Thursday, December 21, 2023

The Third State Has Risen: Literature Foreshadowed It and Now We Are Living It

Whether this blog goes “viral” or even gets read by anyone else is not why I am writing it. Usually, I write to inform or to educate and maybe I will do both with this piece as well, but this time I am writing out of disgust anger, and fear. If anyone asks, I am not shy about giving my opinion about something, and most of my opinions on almost every issue tend to gravitate towards the middle or the left of the political spectrum, but for this issue, I am sure I will piss off some of my regular allies when I say, “what the hell America?” There is a difference between being accepting of others and sanitizing language to erase History and an entire culture’s identity. 

When I originally heard about the change of the name of the agency that runs the program that provides my support services from “the agency for persons with disabilities”, to “the agency for persons with unique abilities” I was angry just like many of my colleagues within the disability community are. That has not changed even though I am writing this blog piece/letter many weeks later. What has changed is the way I view the overall issue as the climax of an issue that has been going on in America since before I was born. 

I believe that the sudden push by those outside of the disability community to erase the word “disability” from the dictionary is the latest and greatest attempt from the third state to erase individuality from society. You might be asking yourself, why do you say that? The rest of this blog will attempt to provide an answer to your question. 

In 1931 Aldous Huxley wrote a little book you might be aware of entitled “Brave New World.” For many Americans, this was required reading material at some point in their primary education. For those who aren’t familiar with the book or weren’t raised in America, I will attempt to summarize the basic idea behind the book. Huxley’s book depicts a Godless world where feelings are suppressed by pills, and nobody is forced to deal with the realities of life. The following quotes encapsulate this idea. 

“And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there’s always Soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there’s always Soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past, you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears- that is what Soma is.  

“Ford we are twelve; oh, make us one’.

Even though Huxley’s book was written 92 years ago it is scary how accurately this book foreshadowed life today. America is now a society controlled by a silent “third” state which infiltrates all facets of our lives including telling us what and how to feel. The latest assault on language is just another way to continue the same campaign of attempting to erase all individuality from the world. Don’t believe me? Here’s further proof.

The assault on language started several years ago when they pressured a football team in the NFL to change their name from “The Redskins” to “The Commanders.” I’m not trying to come off as a racist, I’m just saying, why did the Redskins have to change their name while the Florida State Seminoles' name has been unchanged? In another example, two country music groups changed their names to get rid of their ties to the South. Again, I am not saying that everything that occurred in the South back before I was born was right or just, I am arguing that by changing something’s name to make it sound better or to make a group feel better, we diminish the fact that it happened. Even though our history has dark periods in it, if we do not acknowledge them, aren’t we destined to eventually repeat them? 

You may be asking what history and language have to do with one another and in particular, your argument about the “third state?” My answer is simple. The current push to change the terminology used to describe the disability community is an attempt to diminish or erase their history and culture. I do not say I have a disability; I say I was diagnosed with a disability but there are others in the community who use the term person with a disability to describe themselves. In short, I ask what gives any outsider the right to define a group of people when they do not belong to that group. The answer is simply this. The third state does not want us to define ourselves, rather, they want to tell us who we are or who we should aspire to be. 

In closing, this blog may at first seem less concise than my previous pieces but upon further examination, I believe you will find that not only do I make a good argument about disability and language but that like Mr. Huxley and myself, you should fear what the future holds for us all. 

Sunday, November 26, 2023

I Am An Adult Even Though It Is Hard To Believe So Please Start Treating Me Like One

People with disabilities are often infantilized even by those closest to them. 

I am 37 years old but sometimes I feel like I’m twelve. I am currently reading a book with my girlfriend Samantha who I affectionately refer to as my “little alien.” The book is entitled The Woman In Me by Britney Spears. Spears’ memoir talks about her early life as a performer and how much she enjoyed it but it also talks about the conservatorship she was under for thirteen years. During the conservatorship, every aspect of her life was controlled by others. My situation is not as severe as Ms. Spears's, but I can sort of relate to her on some level. 

