Sign with a handprint that reads "NOLA Disability Pride Festival" hanging on a wrought iron gate.

I Celebrate Disability Pride, But Am I Really Proud of My Mental Illness?

When advertising for this year’s New Orleans Disability Pride Festival I was blown away by the positive responses we received, but there was one outlier expressing their disapproval whose words I just cannot shake. Amid the cries of “This is…
a gavel resting in front of a scale.

Florida’s New “School Safety” Law Discriminates Against Students With Mental Illnesses

Note: In an effort not to conflate the specific legal meanings of “mental illness” with the intentionally broad umbrella term “neurodivergent,” the following article predominantly uses the terms “mental health” and “mental illness” rather than “neurodivergent.” However, in certain cases…
A teacher at the front of the class pointing who a student whose hand is raised. There is a group of students sitting in front of the teacher at their desks.

Have Schools Become More Inclusive and Accessible in the Last 28 Years?

When I started school in the Malden public school system just outside Boston, Massachusetts in the late 1990s, accessibility and accommodations in the classroom were a significant challenge. It’s now been 28 years since the the Americans with Disabilities Act
A pile of newspapers spread out over one another. The text is blurred and unreadable.

If You’re Writing About Disability, You Need to Read These Guidelines

Sometimes I imagine what the media’s typical coverage of disability might say if it was written about me—covering the two proms I went to with my girlfriend in high school, celebrating my ability to graduate from college after almost failing
A child's drawing of a rainbow. Below the rainbow are two stick figures. One is Miss Scrader and one is Luis.

How Do We Bring Social Justice to Special Education? With Love.

“What’s the Matter?” [Child sobbing under his desk] “They said I killed the worms, but I swear I didn’t kill the worms!” “Don’t worry, I believe you.” “[Sniff] But they’re gonna tell the principal that I killed the worms!” “That’s…
A pride flag waving in the air against the background of a bright blue cloudy sky.

How Can I Feel Proud When LGBTQIA+ Pride Events Exclude Me?

It’s June, which means it’s Pride season! My queer little heart will always get excited about this time of year, but it’s also painful. It’s been a long time since I have participated in a Pride celebration. I’ve identified as…
Alaina, a white thin femme person, standing in front of a crowd at Pride in Boston. She is wearing a dress with rainbow castles all over it. I have long hair that is dark brown on top and a mix of blues and purples on the bottom. She is standing with hert lavender cane with a rainbow flag attached to it, and smiling.

If Your LGBTQIA+ Pride Event Isn’t Accessible to Disabled People, You’re Missing Out.

Like many other disabled people, one of the first questions I ask when I’m making plans is, “Will this be accessible?” And as much as I love going to celebrate at Pride events, the answer is often, “No, or pretty
A row of red emergency alarms mounted to a brick wall.

In Case of Emergency, What Happens to Disabled Students?

One of my most vivid third grade memories involves a fire drill. While the bells clamored overhead, we dutifully streamed out the door of our ground-level classroom, proceeding down the ramp to our required assembly point on the playground, near…
Black and white drawing of hands raised up in different protest gestures. One holds a sign that says "no" in bold red letters.

Can We Stop Arguing About the “Right Way” to Be a Disability Activist?

There is more than one way to do disability activism. This should be obvious, but needs repeating. There are plenty of internal arguments inside the disability community, about race, gender, sexual orientation, age, social class, and disability type, not to…