Pleasure: Always Possible
Beautiful article about women’s sexuality and paralysis [“Women’s Pleasure,” February 2017]. As a man living with a C5-6 spinal cord injury, I identify with a lot of what these women are saying about the need to explore and be creative. Pleasure is always possible.
Rafe Eric Biggs
Example of True Love
Christine and Jerrod are a wonderful example of true love [“Conversations About Sex,” February 2017]. I have to admit that I teared up when I read the part where Jerrod said, “You never know, that [person with a disability] could be the love of your life.”
We Are Our Best Advocates
I totally agree on advocating for yourself in getting anything that you need, not only for equipment, but also for accessibility in the places you want/need to go to [“Getting the Equipment You Need and Learning to Self-Advocate,” February 2017]. No one else is a better advocate for disabled individuals than ourselves. Don’t be afraid to speak up, demand (politely) and be bold.
Fitness Centers Fail Us
I’ve tried talking with various fitness centers on purchasing wheelchair accessible equipment and available help for wheelchair users, but they charge extra for the assistance and feel getting the equipment isn’t cost-efficient [“New Pilot Fitness App Launched,” News, February 2017].
Check Local Access Laws
Sadly, if [fitness centers] provide the mandatory minimum accessible parking spaces, and a curb cut, ramp, etc., they believe they are meeting all the access laws. Look into the local access laws in your area. Sometimes they are actually more strict than the federal laws. Also, depending upon where you live, your local recreational facilities may have a gym and workout equipment you can access better.
Focus on the Manufacturer
As a wheelchair user I scan the internet — YouTube, Quest magazine, and of course NEW MOBILITY — for the latest and the greatest advances in mobility devices and other disability aids [“Consider Keeping That Mobility ‘Miracle’ to Yourself,” February 27 blog, newmobility.com]. Just because you personally don’t have a use for a particular device doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. I’m all for passing it along and sharing these amazing contraptions with my nondisabled friends because I want them to never forget that wheelchair users are everywhere and can do amazing things. But mostly I want inventors to stay focused on our needs and desires as a growing population. If we think that an item is overpriced or non-functional in the real world, then the person we should be sharing our angst with is the manufacturer of that product!
Medicare Available Under 65
When I sold health insurance many years ago, some people only wanted to purchase health insurance when there was a need, or after the fact … money was chosen to be spent on things that could be seen and enjoyed — before health insurance [“How the ACA Protects People With Pre-existing Conditions,” February 10 blog, newmobility.com]. This culture of “no money in,” just “money out,” created pre-existing conditions. Car insurance has to be purchased before an accident, not after.
My SCI rehab at Shepherd Center included info to apply for disability, and it was 24 months after receiving disability benefits that Medicare became available (for under 65). I chose Cobra health insurance with my employer for the 24-month period, then enrolled in Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan after much research. I had no pre-existing conditions since I remained insured without a lapse in coverage. Some people receiving disability benefits who are under 65 for many years don’t understand that Medicare is available [in this way]. The cost is much lower on Medicare plus a supplement and/or Advantage plan. Someone in our SCI group is paying three times the premium amount on ACA than I paid and am now paying on Medicare, even though I’m 30-plus years older.
We regret we omitted ABL Denim from the resources list in our March cover story on fashion. Visit abldenim.com to see their latest designs.