For those who are new readers of this blog, you may not know that I have a disability known as Cerebral Palsy or CP, or as I like to call it, T-Rex syndrome. I know some people in the disability community will read this and not like the self-deprecating language I use to describe how cerebral palsy affects me physically. Notice how I didn’t say how my “disability” affects me that is due to a change in my mindset that occurred rather recently.  Those who know me know that I’m not the type of person to make a habit out of using politically correct or sanitized language. That being said, I do not believe I am disabled by my diagnoses. I only have “a disability” because society says I do. In a recent conversation with a person from an organization called the Inclusive Hive Community, the question was asked: What are the most common misconceptions about disability.  This question was asked to five or six of my fellow self-advocates including myself. I answered the question first with my typical response, that we are more than our disabilities, however, that was not the most eloquent answer I heard during the conversation. I believe the most eloquent and honest answer came from a friend of mine, Chatequa Pinkston. She said something to the effect (sorry if I don’t get the words exactly right Chatequa) that society doesn’t see disabled people as adults. We can accomplish great feats in the area of education and self-advocacy, but still, we are treated like children. I know that was not a direct quote but it is pretty damn close. If I understand Ms. Pinkston’s point clearly, it is that as individuals with “disabilities,” we are only disabled when people say we are. Ms. Pinkston is a published author, and founder of a non-profit along with many other accomplishments but still drives home the point that “disabled people” are not treated as people first, rather the focus is on our diagnosis first. 

Another member of the panel who happens to be my girlfriend brought up the idea of disability and family and no, in this case, I literally mean disability and starting a family. She argued that we can achieve great goals in every aspect of life but when we express our desire to start a family we are looked at as if we have three heads. In this case, even the ones we love sometimes say people with disabilities should be satisfied just being in a relationship and “playing the cute couple”; why should we want more. To those skeptics and naysayers, I submit the following argument: it is in human nature to carry on and produce offspring. Little kids not only give parents a chance to pass on what they know to the next generation they also give those around them the opportunity to realize what life is all about. 

These two arguments seem unrelated, but I use them to drive home the following point: it is time to stop treating men and women who are in their 30s and 40s as if they are incapable of living a “normal life”. We are living in 2023 not 1823. The archaic views about people with disabilities maturing slower than their abled-bodied counterparts are just not accurate. If we mature at a different speed than our able-bodied counterparts it is because we have not been given the opportunity to grow and develop without being coddled. Whether it is financially or otherwise, disabled people have the right to fail. It is through failure one grows into who they are supposed to be. The only way “disabled people” are going to grow is when people who love and care for them as well as society as a whole stop treating this entire group of people as if we are incapable of taking care of ourselves if we are given the right tools. 

It is time to end this practice, but I know it will take more than just this blog to change the minds and hearts of not only my loved ones but almost everyone else as well.

I know that was a lot to digest and this has been one of my more in-depth blogs of late. Always remember though no matter how heavy the subject matter gets, we as “disabled people” need not let others' perceptions or beliefs derail our overall happiness. 

Until next time, Your Friendly Neighborhood Super Advocate,



Monday, November 6, 2023

Come On America, You Can Do Better

Disclaimer: An article similar to this blog post will be published on FSA Central. 

The practice of paying disabled people below the minimum wage is still legal in 2023, and now It is time for that to change. 

The fact that it is legal to dehumanize and discriminate against people with disabilities this way in 2023 is ridiculous! We are America, we are supposed to be the country everyone looks to as an example but Europe treats its disabled population ten times better than we do. Why is it that just because someone is disabled whether physically, intellectually, or otherwise, it is okay to "throw them a bone"? Does that make society feel all that great?  I'm pretty sure Lady Liberty is crying in New York Harbor and Uncle Sam is disgusted. However, because disabled people have been marginalized in America for far too long and I'm afraid that without a disability revolution, this may never change. It is time for us to stop being good little boys and girls and sitting quietly in our chairs and looking good for the photos and live up to the disability motto “nothing about us without us” because no one will ever give us a seat at the front of “society’s bus” unless we take it.

Below is a call to action put out by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). As part of an effort to end this abysmal practice please visit and sign the petition to do your part to allow America to truly come into the 21st century. 

ACT NOW: End Subminimum Wages for Disabled Workers!

