Mollie Miller

@mollie-miller86 | contributor
I am a 33-year-old woman, juggling a career in PR and marketing and an over-flowing social calendar. And I do it all on wheels. My physical disability has never stopped me from reaching for all the things I want in life, but it has made it a little more challenging to grab and hold on. The older I get, confidence comes much more naturally. It’s taken a long time to fill the space that I’m in now, and I would have gotten here sooner had I heard a voice whose perception and perspectives I could relate to more closely. I’ve started a blog that will hopefully be that voice for many more women like me, fighting self-doubt and stereotypes for the sake of love and everything that makes them happy.
Mollie Miller

Improving Disability Representation in the Media

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said or heard some variation of the words, “representation is key to inclusion” in impassioned conversations about disability rights and equality, I would be so rich that I can almost guarantee I wouldn’t qualify for any medical or quality-of-life services (a little disability life humor, if you will). But I’m not rolling deep in money, and we, the disabled people of the world (about one-fifth of the planet’s population, by the way), are still emphatically advocating and smartly arguing for normalizing the presence of disabled bodies in spaces that are routinely reserved for able bodies. To get there, I believe we must first dismantle all systematic and societal roadblocks to freedoms of choice and decision-making, equal opportunities and placements in the workforce, and most importantly, remove barriers to connecting to people and creating relationships, professionally and personally. Asking people to be all about diversity — that means not just joining in conversation or giving a head nod when confronted with questions or expectations to diversify, but actively engaging with people who express themselves differently and experience the world in a way that is not the same as another — is an imposing feat to reach. But it’s not an impossible one to conquer. A cultural change — a shift to not only accepting the diversity of humanity, but embracing differences in all of us — takes culture shock. The only way to dislodge from a long-held stance and to move forward into a new attitude is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The key to understanding people — in this case, disability life — is freely welcoming immersive experiences and deliberately connecting and communing with neighbors who may look, think or feel distinctly dissimilar from us. It is the Digital Age, and we live with over-saturation of digital content that enables our fast-paced lives. We can consume information more quickly than we can form our own opinions, or sit down to hear the thoughts of our peers. How do we generate discussion when we seem to have forgotten how to interact with each other? Our Teacher, the Media Tech Neck, the nagging neck and shoulder pain that sets in after hours of burying our noses in our phones, is a real epidemic — but at least chiropractors are seeing an impressive uptick in billable hours. The more concerning issue, however, is that without taking a moment to look up and uncross our eyes, it’s difficult to see people, talk to others and learn undiscovered truths about the human experience. These days, like it or not, media, in all its forms — social, digital, political, and commercial — is one of the most influential teachers of cultural ideas, customs, and behaviors. That means, when choosing perspectives on diversity, disabilities and inclusion, society tends to lead or follow in the direction of the carefully curated narrative spun out by the media. Media is the largest, most common form of mass communication, and its space for impact is only growing wider. According to the 2018 Nielsen Total Audience Report, across multicultural communities, the average adult spends more than 11 hours — that’s close to half a day — listening to, watching, reading or plugging into media. It’s safe to say that the world’s broadcasting, publishing and internet companies — the creators and keepers of information — have tremendous influence over thoughts, feelings and opinions. Immediate power brings a necessary responsibility to produce content that is candid and authentic. If we are going to have our noses buried in our phones, or our eyes glued to screens, we can at least be confronted with as-accurate-as-possible representations of the community surrounding us. The (right) representation matters No doubt, modern media is one of the most influential and controversial arts. Today’s print, digital, and audio content is thought-stirring — and opinionated. In other words, virtually every message we consume is one of belief, not total truth. That means all consumable media is open to interpretation; more than one school of thought means that the world