Thrive: Advocating for myself and others with disabilities

thriveadvocacy400Easter Seals has been supporting mentorship programs for many years, and in 2012 we helped launch a mentorship program offline, called Thrive, that’s focused on young women with disabilities.

Every month Thrive — now offered online for everyone to access — focuses on a different aspect of disability, and in March Thrive has been talking with women about disability advocacy. It’s important for girls to take action for themselves and others in the disability community, so Thrive reached out to women online this month to gather perspectives on what disability advocacy means in today’s world. While reading through these women’s stories on Thrive’s Disability Advocacy page, I was struck by how many of them use storytelling as a way to advocate for themselves and others. What a coincidence: so do I!

An eye disease called retinopathy caused me to lose my sight at age 26. Until then, I’d been working in an international studies office, traveling and counseling college students who wanted to study overseas. I lost my job when I lost my sight.

While undergoing eye surgeries, I kept journals on tape. When ththriveslidere surgeries failed, my husband bought me a talking computer. I continued journaling.

My journal pieces weren’t initially written with a book in mind. To me, writing was simply cheap therapy, but when friends suggested I try putting my thoughts together in book form, I figured a book project would, at the very least, force me to finally gather my cassettes, floppy discs and other computer journal entries together in one place. In the end, I was lucky enough to find a publisher for Long Time, No See, and ever since it came out I’ve been advocating for people who are blind or have other disabilities by moderating this blog, leading writing classes, giving presentations at schools and speaking at conferences.

Go to Thrive’s Disability Advocacy page to read more stories from women with disabilities about how they advocate for themselves and others with disabilities, and then follow @ability2thrive and use the hashtag #thriveadvocacy to join Easter Seals Thrive for a twitter chat this Thursday March 26th at 2 pm CST to share your experiences and discuss the future of disability activism.


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  1. Hrbatallah Says:

    i need to know how i can address my problem or how i can contact with you.

  2. Hrbatallah Says:

    Hello there,
    my son is one of Easter Seals student’s

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