All posts by sheilarad78

About sheilarad78

A powerful and inspirational speaker, that has a fierce conviction against adversity, initiates change. An activist with a strong academic foundation and continued professional development, who challenges institutional standards through actions and words, is dedicated to empowering children, adults and community through training, education and support.

Medical Advocacy

This past fall I went to a conference in Boston and one of the panels spoke about medical care for people with disabilities. This made me realize that as a person with a disability it was important for me to stay up to date on my medical care. This promoted me to make my annual exam. I realized something that was not happening for me when I went in for regular doctors appointment was getting my blood pressure checked. This particular task is a bit of a project for me as I do not have arms and need to have my blood pressure down on my leg. When I was in graduate school I had a horrible experience with nurses who did not how to take blood pressure on me. And even worse were trying to make me go on medication when they didn’t know what they were doing. As it turns out they were not taking my blood pressure correctly and that is why it was perceived for me to have high blood pressure. That experience taught me to educate myself more about blood pressure and doctors responsibilities.

After that I did educate my doctors about blood pressure and how to do it on me but for some reason in seven years my blood pressure had been taken only once. I don’t have concerns about it but high blood pressures is in my family so it really should be happening especially since it’s a standard thing to do at an annual exam. Apparently though it is not a standard thing to do if you have a disability. So I went for my doctors appointment this week and I told them you haven’t taken my blood pressure in six years. The nurse was apologetic and then proceeded to justify why they hadn’t done it. They probably were too embarrassed to ask you how. The bigger question for me is why are they not educated. I except that with my disability I tend to have to teach the world how I do stuff or how things get done for me and I guess at a doctors appointment it’s no different. That day I taught the nurse how one does blood pressure on a leg. Explained to her that you can’t just use any cuff and I need to be laying down otherwise I will probably have high blood pressure.

For me this is then just a minor thing to have to deal with but other people with disabilities deal with more major issues. It is 2013 people with disabilities are not getting adequate medical care because of ignorance and lack of education. When I listened to the panel on medical advocacy it was outrageous the things that have happened to other people with disabilities around medical care .At this point in my life I’m thankful for the amazing medical care that I’ve received. I am also thankful that I have the ability to advocate for myself and have been able to avoid some major issues. We need to remember the doctors don’t know everything and as a patient we have the right to question them. They need to be able to give us informed information about our care. They also need to be providing us with the same care that they get every other one of their patients regardless if that means they need new equipment or education.

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Recognize

Look around and see that everything works for you and nothing for me

Life’s basic rights are often denied to me and you never see

Your structures make assumptions on how another must function

Why isn’t it possible for you to entertain another way

It would cost you nothing to give me equal footing

Yet you hold back and complicate the way

If that is your position then step back get out-of-the-way

I will find the solution as I always must

Bending parts, keeping parts and splitting parts and knew

Life’s basic rights are for the many not the few

Recognize you will

Stand beside you must

Change is coming through

It is a must

 

Change

Change is in us

change is around us

change is because of us

 

In us we hold the power

the intent of our change is within

we only need to let it loose

 

Around us power is everywhere

our intent impacts the change

we only need to visualize it

 

Our power makes the change

where do you see yourself going

let it loose, visualize it, and it happens

 

The change is starting

the change can be small or large

the change can pass you by

 

Look within yourself

open the doors to change

close the doors of fear

 

Harness the power within

Harness the power around

Harness the power because of us

 

The energy is growing hold it

mold the energy with intent

go forward with it

 

Change, power, energy

is in us

is around us

is because of us

 

I love the positive thoughts of this poem!

A short poem I wrote.