needs more than one representative of unique human experiences. The World Bank Group’s Disability Inclusion Overview highlights that one billion people, or 15 percent of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. One-fifth of the estimated global total, or between 110 million and 190 million people, experience significant disabilities. It’s a good guess that these numbers will continue to inflate, making adults and children with disabilities one of the world’s largest population minorities — and still, disability life experiences are the least seen or shared among the rest of humanity. That’s why disability representation matters. If people with disabilities are not adequately present in our fellow humans’ daily dose of media, then we are not appropriately seen or understood. When a person is not seen, they cannot be invited — into the offices, the homes, the events, the critical conversations and relationships — and that means fewer perspectives and more silenced people. The good news is, the media is trying to make space for people with disabilities to be seen and heard more loudly than ever before. In the fashion industry, Tommy Hilfiger’s line of adaptive clothing — clothes with a more flattering fit on bodies that are differently proportioned, and that are easier to put on — is a recognized rebranding on the runway and in stores. In music and entertainment, actresses and actors with physical disabilities are receiving big-time awards for their talents, and prime time television is featuring more storytelling about mental health, disabilities and chronic illness. All good, right? Absolutely. It’s not a matter of when disability will be seen in the media, but there is still a question of how disability life is portrayed to the masses. From where I sit, it seems showcasing disabilities on television and film, or in fashion and entertainment is still less about equal representation and more about necessary justification. That means media continues to tell the narratives that says, “despite being obviously different, people with disabilities are doing all they can to show up and stay in this small space they had to make for themselves. How inspirational.” In 2019, large-market companies, ones with a huge power to influence, are still selling disabilities as uncommon inspiration. Earlier this year, Nike aired a commercial featuring a marathon runner with cerebral palsy. Athlete Justin Gallegos is seen stretching, warming up for a freeing run around a springy rubber track. He’s dressed head-to-toe in his runner’s uniform, complete with a pair of well-worn Nike running shoes. Justin is heard explaining why he loves running, telling the camera that running started as a hobby and then morphed into a way to celebrate his body. After that, video captures Justin exploding from the starting position and sprinting around the track. “It doesn’t matter that he has CP,” his coach says near the end of the commercial. “He is saying, if I can do it, anyone else can, too.” The intention for representation is there, but still, this Nike commercial is perpetuating the narrative that disability is a marker to gauge another’s success or quality of life against, or that being disabled is an identity used to inspire other people to push themselves harder or further towards a goal. This Nike commercial missed the mark; this message is not the right kind of representation of disability life. People with disabilities are not props for propaganda; we are not a strategy to diversify an advertising portfolio. For a Super Bowl 2019 ad spot, Microsoft debuted a commercial featuring a young boy playing video games with his friends. The boy had a few physical differences and was excited to be using Microsoft’s new adapted game controller. In this instance, the selling point is the adapted controller, so it made good sense to feature a young boy with a disability using the product. However, I still have a little bit of a rub in the way that disability is used in this commercial. The story arc ends with a young boy finally being able to participate fully in his friendships because he has an adapted video game controller. The moral of the story here is that because of his disability this boy was once excluded, and now he is welcomed into the fold. The narrative has a muted message of hope where there was once pity. Disability is not fodder for pity, or for inspiration. Our stories are not for sale; products are for sale. We want to be represented, yes, but in a simple, more real way. Advertising agencies need to realize that the best kind of advertisements happen when disabilities do not steal away from the intent of the advertising, which is to sell the product, not a human. We are people with many layers. Disability may permeate each layer of a unique life experience, but disabilities aren’t always at the center of our lives’ conversations. They shouldn’t be at the center of storylines and selling pitches either.

