not need the space, she simply took it upon herself to notice Alice’s activity, judge it, and mete out her punishment—in this case, beating my friend with a large purse. (Alice did charge the woman with assault.)



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What the Health-Privileged Don’t Understand: There’s Buildup Activity and Tear-Down Activity

I got a question from my boss a few years ago, the owner of a company I contract to part-time. He wanted me to do some field work that was too physically strenuous and involved sleeping in a small-town motel where the odds of a good bed were poor. I declined the work because it wasn’t worth the pay rate for the recovery time it was going to take. My boss said, “I don’t understand how you can go on these long bike trips but you can’t do field work.” To him, it resembled situational ethics, where the context influences your interpretation of the rules.



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Open Season On ACA Health Plan Enrollment; What About Us?

I hadn’t planned to get into the heavy stuff this quickly, but it’s what’s on my mind and heart this week, and I don’t seem to be able to write anything else. This is the tip of a very big iceberg involving work, disability, poverty, what it’s like to obtain and receive social services… the list goes on. This week I’ll just share the nightmare I went through and hope it spares someone else from making the same mistake.



General

Are You One of Us? Welcome to Our Hidden DisAbilities!


Hello, I’m Kristin. You may have heard my story already; telling it feels like all I do sometimes. It’s one of those stories that instantly tops every other story in the room. People fall silent and I squirm under the unwanted spotlight. I’ve learned to share only when it has a purpose.

Recently I rode along to a volunteer event with a new guy. We made our intros well enough, then the small talk fizzled rapidly. The silence grew uncomfortable and “Jeff” started asking the traditional social questions. I sighed and said, “You go first, I’m a lot to take in and people tend to clam up after I talk.”