Support Ending the Practice of Paying Disabled Americans Subminimum Wages

Many disabled workers are being paid far below minimum wage, and it’s completely legal. These policies are based on the idea that disabled people are inherently less productive, and their work is less valuable. This is undeniably false. Disabled workers deserve a fair wage, and we need your help to put an end to the practice of paying disabled workers subminimum wages.  This discriminatory practice cannot continue.

Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act allows employers to pay disabled American workers subminimum wages. Section 14(c) leaves room for employers to engage in discriminatory practices which include segregating disabled employees, cutting them off from community settings, and limiting their ability to receive opportunities for career advancement or development.

Research from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights shows that between 2017 and 2018, the average wage of a person with a disability working under a 14(c) certificate was $3.34 per hour, less than half of the federal minimum wage. Many disabled workers made even less.

The time to act is NOW. The Department of Labor recently announced they will begin a comprehensive review of Section 14(c) to determine the future viability of the program.

Disabled people deserve dignity, and they deserve equal pay. I urge President Biden and Acting Secretary of Labor, Julie Su, to end the practice of paying disabled workers subminimum wages.

This is not the only way you can make a difference. AAPD is also holding a virtual meeting with lawmakers in Washington DC on November 15, 2023, from 5:30 PM Eastern until 7 PM Eastern. I urge you to attend this meeting if her schedule allows you to. We may not all be affected directly by this issue, but if you are connected to the disability community at all chances are you know someone who has been. Take this wonderful opportunity to not only navigate on behalf of the person you know by telling their story, but who knows one story may change things for all disabled people in the United States.

You can register for the next meeting, which will be held on November 15, 2023, from 5:30 PM Eastern until 7 PM Eastern. Registration is now open and will close on November 10, 2023 to registration link can be found on the US Department of Labor’s website:

at the bottom of the page, you will see a button that says “registration link,” which is written in fairly small print, which may require those with visual challenges to magnify the webpage. For those who have additional access issues, I have included the AAPD accessibility support email below.

Accessibility support email: all requests for accommodations based on disability must be submitted by November 6, 2023

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Getting Back At It

Your friendly neighborhood super-advocate is finally back. It has been quite a while since I last posted as my loyal readers will have noticed. The last time I came to you I wrote a post on how to make the voice of the voiceless even louder. While the post got a large number of views, which I appreciate, I want to remind everyone that the best way to follow this blog is to make sure you’re following it on Blogspot. Occasionally I may not post a blog on the Facebook page.

Now that that’s out of the way I wanted to thank everyone for their overwhelming support not only in the past but recently as well. I was afraid that when I promised a new direction for the Voiceless Minority and did not stick with my five posts a week, my readership would suffer. Readership has done the exact opposite. I thank you for your support while I was not feeling well. While this post is on the shorter side, come back next week for in-depth investigations into a variety of topics. On Monday we will revisit one of the most popular topics on this blog recently. For those of you who remember several weeks ago, I did a blog on the Lego company. It specifically focused on adaptive Legos for the blind community. 

The response that that particular blog received has inspired my curiosity. That being said, Monday’s blog will discuss not only adaptive Legos but the concept of adaptive toys in general. Are there other toys out there for people with disabilities, i.e. toys for individuals with sensory issues or those with dexterity issues, or even toys that cater to a particular disability like the Legos do? Let me hear from you so that I can research and address them in future posts.

Until Monday, remember whatever life throws at you your attitude can help determine how the situation turns out as well as how far you go in life, aka your attitude. 

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Getting Back To Basics: How Can I Spread The Message of The Voiceless Minority

Your friendly neighborhood super advocate is back with this week’s Spectacular Saturday post. I must begin by thanking you for your overwhelming support for Thursday’s 100th post. Your continued support gives me the motivation, and the ability to advocate even when I am not feeling up to it. I can’t thank you enough for that support. I come to you today with a call to action. The Voiceless Minority is growing. Soon we will no longer be voiceless. Our Facebook page has exploded ever since I started posting five days per week. The amount of views amazes me every day. I am inspired by the overwhelming number of comments for my recent post. Even though I respond to as many comments as possible, some of them are anonymous and not signed by their author. Let’s keep the conversation going and use the power of The Voiceless Minority to further strengthen the voice of the voiceless. There are several ways to keep the conversation going.

