“Inspiration Porn” Objectifies People With Disabilities

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We’ve all read and shared the stories: a basketball coach “lets” the disabled team manager dress out and participate in the final seconds of the last game of the season, a senior with Down syndrome is elected prom queen, etc… I’ve even been known to share a few, myself, but lately they’ve been making me increasingly uncomfortable — not the … Read More

Because I Can

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I love Gianna. (Background: Jessen has the “gift of cerebral palsy” and walks with a limp.) Her tweet above reminds me of my response when people ask me “why don’t you use an electric wheelchair (it’s easier, you can move faster, etc…)?” “Because I can use my hands and arms,” I say. Maybe it’s prideful, but I’ve discovered that when … Read More


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Commenting on gender reassignment as “treatment” for people with gender identity issues a few years ago, Wesley Smith said: People want to be fulfilled and lead happy lives as “themselves.” Very well. But I also worry that once we accept the premise that we have a fundamental right to be physically remade to comport with how we feel about ourselves—and … Read More

Rehab Staff Helps Paralyzed Teen Get to Prom

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This is a great story: After helping Sami Simmons learn to adjust to life with a wheelchair, the staff at Rusk Rehabilitation Center was not going to let the Brunswick teen miss her junior prom. Sami was paralyzed from the waist down after she was ejected from her airborne 1997 GMC Jimmy during an October 2013 wreck. She was a … Read More

Actress With Down Syndrome Makes Fashion Week History

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American Horror Story actress Jamie Brewer made New York Fashion Week History when she strut her stuff down the runway this Thursday. Brewer is the first model with Down Syndrome to walk the fashion week’s catwalk. Brewer was part of designer Carrie Hammer’s “Role Models Not Runway Models” show, a project that invites inspiring women to showcase Hammer’s work. The … Read More

Making Parishes Welcoming to the Physically Challenged

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Recently Rebecca Frech drew attention to the accessibility problems that many of us still face in parishes throughout the country. What’s perhaps most surprising is that it’s not just old buildings that are a problem. Even some brand new or newly renovated structures don’t seem to take accessibility into account (and, it should be noted, churches do not, by law, … Read More

Nothing Sadder

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I totally missed this news from a few weeks ago. Apparently Jeopardy superstar, Ken Jennings, was under twitter fire for a comment he made about people in wheelchairs. Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair. — Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) September 22, 2014 *sigh* Nothing sadder than smart people saying really dumb things. Hey, Ken, I (and several people … Read More

Pope Francis Visits Children with Disabilities in Korea

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Before praying at the abortion memorial in Korea this weekend, Pope Francis also visited the “House of Hope” Rehabilitation Center Saturday afternoon. He spent almost an hour at the center where he embraced and blessed many of the patients and greeted teachers and health workers. According to CNA, Bishop Gabriel Chang Bong-huh, Bishop of Cheongju, addressed the Holy Father and … Read More

A Leak in the System

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Mary Evelyn at What Do You Do Dear? recalls what it was like when a little girl walked up to her son, who has spina bifida and is in a wheelchair, at church one day: And then, without taking her eyes from his face, she said “I feel sorry for him.” I felt it more than I heard it. Deep … Read More

“What It’s Like”

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I’ve written several of my own reflections about life in a wheelchair here. Today I thought I’d let someone else take the wheels, so to speak. Nine-year-old Ella is the daughter of author/blogger Rebecca French. Two years ago she was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. This year her condition has worsened to the point she finally needed a wheelchair. Last … Read More