I am more.
I am more than the colour of my hair.
I am more than the clothes and shoes that I wear.
I am more than a number on a scale.
I more than whether my skin is dark or pale.
I am more than the religion I believe. 
I am more than the pocket money I receive.
I am more than whether I’m a girl or a guy.
I am more than whether I’m loud or shy.
I am more than the acne on my face.
I am more than just a country, just a race.
I more than my grades at school.
I am more than how popularity deems me cool.
I am more than the accent I have.
I am more than a ‘posh snob’ or a ‘chav’.
I more than the wheelchair I ride.
But you cannot see that…

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Thrive: Empowering Young Women with Disabilities

Massachusetts Easter Seals piloted a program this weekend in Boston called Thrive: Empowering Young Women with Disabilities. The program paired young women with disabilities with women mentors with disabilities. The program touched on a number of different themes that impact young women with disabilities. Some of the workshops included impact ability, Thrive against ableism, media’s depiction of people with disabilities, and health care advocacy. The keynote speaker was Harilyn Rousso and she read excerpts of her book “Don’t Call me Inspirational-A Disabled Feminist Talks Back”. As a woman with a disability myself I was so energized hearing pieces her book and am very excited for it to come out on January 31, 2013. Some of the other programs and individuals involved in the Thrive program this weekend included Impact: Ability, EPIC empowering people for inclusive communities, Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Patti Panzarino 2012 and Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Santara Sen 2010.

The Thrive program is something that I wish that I had as a young woman with a disability. Growing up with a disability I didn’t have that many individuals in my life with disabilities and most of my mentors were able-bodied individuals. This program gives a safe place for young women with disabilities ask the hard questions, to figure out what they’re supposed to know and to connect with others with disabilities like themselves.

I tell you being a part of this program was amazing. I got the opportunity to spend a weekend with some of the most strong confident, independent thinkers, empowered, determined, supported, beautiful women with disabilities. I definitely hope that this program is one that Easter Seals continues to support.

Labyrinth

Across the field

Feel the call

See its presence

Anticipate the mystery

Approach

Listen to the guidance

Cleanse through the sage

Ready with the chimes

Enter

Step slowly, quickly or stop

Go deep, go deeper

Find the inner core

Be aware

Mysteries are within

Baggage is cut loose

Minds are cleared open

The core

Center bring stillness

Awareness comes; confusion passes

Journey out begins

Exiting

Time and space has changed

Mind and spirit are intertwined

Trance is here

Leaving

Steps are quick or slow

Emerge from the depths

Release the trance

Clearing

Distance offers grounding

Friends bring experience

Laughter fills the air

Voice

My inner voice has broken free

Once limited

Once timid

Once silent

My inner voice speaks aloud and questions

Why must I follow you

Why should I be silent

Why can there be no change

My inner voice denies your power and speaks of change

Rules are meant to be broken

Yesterday’s truths are today’s lies

Change starts with a single notion

My voice has joined with others

Together the world is different

Together other paths are visible

Together notions of change are growing

Voice is now

Massive

Strong

Loud

Voice teaches

Strength

Possibilities

Acceptance

Voice is an agent of change

My voice has brought me full circle

Once hidden

Now it represents the masses

My World

I navigate my world unlike you

And yet you watch me with intent

For years I have been baffled by this

Why are you interested in my world?

I see the world as a puzzle

Each task I work out in my mind before

I watch you to see how I should do it differently

A two-step task for you; is six or eight for me

Is your watch of judgement or of wonder?

Your eyes portray a mixture of both

Why does my world hold your interest?

Is the judgement due to fear or ignorance

You hold no understanding and yet you want to

And so you assume the truth

You hold silent when you could speak your questions

That silence sees my world as difficult and unpleasant

When it is simple and beautiful

The wonder you hold keeps my curiosity

Your excitement grows as you watch my steps

Silence fills the room; Did I miss something

No you are merely watching me

Your mind is full of questions and they are wonderful

My answers give truth to the puzzle of my life

No longer must you wonder how; for I am here to show and tell

I saw myself in my own world

And I watched with wonder

How interesting I found the tasks

The puzzle in my mind; I now can see

I watch with intent, what happens next

How interesting it is, I have watched you for years but not myself

I navigate my world unlike you

You watch me with intent

Now I understand this

My world is different, full of surprise and adventure

Why wouldn’t you want to come and see!