People with disabilities have always had a voice. We’re just teaching the world different ways to listen.
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The Need for More Disability Leadership: Conclusion (11/22/22)

At the end of the day, these issues around disability leadership must be taken into consideration if things are going to change. Hopefully, this matter won’t fall through the cracks so the world will be able to witness disability leadership in all capacities, now and in the future. Read more...

Talking About Invisible Disabilities: Symptoms and Accommodations (11/18/22)

For my fourth blog in this series, I’ll discuss more disabilities with symptoms we might overlook. Additionally, I’ll provide insight on what rights you have regarding accommodations and how to start asking for services or alternatives that could help you. Read more...

Talking About Invisible Disabilities: Mindfulness as a Community (10/28/22)

Navigating your space as a disabled person is hard enough, but what should you do when your disability or accommodation causes distress for another disabled person? Read more...

Talking About Invisible Disabilities: Masking (10/14/22)

“Masking” is when someone purposefully hides their disability to pass as nondisabled. Although this term is often used for people who are neurodivergent, many individuals with other disabilities relate to masking as well. Read more...

Talking About Invisible Disabilities: The Unique Challenges We Face (9/30/22)

While it’s true that passing as nondisabled comes with a type of privilege for some, this mode of stealth still feels like walking on a tightrope at times. We constantly battle whether to disclose vulnerable information about ourselves or endure systematic ableism in silence. Read more...

The Need for More Disability Leadership: Accessibility and Reasonable Accommodations (9/23/22)

For people with disabilities to be able to be in positions of leadership, the subjects of accessibility and reasonable accommodations must be addressed.  Read more...

Nothing About Us Without Us: Creating the Adult Advocacy Centers (9/8/22)

I learned early on that my mind operates differently than most people and, eventually, I got some labels to condense that difference into two words: autism and anxiety. But my disabilities are a strength, not a limitation. They help me to look at people and problems with empathy and creativity,... Read more...

The Need for More Disability Leadership: Diversity (8/17/22)

When I roll into a room where decisions are being made, nine times out of ten, I’m the only person of color sitting around the table. Read more...

The Need for More Disability Leadership: Tokenism (7/20/22)

Often, when a person with a disability is recruited to a position of leadership, tokenism comes into play. Those organizations are fully aware if they have a person or people with unique differences sitting around their table, it’ll make them look good to the public. However, they often do not... Read more...

The Need for More Disability Leadership (7/1/22)

A leader is a person who leads or commands a group, organization or country. When I think of great leaders, I think of Dr. Martin Luther King, President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris. I also think of Ken Campbell, Justin Dart and Judy Heumann. Read more...

On Asian Mental Health, from an Asian Mental Health Therapist (5/27/22)

Plenty of studies show that Asians have a higher stigma toward mental health struggles. Many cultural values that exist within the Asian culture seem to have a role in influencing an Asian individual’s decision to seek professional mental health help. Personally, in my own life, I have seen first-hand the... Read more...

Reflections About Safety, Part 4: Self-Empowerment and the Grievance Process When Rights Are Violated (5/20/22)

This final blog in the safety series addresses self-empowerment, awareness and preservation of rights and the process of filing grievances when rights are violated.   Read more...

Reflections About Safety, Part 3: Perspectives of a Mental Health Expert (5/6/22)

Professionals should be encouraged to seek sufficient training to help those who struggle with suicidal thoughts to talk about them in a safe and supportive setting, without the looming threat of being hospitalized. Read more...

Reflections About Safety, Part 2: Safety Plans and Legal Documents (4/21/22)

What needs to be in place to ensure that someone with mental health concerns who also has safety concerns feels “safe” with reaching out for help? Read more...

Reflections About Safety, Part 1: My Perspective as a Mental Health Consumer (4/8/22)

When I, as a patient, am struggling and voicing concerns with my psychiatrist or other mental health care provider, I am almost always faced with two questions immediately: “Do you feel safe?” and “Are you having any thoughts about taking your own life?” Read more...

