Happy New Year!
I hope your new year’s resolutions are still going strong. Remember, take it day by day! I’m excited about the opportunities that 2018 will bring to Disability Partnerships, and I truly believe 2018 will be the best year yet for the organization. I have so many plans in place to help strengthen awareness of the needs of persons with physical disabilities. And, I have ideas about partnerships, programs and services that I’m planning to develop and expand. I want to see the problems we face in the disability community eliminated this year. I’m talking about problems such as the lack of accessible housing, difficulty finding employment and maintaining our health, the extreme high cost of medical care and provider assistance. I know it's a big wish list, but I cannot help but see God’s work with my organization and know anything is possible.
And I do have some resolutions. Here they are:
While you’re working on your own list of resolutions, please take a moment this month and think about Cervical Cancer Awareness. The United States Congress designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month. Nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but the disease is preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening (Pap and HPV tests).
Sadly, there are many barriers to breast and cervical cancer screening services for women with physical disability. These barriers can include a lack of health insurance, physical barriers (e.g. exam tables do not lower for women with mobility issues) and inaccurate information from healthcare providers. Research shows that when compared to the rest of the community, women with disability were less likely to use preventive health screening services for multiple reasons. Let’s change this and work together to get the word out about cervical cancer awareness month especially to the community of women with physical disabilities who may not have the ability to get screened.
Tamara Maze Gallman
Posted on January 14, 2017
Today, I serve as social media marketing intern for Disability Partnerships, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for persons with physical disabilities. My time with the organization has allowed me to broaden my awareness and learn more about those living with a physical disability, their caregivers, and their advocates who struggle and accomplish so many amazing feats every day. I have also learned how the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 changed the lives of millions of Americans. As a result of advocates who worked tirelessly for those with disabilities who were not treated equally, this policy has afforded every American, regardless of race, gender, abled or disabled, to have access to basic human dignity.
Now, when I think about equality, I understand that it is up to all of us, able bodied or disabled, to work toward true equality and inclusion. I am invigorated by the work that I have done and continue to do for Disability Partnerships. I truly believe that I am doing my part in building awareness and access for those who are most vulnerable in our community.
by Hunter Huang, Social Media Marketing and Communications Intern
As a young kid, when I thought about equality, my thoughts would focus on race and gender. Since I grew up in a rural area and looked different than all my other classmates, race and gender were my only measures of equality. When I left home to attend Rochester Institute of Technology, I discovered a vast community working together to achieve mutual goals. As a result of attending classes with students enrolled at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, I’ve been exposed to new concepts, new friends and a new language – American Sign Language. What was most inspiring to me was that I learned to expand my mind and understand that equality included not just race and gender but also disability.
Working together to improve the quality of life for persons with physical disabilities!