RJ Mitte Issue

ABILITY Magazine Cover RJ Mitte issue

Mean Little Deaf Queer — Terry Galloway

Circa 2009 One side effect of my deafness is that I’m always presuming a physical intimacy, usually where there is none. It can get me into trouble and often has. I can’t tell you the number of ill-conceived affairs I’ve had as an adult that started with me putting my hand on someone’s collarbone ... Read more

(CP) Cerebral Palsy

Circa 2009 Cerebral palsy (CP) shows itself in different ways and with varying severity, and the manifestations of CP are usually recognized before the age of three. CP affects the brain’s control of the muscles; thus, poor coordination (ataxia) of one or more limbs is the characteristic manifestation. The effects may be hardly noticeable, ... Read more

RJ Mitte — Breaking Bad Is Good

Circa 2009 If you haven’t seen AMC’s Breaking Bad, you should. There is a reason it has garnered 5 Emmy nominations this year alone. The show follows Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife (Anna Gunn) and teenage son (RJ Mitte) who has cerebral palsy. White ... Read more

Landmines — Jerry White’s Survivor Corps Mission

Circa 2009 During a hike in the hills of Israel, a chance encounter with a landmine left Jerry White with a new view on life. White placed his focus not on what had been taken from him, but on how his personal experience and passion could make the world safer for others. In 1997 ... Read more

Marriott’s — Bridges To Work

Circa 2009 Finding a job is not easy work. But as executive director of the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities, Tad Asbury has helped a countless number of high school students with physical, developmental and learning challenges find their way into the competitive working world and onto a path of personal achievement. With ... Read more

Ability To Help — My First Chance To Volunteer

Circa 2009 On June 17, 2009, I had an extremely inspiring and motivating experience. The obvious expectation is that I would be referencing my high school graduation, which took place that afternoon; but that’s not the case. While the majority of my peers were busy primping for the pomp and circumstance to come, I ... Read more

Brazil — UN Convention Struggle

In 2007, an election year full of internal political turmoil and very few votes in the Brazilian Congress, the movement of people with disabilities set an example of citizenship, organization, union and strength, by managing to pass—in a record time of nine months— the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Because ... Read more

Un Convention — Words From The Whitehouse

Circa 2009 The United States signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at United Nations Headquarters, July 30, 2009. US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice signed the CRPD on behalf of the US. This Treaty, the first human rights convention of the 21st century adopted by the United ... Read more

Independent Living — Interview With Louis Frick

Circa 2009 California is often looked at by the rest of the country and maybe the world, as a leader and an innovator. In the ’60s and ’70s Berkeley was known as the home of radical politics and progressive social movements. Mario Savio and the 1964 free speech movement set the tone that led ... Read more

Asthma — Cat Got Your Lungs?

Circa 2009 It always starts at night. I wake up groggy, wondering if I heard a sound, or if my cat, Basil, curled up on my legs again and woke me. I’m a light sleeper. After that first hour of deep sleep, anything can stir me from slumber. But this time, it only takes ... Read more

Chuck U — Performing Arts Studio West Actors’ Class

Circa 2009 Walking into an audition is a daunting challenge for any performer, but for actors with physical or developmental disabilities, the experience can be even more overwhelming. Not only are roles of characters with disabilities in short supply in film and television, they tend to be highly coveted by actors who do not ... Read more

Sobel Foundation — How To Nurture Good News

Circa 2009 It is the summer of 2009 and the euphoria of the election is receding. Yesterday I felt guarded optimism. Today CNN flashes news of 10 percent unemployment and roller coaster markets. A neighbor I bumped into buying batteries at the variety store shares the news about another foreclosure in our little village–a ... Read more

Ashley’s Column — Stop The Presses

Circa 2009 I am sitting in downtown LA right now at my hotel which is about ten minutes away from the Home Depot Center. I am one of the many athletes waiting to take part in X Games 15. This is my second year invited to attend, but my first year competing because I ... Read more

Senator Harkin — ADA: 19 Years Of Progress

Circa 2009 ADA: 19 YEARS OF PROGRESS At the end of July, we commemorated the 19th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)—the landmark civil rights law securing the rights of people with disabilities. As chief Senate sponsor of this legislation, I remember the day it was signed into law—July 26, 1990—as one ... Read more

Humor — Too Sexy For My Chair

Circa 2009 What do you think of people with disabilities? I mean, are they attractive folks? Wow, what a crazy question. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but to ask it. I’m a disabled dude in a wheelchair, so I’ve often wondered how people see me. For the most part, I’ve been pretty lucky over ... Read more