What’s a Writer to Do?

As I was checking the final edits in my next book, Resting Easy in the US; Unique Lodging Options for Wheelers and Slow Walkers, I encountered an unexpected ethical dilemma. Let’s just chalk it all up to bad timing, as Indiana’s governor had also just signed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. Continue reading

Why You Should Bother to File an ADA Complaint

I get a lot of feedback from my readers, and a good chunk of it pertains to what I call “access shortfalls”. In most cases the incident usually involves a hotel or other travel related business that failed to provide appropriate access. And although the degree of severity varies from case to case, my advice is usually the same; “File a complaint with the Depart of Justice (DOJ) for a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Unfortunately that sage advice is usually met with a deafening silence. Continue reading

My Year of Giving

My year of giving all started with a random drawing. I don’t enter these things often, but this one really appealed to me. In addition to receiving a Tiffany’s gift certificate, the winners also got to designate a $100 donation to the charity of their choice. Jewelry and charity — it sounded like a winning combination to me!

And lo and behold I won. I bought a beautiful silver heart necklace, and the Orange Duffel Bag Initiative received a $100 donation on my behalf. I chose that charity because my friend Echo supports it. It’s a great organization — they help kids who are homeless, in foster care, or who are living in high poverty prepare for college.

And then the little wheels in my head began to turn. I reasoned that since I easily waste $100 a month, that money could be put to much better use if I donated it to a worthy cause. But how do I find these causes? And then it hit me — I’ll let my friends choose them. And that’s exactly what I did. Over the course of 2014, I donated $100 every month to an organization or cause that one of my friends supported or benefited from. In the end I think it worked out great.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing this to toot my own horn. Instead I’m sharing my story in hopes that some of my friends will do the same thing next year. Granted it doesn’t have to be $100 — give whatever you can afford. Or if you can’t afford to give cash, give of your time — everybody needs volunteers. And if you can’t give, then simply share my story, so others will be encouraged to give.

In any case, here’s how my donations played out on a month-by-month basis. I’m going to do the same thing in 2015, and I invite everyone to join me. We can make a difference — one person at a time. Continue reading

What’s Up With This Accessible Parking Spot?

"Accessible" parking spot in New Hope, PA?

I see a lot of different things as I cross the country, but this “accessible” parking spot really made me scratch my head yesterday. It is across the street from the New Hope, PA Visitors Center, and as far as I can tell it’s one of the very few accessible spots in town. Continue reading

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

What's wrong with this shower? It's not wheelchai-accessible, as the innkeepers claim.

Remember that game you used to play in Highlights Magazine? The one where you’d circle the things that were wrong with an innocuous looking picture? Well, today we are going to play the adult version. It’s called “What’s Wrong with this ‘Accessible’ Shower?” Continue reading

Manhattan Elite Using Accessible Tour Service to Cut Disney Lines

Every now and then I run across a story that just really irks me. Such is the case with the New York Post story about the wealthy Manhattan moms that are using Dream Tours accessible guide services to cut to the front of the lines at Disney parks. And what irritates me the most, is that there’s seemingly nothing technically wrong with it. That said, it just shouldn’t be happening. Continue reading

The Joys of Traveling with a Disability?

Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel; in fact I’ve spent a good part of my life encouraging everyone to get out and explore the world. Not only does travel broaden your horizons, but it also expands your understanding of the global community. Plus it’s just kind of fun. Continue reading

Proposed Arizona Law Problematic for People with Disabilities

The debate rages on in Arizona, over whether a person who identifies with a specific gender should be able to use the restroom of that gender. In fact, if Republicans have their way, transgender people will have to use the restroom of the gender stated on their birth certificate, or else face jail time.

Not exactly a disability issue, you say? Well, think again. Continue reading

An Open Letter to Stock Clerks Everywhere

I realize that this time of year can be very busy for you, but I’d like to take a moment to point out an all too common mistake that turns a perfectly accessible store into one that wheelchair-users simply can’t use. And it’s a mistake that you’re directly contributing to, by the way you do your job. Continue reading

US Senate Votes Against Disability Rights

In a disappointing vote today, the US Senate failed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Seen as a basic human rights treaty by the 126 nations that have already ratified it – including Iran, Syria and China – this international treaty works to protect the rights and dignity of people with disabilities. Continue reading