Mollie Miller

Why Entrepreneurship Is Popular Among People With Disabilities

Here we are in October: Pumpkin Spice Awareness Month, right? That’s true, but it’s also Disability Awareness Month. Why is this monthly observance even more important than sweater weather and pumpkin-flavored everything? Did you know that people with disabilities around the world are the largest minority and yet often the least talked about? Take cerebral palsy for example: worldwide, 17 million men, women and children live with this, the most commonly diagnosed group of congenital disorders, yet many people don’t know much about the condition. People with disabilities are also one of the largest groups of people who struggle with unemployment. In 2018, the employment-population ratio — the proportion of the population that is employed — was 19.1 percent among those with a disability, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. In contrast, the employment-population ratio for those without a disability was 65.9 percent. Those numbers call out an obvious disparity that needs to be remedied. How do we come together to create societal changes that welcome disability in the workplace? Firstly, I believe Corporate America’s all-business brain needs to shift to an all-embracing thought process; a mindset that celebrates disability — and all differences — as assets and equalizers rather than limitations or restrictions to opportunities, successes and health. Now isn’t that the kind of attitude and belief we should all try to adopt? People with disabilities are incredibly creative, proficient and accomplished men and women; ignoring that fact based on physical or emotional prowess becomes a bigger issue than any workplace accommodation or adaptations will ever be. As a 30-something year-old woman with a cerebral palsy, I know a thing or two about competing to keep my spot in the workforce. I’ve been laid off three times in the last two years. I am not alone – between the discrimination, unintentional or otherwise, and the lack of proper accommodations in the workplace, many people with disabilities struggle to hold on to long-term employment. That’s why many people with disabilities turn to entrepreneurship in order to create their own space and make their mark on the community. Now, I have decided to take creative control of my professional prowess. Alongside my business partner, Erin Kay, we have come together to create Claiming Disability Inc. Claiming Disability Inc is more than a clever business name, it is a movement, a battle cry to strong and determined people who know that “disabled” is not a label informing limitations, but a badge of honor to be celebrated with pride. Claiming Disability Inc provides education, emotional support, and mentorship that encourages confidence and increases professional and personal successes in the lives of people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. We are a multi-media brand producing educational and empowering media content and news-worthy campaigns about disability. Our platforms include podcasts, blogs, photo shoots, literature, clothing and accessories. We will also provide keynote speakers for high schools, colleges, universities, professional conferences, personal and development events to raise awareness of inclusivity and equality for people with disabilities. Do you know one of the coolest things about creating this organization and this space for people with disabilities? If you guessed that it’s being able to build a supportive and understanding community of people living with or around disabilities, and coming together to find camaraderie in the commonalities — then you know why this work is so important. We are encouraging people to proudly claim their disabilities and share their stories. Why? Because when we share, we connect, and when we connect, we learn we aren’t alone. When we know we aren’t alone in our experiences and our feelings, it becomes easier to live more authentically and speak more freely about who we are.

Mollie Miller

Why Entrepreneurship Is Popular Among People With Disabilities

Here we are in October: Pumpkin Spice Awareness Month, right? That’s true, but it’s also Disability Awareness Month. Why is this monthly observance even more important than sweater weather and pumpkin-flavored everything? Did you know that people with disabilities around the world are the largest minority and yet often the least talked about? Take cerebral palsy for example: worldwide, 17 million men, women and children live with this, the most commonly diagnosed group of congenital disorders, yet many people don’t know much about the condition. People with disabilities are also one of the largest groups of people who struggle with unemployment. In 2018, the employment-population ratio — the proportion of the population that is employed — was 19.1 percent among those with a disability, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. In contrast, the employment-population ratio for those without a disability was 65.9 percent. Those numbers call out an obvious disparity that needs to be remedied. How do we come together to create societal changes that welcome disability in the workplace? Firstly, I believe Corporate America’s all-business brain needs to shift to an all-embracing thought process; a mindset that celebrates disability — and all differences — as assets and equalizers rather than limitations or restrictions to opportunities, successes and health. Now isn’t that the kind of attitude and belief we should all try to adopt? People with disabilities are incredibly creative, proficient and accomplished men and women; ignoring that fact based on physical or emotional prowess becomes a bigger issue than any workplace accommodation or adaptations will ever be. As a 30-something year-old woman with a cerebral palsy, I know a thing or two about competing to keep my spot in the workforce. I’ve been laid off three times in the last two years. I am not alone – between the discrimination, unintentional or otherwise, and the lack of proper accommodations in the workplace, many people with disabilities struggle to hold on to long-term employment. That’s why many people with disabilities turn to entrepreneurship in order to create their own space and make their mark on the community. Now, I have decided to take creative control of my professional prowess. Alongside my business partner, Erin Kay, we have come together to create Claiming Disability Inc. Claiming Disability Inc is more than a clever business name, it is a movement, a battle cry to strong and determined people who know that “disabled” is not a label informing limitations, but a badge of honor to be celebrated with pride. Claiming Disability Inc provides education, emotional support, and mentorship that encourages confidence and increases professional and personal successes in the lives of people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. We are a multi-media brand producing educational and empowering media content and news-worthy campaigns about disability. Our platforms include podcasts, blogs, photo shoots, literature, clothing and accessories. We will also provide keynote speakers for high schools, colleges, universities, professional conferences, personal and development events to raise awareness of inclusivity and equality for people with disabilities. Do you know one of the coolest things about creating this organization and this space for people with disabilities? If you guessed that it’s being able to build a supportive and understanding community of people living with or around disabilities, and coming together to find camaraderie in the commonalities — then you know why this work is so important. We are encouraging people to proudly claim their disabilities and share their stories. Why? Because when we share, we connect, and when we connect, we learn we aren’t alone. When we know we aren’t alone in our experiences and our feelings, it becomes easier to live more authentically and speak more freely about who we are.