Firstly, if you see that I have replied to a comment you made, reply back to me, and let’s see how long we can keep the conversation going. If you are wondering how to see if I replied to your comment read the rest of this blog. It will not only show you how to follow the actual blog on but also by following on Blogger you will never miss a post, in the case that I don’t get a chance to put it on the Facebook page. Secondly and perhaps most importantly, if the blog gains more followers, it will bring more attention to not only the blog that I write but also to the disability community and the issues that affect us on a daily basis. 

To follow the Voiceless Minority blog on Blogger follow the steps below

1. Sign in/Signup to which is free

Blogger sign up screen, text says publish your passions your way on a red color background. Sign in button is in the upper right corner

2. For the “Choose Name For Blog” screen you can click the skip button in the bottom left corner if you don’t want to create a blog

Chose a name for your blog screen

3. If you skipped to the next screen click on the lines in the top left corner of your screen if it did not automatically bring you to the next screen.

4. Click the reading list on the left side of the page if it is not on that page already

Blogger menu Reading list is the second option

5. Insert the link for The Voiceless Minority 

Manage Blog I'm Following page

Add Blogs To Follow Page

Before I sign off today, I just wanted to remind you, my loyal readers, that advocacy comes in many forms. One can advocate directly to policymakers whether they have a disability or not. One can read or write literature about disability. One can do the same with popular forms of entertainment. The most powerful form of advocacy is to start a conversation or keep it going by sharing publications or personal stories you may hear. Remember one voice can change the world but other people must hear that voice for anything to change. Enjoy the weekend and look forward to Monday’s blog about another disability-related issue but we will also remember the tragedy that took place 22 years ago in the United States known throughout the world as 9/11.

Till next time, 


Thursday, September 7, 2023

Breaking Down Barriers: The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 and Its Significance to the Disability Community

Hello again, yes it’s me your friendly neighborhood super advocate. A warm welcome to all of my new readers who are checking out the blog for the first time. I want to welcome you to a friendly, engaging, informative, and sometimes funny look at anything and everything that has to do with disabilities and the disability community. To all my returning readers, welcome back. No matter which group you fall into, you’ve stumbled upon the Voiceless Minority on a very special day. Yes, it has finally happened after a decade of writing this blog - today marks the 100th post for the Voiceless Minority. I could not have done it without you. I started this blog as an outlet for my anger and the hurt I was feeling after being denied the opportunity to follow what I truly believed at the time was my passion. When I started this blog, I thought I wanted to be a high school history teacher and teach theater after school. I apparently didn’t know myself as well as I thought. They say that “things happen for a reason” or as I like to call it listening to God and actually paying attention to what He is saying by applying it to your life.

Since this post celebrates an important milestone in my advocacy, I felt that it would be fitting to write a post about a specific movement within disability history that recently celebrated its own 55th anniversary. Now that we’ve celebrated the success of The Voiceless Minority, it is time to get back to what this blog is all about, disability advocacy and the disability community as a whole. On August 12th we celebrated the Architectural Barriers Act and its impact on the disability community.  Even though it was passed 55 years ago it still has a great amount of impact on the lives of people with disabilities today. I hope you enjoy the rest of the blog. 

In 1968, amidst the civil rights movement and a wave of legislative changes, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) into law. This groundbreaking legislation was a pivotal moment in the history of disability rights in the United States. The ABA aimed to eliminate physical barriers that hindered access for individuals with disabilities in federally funded buildings and facilities, setting the stage for more inclusive and accessible spaces. In this blog post, we will delve into the significance of the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 for the disability community and its lasting impact on the built environment.

Before the ABA, people with disabilities faced numerous challenges when trying to access public buildings, transportation, and facilities. Rampant architectural barriers such as stairs without ramps or elevators, narrow doorways, and inaccessible restrooms limited their mobility and independence. These barriers perpetuated discrimination and exclusion, making it difficult for individuals with disabilities to participate fully in public life.

Key Provisions of the ABA

The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 addressed these issues head-on by requiring that all federally funded buildings and facilities be designed, constructed, and altered to be accessible To people with disabilities. Here are some of the key provisions that make the ABA an important piece of legislation:

1. Definition of Covered Buildings: The ABA applies to buildings and facilities designed, constructed, altered, or leased with federal funds. This includes a wide range of structures, from government offices and post offices to national parks and military bases.

