Two stories | about persons with a disability

disabiity stories

Ed Roberts | “How a student with his 800-pound iron lung pioneered disability rights, changed U.S. law” The Washington Post

by Erin Blakemore

“Today, ventilators help pump air into the lungs of patients with the novel coronavirus and other illnesses who cannot get enough oxygen on their own. Modern units are relatively compact. But in the past, massive iron lungs were the only option for people with polio and other illnesses — and a tussle over one person’s iron lung would help pave the way for the Americans With Disabilities Act, ADA.

“Paralyzed from the neck down, Ed Roberts needed an iron lung to help him breathe. But when officials at the University of California at Berkeley learned he planned to bring his 800-pound breathing device with him to college in 1962, they tried to revoke his acceptance.

“Roberts had already faced down discrimination over his disability:” Continue reading.


Litsa Dremousis | “Yes, I’m disabled. But I still love sex.”

by Litsa Dremousis

“If I had known I’d get hit with a disabling neuroimmune illness when I was 24, I wouldn’t have waited until I was 20 to lose my virginity. I would have gotten an earlier start, making the most of my body while it fully cooperated.

“When I was able-bodied, guys asked such as questions ‘Have I seen you before in a dream?’ or ‘What did Botticelli do after he painted you?’ Cheesy questions, no doubt, but imbued with the assumption I’m a sexual being. After I became disabled, they tacked on still dumber questions, such as ‘Are you contagious?’ Or even ‘Can you have sex?’ (More than once, I’ve answered, ‘Yes, but not with you.’)

“Sex is a potential minefield for all of us, but for years, I’ve had to dodge the shrapnel on crutches. Continue reading.

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