Mollie Miller

Why Entrepreneurship Is Popular Among People With Disabilities

Here we are in October: Pumpkin Spice Awareness Month, right? That’s true, but it’s also Disability Awareness Month. Why is this monthly observance even more important than sweater weather and pumpkin-flavored everything? Did you know that people with disabilities around the world are the largest minority and yet often the least talked about? Take cerebral palsy for example: worldwide, 17 million men, women and children live with this, the most commonly diagnosed group of congenital disorders, yet many people don’t know much about the condition. People with disabilities are also one of the largest groups of people who struggle with unemployment. In 2018, the employment-population ratio — the proportion of the population that is employed — was 19.1 percent among those with a disability, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. In contrast, the employment-population ratio for those without a disability was 65.9 percent. Those numbers call out an obvious disparity that needs to be remedied. How do we come together to create societal changes that welcome disability in the workplace? Firstly, I believe Corporate America’s all-business brain needs to shift to an all-embracing thought process; a mindset that celebrates disability — and all differences — as assets and equalizers rather than limitations or restrictions to opportunities, successes and health. Now isn’t that the kind of attitude and belief we should all try to adopt? People with disabilities are incredibly creative, proficient and accomplished men and women; ignoring that fact based on physical or emotional prowess becomes a bigger issue than any workplace accommodation or adaptations will ever be. As a 30-something year-old woman with a cerebral palsy, I know a thing or two about competing to keep my spot in the workforce. I’ve been laid off three times in the last two years. I am not alone – between the discrimination, unintentional or otherwise, and the lack of proper accommodations in the workplace, many people with disabilities struggle to hold on to long-term employment. That’s why many people with disabilities turn to entrepreneurship in order to create their own space and make their mark on the community. Now, I have decided to take creative control of my professional prowess. Alongside my business partner, Erin Kay, we have come together to create Claiming Disability Inc. Claiming Disability Inc is more than a clever business name, it is a movement, a battle cry to strong and determined people who know that “disabled” is not a label informing limitations, but a badge of honor to be celebrated with pride. Claiming Disability Inc provides education, emotional support, and mentorship that encourages confidence and increases professional and personal successes in the lives of people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. We are a multi-media brand producing educational and empowering media content and news-worthy campaigns about disability. Our platforms include podcasts, blogs, photo shoots, literature, clothing and accessories. We will also provide keynote speakers for high schools, colleges, universities, professional conferences, personal and development events to raise awareness of inclusivity and equality for people with disabilities. Do you know one of the coolest things about creating this organization and this space for people with disabilities? If you guessed that it’s being able to build a supportive and understanding community of people living with or around disabilities, and coming together to find camaraderie in the commonalities — then you know why this work is so important. We are encouraging people to proudly claim their disabilities and share their stories. Why? Because when we share, we connect, and when we connect, we learn we aren’t alone. When we know we aren’t alone in our experiences and our feelings, it becomes easier to live more authentically and speak more freely about who we are.

Mollie Miller

Why World CP Day and Disability Awareness Month Are Important

Seventeen million. That’s the number of men, women, and children living with cerebral palsy, the most commonly diagnosed group of congenital disorders. Yet, not many people know very much about the diagnosis. So, what is cerebral palsy? This medical diagnosis, usually causing a degree of disability, is a group of disorders that affect movement and muscle tone or posture. It’s caused by damage that occurs to the immature brain as it develops, most often before birth. Signs and symptoms appear during infancy or preschool years. What does this matter to you? Unless you have cerebral palsy or love somebody who does, probably not much. But that’s exactly why World Cerebral Palsy Day matters so much. People with disabilities need more recognition for their unique attributes and contributions to the world. You see, too often, people with disabilities are known for their differences or for the abilities they lack, as defined by society. We — disabled people — are so much more than a label from a diagnosis. We are simply people. But we are people who were dealt more challenging and complicated cards. Those cards, even if they give us more struggles, can also give us even more strength. And creativity. And special skills to adapt and solve problems with ingenuity and determination. We often have a special sense of humor and a deep compassion for underserved or misunderstood people. That’s what World CP Day and Disability Awareness Month is all about: recognizing the millions of people who rise up from challenging experiences each day to join the rest of the world. More importantly, this day and this month stands as a reminder: disability is just a word to describe the way a person might experience life. But the word disability does not determine a person’s value and impact in this life.