2. Accessibility Standards: The ABA established specific accessibility standards and guidelines, ensuring that facilities would be designed to accommodate people with various types of disabilities. These standards laid the foundation for subsequent accessibility regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

3. Enforcement Mechanisms: The ABA empowered the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (often referred to as the "Access Board") to develop and maintain accessibility standards. Federal agencies were responsible for enforcing these standards and ensuring compliance in their projects.

Impact on the Disability Community

The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 had a profound and lasting impact on the disability community for several reasons:

1. Increased Accessibility: The ABA led to the removal of many physical barriers in federally funded buildings, making them more accessible to people with disabilities. This change greatly improved the quality of life for individuals who previously faced significant limitations in their daily activities.

2. Trailblazing Legislation: The ABA set a precedent for disability rights legislation in the United States. It paved the way for subsequent laws like the ADA, which extended accessibility requirements to the private sector, further enhancing the rights and opportunities of individuals with disabilities.

3. Promotion of Inclusivity: By requiring accessible design in federally funded facilities, the ABA promoted a culture of inclusivity and equality. It sent a powerful message that all citizens, regardless of their abilities, have the right to access and participate in public life.

4. Advocacy and Awareness: The ABA spurred advocacy efforts within the disability community and raised awareness about the importance of accessible design. This activism contributed to the passage of subsequent legislation and the ongoing work to ensure equal access for all.

The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 stands as a crucial milestone in the history of disability rights and accessibility in the United States. By addressing the physical barriers that hindered access to federally funded buildings and facilities, this legislation laid the foundation for a more inclusive society. It empowered the disability community, promoted equal rights, and set the stage for further advancements in accessibility. As we reflect on the legacy of the ABA, it is clear that its importance to the disability community cannot be overstated, and its impact continues to be felt today as we strive for a more inclusive and accessible future for all.

If you enjoyed this blog, please leave a comment either on this post or on our social media. Even if you don’t accept or agree with all the information presented above, we hope you keep coming back to continue to learn about the disability community. 

Till tomorrow, 


Wednesday, September 6, 2023

When Should I Start Teaching My Kids About the Different Types of Disabilities and Disabled People In General?

Your friendly neighborhood super advocate is back! In yesterday’s post, we discussed parenting with a disability for the third time. Since there was a great deal of interest in that blog post, I thought today would be the perfect time to deliver and talk about a topic that I mentioned at the end of last Friday’s blog post. 

Since I began blogging over a decade ago, I cannot count how many times I’ve heard the following question, “Since you write a lot about disability I was wondering, when is the right time or age for me as a parent to begin teaching my child about disabilities and disabled people in general?” For the longest time, I did not have a simple answer to this question. 

As a person with a disability, I have always believed that the earlier we expose children to a disability or any type of difference whether it be race, cultural background, disability, and/or language, this will foster acceptance, open-mindedness, and overall compassion. Children are impressionable if you teach them or if you raise them to be polite and nice to everyone then it is fair to assume they will not only grow up to be polite and respectful adults, but they will gain respect from others as well. 

In terms of teaching your child about the world of disability and the people who live in it, I recently came across an article that sums it up better than I can. An article on from July 28, 2020, entitled “How to teach children about disability, at every age,” puts it best. In the article, they use a quote from a woman by the name of Michelle Nario-Redmond. For those not familiar with Miss Nario-Redmond, she is a psychology professor and the author of the academic textbook "Ableism: The Causes and Consequences of Disability Prejudice".  She states in the article that when parents “yank the kids away from approaching a person with a visible disability, kids pick up on the fact that there's ‘something wrong,’ ‘something shameful,’ that they should avoid.” 

Rather than rehash the whole article I will include a link to it in this post. 

Miss Nario-Redmond and I believe that the earlier you teach not to fear or view people with disabilities as different, the sooner we will all learn that different is something to be celebrated, not scorned. 

Until tomorrow, your friendly neighborhood super advocate is signing off for the night.


Article and textbook mentioned above:

How to teach children about disability, at every age

Ableism: The Causes and Consequences of Disability Prejudice