Writer’s Café

Ouroboros – An Anxious Person’s Guide

I – Illness and Wellness Years ago, a dear friend told me how, each night, he used to sit with his then-fiancée on the floor of their closet for hours, holding her while she shook and shook with inexpressible fears. Another friend’s currently working full-time to support himself and his wife because her anxiety’s ... Read more

Do We Really Have to Go with the Flow? – The Reality behind Remittances

When I was an MA student at the University of Arkansas, I used to get calls every week from my friends in Morocco. “How much do you make a month?” they’d ask. I’d tell them, “1,300 US dollars.” This was the stipend I got from the Fulbright program. “Wow!” they’d exclaim. “$1,300! You’re rich ... Read more

Hateful Bodies: Dissatisfaction and Instagram

The never-ending carousel of changing beauty standards is now more intimate and personal as we live our lives in highly curated digital environments. This can be best illustrated by an unrealistic self-presentation on Instagram: A glass ceiling of perfection that incubates women’s insecurities, fracturing mental and emotional stability. Given this, we need to address ... Read more

Itto Outini — Blindness is the Light

Itto Outini is a multilingual accessibility advocate and human rights activist. Born and raised in the mountains of Morocco, she was deprived of education as a child. At 17, her uncle’s wife blinded her, and her family abandoned her in the hospital. She spent six years homeless before graduating from high school at 23 ... Read more

STEPPING UP

Sherri was in a nightmare! Unfortunately, not one that she could wake up from. Sherri was desperately trying to lessen her anxiety as she stood outside the side entrance to the bleak building housing the “Ambulatory Men’s Unit” of Lynchburg Training School and Hospital in late October 1974. She did not belong here. She’d ... Read more

Arushi Sahay — Social media empowers those with disabilities

Social media empowers those with disabilities to find a supportive community and share their stories to combat discrimination and the perpetuated ableist narrative.   Those without disabilities often have the preconceived notion that those with disabilities often struggle to become independent and successful. However, people with disabilities now have a powerful platform to reshape ... Read more

Spencer Staggers-Elmore — The practices within personal digital media

The practices within personal digital media concepts create a digital space that is primarily safe of unsolicited bias for many as long as digital space and media remain accessible to the public.   Within the realm of visual social media, an individual, regardless of the limit in one’s ability, is allowed the right of ... Read more

Kasturi Sarkar — Impact of visual social media on the integration of people with disabilities

What is the impact of visual social media on the integration of people with disabilities to our societies?   As a person without a disability, it is often difficult to understand the daily inconveniences faced by people with disabilities. I’m not proud to say that my understanding of accessibility started and ended with ramps ... Read more

Does Artificial Intelligence Impact Hiring People with Disabilities?

People with disabilities face significant disadvantages in the workforce. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), of all the employment discrimination cases filed in 2019, the most common claims involved disability-based discrimination (33.4%), closely followed by race and gender based discrimination. Today, a new form of employment discrimination causes concern: Artificial Intelligence ... Read more

A Sign Language Interpreter Walks Into a Comedy Club

My friend wanted to know why she wasn’t seeing me on TV. Seemed like everyone from the president on down had a signer “on hand” (apologies) for televised news conferences, standing six feet away or displayed in a corner bubble like Glinda from on high. “You know I haven’t done that in years,” I ... Read more

Emergency Preparedness for the Most Vulnerable Californians. Plan B?

Recently, my family had a scare. We had a fire threaten our property, our home in the mountains of Jamul, an unincorporated town in San Diego County. Contrary to most assumptions, potentially losing our houses on the property was not the actual scare. The scare was that my brother, Joaquin, who experiences severe autism ... Read more

Tweenage Angst

Seated in our sixth-grade classroom in Newton in the Fall of 1962, Jean, a pretty, tom-boyish girl, and my desk-pod mate, whispered that she wanted to dance with me at Mr. Champagne’s initial dance class after school. I was in the stratosphere over Jean’s, invitation, but wary as my dancing had been at best ... Read more

The Vineyard’s Voice

Before it was known for the ferry ride, blue-shell crab and tangerine sunsets, my home, Martha’s Vineyard, was occupied by the Wampanoag Indians. The tribe is still around and has its own trust lands on the southwest part of the Vineyard. The Island is about 20 miles long east to west, not even as ... Read more

New Immigration Policy Discriminates Against Disabled Immigrants Applying for Citizenship

Op-Ed As Ms. Kidny Nicolas strutted across the courtroom to receive her certificate of United States citizenship, I could feel the intense joy radiating from her smile and mahogany skin. Diagnosed in 1999 with a medical condition that caused partial blindness in both eyes, Kidny had required accommodations in every step of her citizenship ... Read more

Murray Dunlap Brings Poetry and Insight Out of Traumatic Brain Injury

An Imperfect Brain I define myself through curved glass With my wife, I feel permitted to smile If my brain allows, I communicate When it does not, meditation I spiral inward upon the reality Recovery does not exist The days are traumatic As time warbles on Stop Even through a curve This love is ... Read more

Speech to Text Can Reduce Back Pain and Stress

Chronic pain is a common symptom of those struggling with prolonged anxiety or anxiety disorders. This type of pain can vary in the way it displays itself, from headaches and migraines to the all-over muscle pain and fatigue often associated with conditions like fibromyalgia. Back pain is one of the most often seen manifestations ... Read more

Are Today’s Politicians Prepared for Another Capitol Climb?

For the last two hundred years, America has led the world in championing the rights of her disabled citizens. From civil rights to inclusion, activists have consistently demanded more equity and more equality. At every single turn legislators have, eventually, succumb to masterfully orchestrated pressure. What is yet to be answered, is whether or ... Read more

Beyond “Self Advocacy” — Basic Rights College Students with Disabilities Should Know

High school students with disabilities support their learning needs mainly through their parents’ advocacy. Upon entering college, however, a bombshell is dropped when these students are told their parents are no longer allowed to advocate for them. Colleges nationwide call this “self advocacy,” with the high-minded rationale that it is necessary and good for ... Read more

Writer Briana Beaver

“You inspire me” Next time these words are poised to roll off your tongue, I urge you to bite it. I’ve bloomed from child to teen and teen to adult on the receiving end of such commentary, and let me tell you, it doesn’t feel as uplifting as one might think. Much to the ... Read more

Richard Pimentel — Veterans Day

Message from Richard Pimentel presented at his Church on Veterans Day 2017 On Veterans Day I’m am told that I can get a free donut and coffee at Krispy Cream, a free dinner at Golden Corral and more trouble from my wife Debbie than I can possibly imagine by having free wings at Hooters. ... Read more