Mollie Miller

Finding Your Tribe in Life With a Disability

Real talk: life with a disability can be a major killjoy sometimes. There’s all the unwanted stares and comments from well-meaning Curious Georges, and the run-of-the-mill Creepy McCreepers. Then there’s the logistical headaches of figuring out how to make everyday activities and some more special adventures as accessible as possible, even when participating feels impossible. And don’t forget the battle against mental and physical fatigue — that can seem more tiresome than the pain and frustration itself. Too often it can feel like nobody understands such a unique life experience. Don’t fret — disability life has some pretty cool perks, like the camaraderie between people who just “get it.” You know those people: the ones whose friendships are priceless because you don’t owe them anything. Their friendship doesn’t require complicated exclamations or tough answers to simple questions. You see, disability life means you may be able to find and know your tribe faster and easier. Your tribe is the people who speak your language and who know what you’re feeling even when you don’t say a thing. The people who don’t say things like, “I don’t see your disability or condition…” in attempt to express acceptance, all the while dismissing a part of you. No, your people, your tribe, your forever-friends are the ones who really see you, who attempt to understand you, and who will embrace you every day. No matter if it’s a good day or a bad day, they will be there.

Mollie Miller

Why Wheelchair Barbie Is Important for Kids With Disabilities

My eyes are bad, and I’m pretty sure I’m seeing double. Disability representation in media and material things is a big step towards disability inclusion. Way to go, Mattel, for making this beautiful Barbie and helping her roll onto store shelves. With her sleek, jewel-toned chair, this fashionista is joining in the important imaginative play of thousands of kiddos (and the occasional 33-year-old woman), teaching them togetherness and normalizing diversity. Wheelchair Barbie is more than just a favorite plaything or pastime; this toy is a tool for teaching kids how to be comfortable and compassionate towards their peers who may not look, move and live the way they do. Mostly, this girl with a pretty smile and confident pose is helping thousands of kids who have disabilities and use wheelchairs celebrate who they are. When they hold this Barbie in their hand and roll her wheelchair around their living room floor, they will hopefully begin to understand they are not alone and they are not the only kid whose body is different. She will help them learn that different is not wrong, and they are exactly who they are supposed to be. No matter how bad my eyes may be, it is clear that good change is happening; I want to see more of it. Toy companies, be like Barbie.

Community Voices

Claiming Disability

Hey, friends! Recently, my beautiful and fiercely determined galpal, Erin, and me launched a new, weekly Instagram Live series called Claiming Disability – don’t miss it every Friday at 5pm/6pm EST, hosted on my IG profile: wheeliegoodwriter.

Claiming Disability is more than a clever show title; it is a movement, a battle cry to strong and determined men and women who wear the label of 'disabled' like a badass badge of honor.

Now, Erin and me want to take our message of disability empowerment to larger audiences in the podcast space. We know that living with a disability isn’t easy -- between the heartbreaks of inaccessibility, prejudices, and chronic pain – and such experiences can mean working hard to create space in the working world and to be seen and heard everywhere else in our communities.

Our hope is that the Claiming Disability livestream and upcoming podcast will bring fresh perspectives from disabled life as we add our voices to disability advocacy conversations. The podcast will educate and inspire listeners as women AND men, in different stages and phases of life, proudly claim their disabilities, share their stories of overcoming challenging circumstances, and use their differences to make a big difference in people’s lives. Our listeners and guests will feel seen and heard and create connections within their fabulous disabled community.
We need your help!

If you, or someone you love, wears the label of ‘disability’ like a badge of honor, and you want to be a part of a movement that encourages confidence and strength in people with disabilities and inclusivity and equality in community, then please consider helping us fund the production of the Claiming Disability podcast! Your donation means that many more voices of people with disabilities will be heard and even more progressive and inclusive change will be created.