A Year and a Half in Recovery (3/18/22)

My life had become unmanageable. I was drinking every night and trying hard to block out my pain. A friend suggested that I go to Harding Hospital, check myself in and get my mental health needs under control. Read more...

Black, Disabled, LGBTQ: Honoring Intersectional Leaders for Black History Month, Part 2 (2/23/22)

Last week, I highlighted the legacies of four important Black, disabled LGBTQ+ people from the past. This week, I’m highlighting four who are doing meaningful work within their communities today. Read more...

Black, Disabled, LGBTQ: Honoring Intersectional Leaders for Black History Month, Part 1 (2/16/22)

Each February, we are reminded to reflect on the triumphs, sacrifices and struggles of Black Americans. Often, though, Black activists and luminaries with intersectional identities can be left out of the spotlight. Read more...

Human Trafficking and Disabilities (1/20/22)

Human trafficking is a major issue in the world today. Until recently, I don’t think this issue has received the awareness it deserved to bring it to a stop. Read more...

Words and Language Matter, Part 3: How We Talk or Write about Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease (10/29/21)

Language matters when we talk or write about dementia or refer to individuals living with dementia. Not only is derogatory language disrespectful and inappropriate, it can be stigmatizing and discriminatory. Likewise, it can reinforce stereotypes about dementia as well as normal aging.   Read more...

Words and Language Matter, Part 2: How We Talk or Write about Disability (10/22/21)

In my blog last week, I wrote about how language matters when we talk about mental illness and those who have psychiatric diagnoses. This blog addresses appropriate or preferable language use when we refer to disability and to disabled people. Read more...

Words and Language Matter: How We Talk or Write about Mental Illness (10/15/21)

Words matter when we talk or write about mental illness, mental health or individuals who have psychiatric diagnoses. Read more...

Mental Health Advocacy for Yourself and Others (5/10/21)

What does it take to be an advocate individually and as part of a team or group? One voice can make a difference; for example, by sharing your story, you can empower yourself and others. However, by being part of a group, individuals can draw on their unique personal strengths... Read more...

The Significance and Meaning of National Healthcare Decisions Day (4/16/21)

National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), founded by Attorney Nathan Kottkamp, falls each year on April 16. The Conversation Project, created in 2010, is the foundation for NHDD. On this day, the objectives are to make efforts nationwide to educate citizens and health care providers, and to promote engagement in critical... Read more...

Black History Month, Inclusion Style (2/19/21)

As we celebrate Black History Month, I’m proud to be alive to witness the first Black woman elected Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris. With that being a great accomplishment, we mustn’t forget those trailblazers with disabilities who fought for equality. Often when celebrating equality, people with disabilities... Read more...

Guardianship for Older Adults with Disabilities: A Double-Edged Sword (2/3/21)

Guardianships are meant to be grounded in total trust. Guardians are fiduciaries"individuals who hold legal or ethical relationship of trust with one or more parties. Along with being trustworthy, they are meant to have high levels of honesty and confidentiality. The intent is for them to protect those who are... Read more...

New Year, New Beginnings (1/22/21)

We made it to a new year, and a new year means you have an opportunity to start over. Let’s just get it out the way and say, “2020 was such a hard year for many.” The whole world was in turmoil, and although we’re not quite out of the woods... Read more...

Peer Support: Why It’s So Important (1/12/21)

At the outset, it is important to note that peer support should be viewed as a continuum--from informal connections to formal programming to formal agency structures. It can be as simple as two friends chatting and supporting each other. However, the peer support framework can be much more structured, such... Read more...

Handling Holiday Depression (12/17/20)

Let's be honest, many people suffer from depression during the holidays. Although I love the holidays, I'm aware that sadness from financial strain, loneliness and loss of loved ones can impact people's minds this time of the year. Adding a global pandemic does not help. Read more...