Buy a badge of honor t-shirt today! Show support for your friends and family with disabilities and help insight from the Claiming Disability Podcast fill as many ears and hearts as possible! www.customink.com/fundraising/claiming-disability-podcast-launchj

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Mollie Miller

Dreaming of a World Where Disability Is Accepted

I dream of living in a world where the word “different” doesn’t carry the weighted connotations of “less than” or “outsider.” I dream of living in a world where different is a celebration, not a condemnation. I dream of living in a world where different perspectives, ideas, lifestyles, races, faces, bodies and abilities are seen and appreciated. I dream of living in a world where difference is the great equalizer, and the creator of opportunities to learn and connect, to fill unique niches, to understand and think more broadly, and to make necessary changes to systems and policies so we can all live happier, healthier and more productive lives. I dream of a day when the word “disability” isn’t spoken as a way to describe someone who is unable, but is a declaration of someone who is able to live an adventurous, love-filled, busy and impactful life amidst some of the most challenging circumstances. I dream of a day when people with mobility challenges are seen as strong and powerful people, not lacking abilities, but who live with additional abilities to think quickly and creatively to solve problems and create space where there is none. I dream of a day when labels fall off and lose their meanings and when people are no longer catalogued — as disabled or otherwise. I dream of a day when we are all one humanity, with no boundaries or limits. I dream of a day when — whether you get around on your wheels, your heels, your hands, your crutches, or heck, you scoot around on your butt — you pick your place, you make your space and you fill it with confidence. I dream of a day when I am not stared at as an oddity, as a puzzle to be solved, as questions to be answered. I dream of a day when I am seen, really seen, as the whole, entire woman I am. I dream of a day when my disability is not a glaring issue, but just a glimpse into who I am: a goofy, smiley, smart(ass), compassionate woman who works hard, who loves and laughs even harder — and who feels most confident in a dress, some jewelry and a red lip.

Mollie Miller

When I Call Myself Disabled

When I call myself disabled, sometimes it’s an explanation for reality or a reason for routine. It’s a guttural release of anger, annoyance, irritation and anxieties. It’s a badass badge honoring strength and determination. Other times it’s a scarlet letter so big and red I can’t control its flare. When I call myself disabled, it’s a flinch, a stare, a questioning or inquisitive glare. Not any more from a passerby’s curious eye than from mine in my own mirror, counting my scars, marks and bruises, and wondering, “Where did this new one on my knee come from?” When I call myself disabled, it’s constant tugging and pulling at my clothes, lamenting the fact that fighting with fabric is sometimes a losing battle; cotton, rayon, polyester and denim don’t always want to sit pretty on my sitting crooked body. It’s why I bought the Get Naked sign hanging in my apartment. It’s adjusting my legs, my spine and my neck, their muscles and bones lit up in fiery pain, so I’m sitting up as straight and tall as I can. It’s wishing to blend in seamlessly with the crowd while hoping to be seen. When I call myself disabled, it’s acknowledging that life with autonomy, choices, experiences and opportunities isn’t an impossible dream, but it is a logistical nightmare. It’s a crash course in creative, out-of-the box thinking. It’s knowing adaptation and problem solving is a necessary, sometimes minute-by-minute part of this life. When I call myself disabled, it’s a collection of experiences continuously tipping the scales between grief and gratitude. It’s grieving opportunities lost, access denied, relationships ended and abilities stolen. But it’s also gaining a healing gratitude for my heart and my eyes and my mind and my voice — that allows me to see the world through an ultra-compassionate lens, recognizing and renouncing injustices or inequalities. It increases my capacity for bonds and interconnections, forever tied through understanding and awareness. When I call myself disabled, it is a fact; I can’t argue with reality. Instead I must surrender to my physical body; no matter if it’s slow, sluggish, riddled with pain and a serious fall risk, it is mine. When I call myself disabled, it is a prideful truth, a deep satisfaction in all I have accomplished and achieved. It is a fear for my future but a celebration of my present. When I call myself disabled, it is a battle cry to the army of disability warriors who surround me. It is a march in solidarity with the millions of people who know the injustice, who feel the inequality and who persevere through the struggle. When I call myself disabled, it is knowing I am more than a label stuck on by opinion; I am me for so many reasons and there is no one else I’d rather be.