Give Thanks (11/24/20)

2020 has been a trying year. Between COVID, racial injustice and the presidential election, it’s a miracle people have been able to keep their sanity. Read more...

Help Us Show Them Someone Cares (11/13/20)

In the spring, we launched our first project with our partners at the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County and Catholic Charities Ashland County. Their dedicated volunteers penned hand-written notes for every patient at Ohio’s six state-run psychiatric hospitals"1,100 in all. Each patient also received a poem written... Read more...

Happiness through the Hours of Darkness (10/28/20)

Daylight Saving Time will end this Sunday, November 1. Read more...

Your Voice (9/22/20)

It will be time to vote in the 2020 presidential general election in less than two months. Read more...

Finding Success with Project FIND (7/9/20)

Recently I collaborated with law enforcement when a provider staff member had seriously physically injured an individual who was served by the county board. Read more...

I Can’t Breathe . . . (6/4/20)

“I can’t breathe…” Those words keep ringing in my head. Read more...

COVID isolation increases risk of abuse in nursing homes (4/17/20)

The current world-wide public health crisis has drawn attention to the fact that seniors with disabilities are at the highest risk of becoming ill after exposure to COVID-19. Read more...

A First-Hand Experience with Online Counseling during COVID-19 (4/14/20)

While we are all adjusting to the new day-to-day life of social distancing and shelter-in-place rules, I felt it was important to share my experience with mental health telemedicine. Read more...

Coronavirus & Disabilities (4/7/20)

As the epidemic of the Coronavirus has invaded the entire world, we’re left with a lot of uncertainties of what’s going to happen to life as we know it. Read more...

Watching for abuse during this time of isolation (3/31/20)

As our society moves from a community setting into one of isolation, there are many invisible repercussions for individuals with disabilities. One of the most concerning is the very high likelihood that abuse of individuals with disabilities will increase and reporting of the alleged abuse will decrease. Read more...

Go get some fresh air! Just keep your distance (3/27/20)

In the interest of helping people get outside safely, the Adult Advocacy Centers have compiled a list of links of accessible outdoor parks, gardens and trails around Ohio. Read more...

Older adults with disabilities and our public health crisis (3/24/20)

This is a special message from Dr. Spore in the wake of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Read more...

Intersection of substance abuse and addiction with elder abuse and neglect (3/17/20)

This is the fifth in a series of blogs from Dr. Spore about the importance of the Adult Advocacy Centers’ work. Read more...

Russell and Myra Strand bring together community in AACs, UD event (3/12/20)

In November 2019, the University of Dayton’s Brook Center’s Sexual Violence Prevention Education Department reached out to the Adult Advocacy Centers to discuss a possible collaboration. Read more...

Thanks for Paving the Way: Black History Month 2020 (2/25/20)

As I celebrate Black History Month, I must say, I’m proud of my culture and how far we’ve come. Read more...

Victim to Survivor: Self-Empowerment with Trauma-Informed Care (2/14/20)

This is the fourth in a series of blogs from Dr. Spore about the importance of the Adult Advocacy Centers’ work. Read more...

Human Trafficking a Concern for Disability Community (1/23/20)

Human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 24.9 million people around the world. Although trafficking can happen to anyone, traffickers target vulnerable populations who have significant risk factors, such as people with substantial trauma histories, people with disabilities, runaway or homeless young adults, and people who... Read more...

Victimization of Individuals with Disabilities Linked with Dementia (1/8/20)

This is the third in a series of blogs from Dr. Spore about the importance of the Adult Advocacy Centers’ work. Read more...

The Hidden Cycle of Violence: Family Caregiver and Elderly Care Recipient Abuse (12/17/19)

This is the second in a series of blogs from Dr. Spore about the importance of the Adult Advocacy Centers’ work. Read more...

The Vision of the Adult Advocacy Centers (11/22/19)

This is the first in a series of blogs from Dr. Spore about the importance of the Adult Advocacy Centers’ work. Read more...