Polio Place

A service of Post-Polio Health International

independent living

Imperative to Fight Ableism

Karen Hagrup

I am disabled and proud. I have a doctorate and two daughters. I live in a nice condo with my partner. I’m retired and volunteer regularly in my community. People come to me for help. I rarely worry anymore about others’ attitudes toward my impairment; they’ve probably got it wrong anyway.

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That Old Feeling

Nancy Baldwin Carter, BA, M Ed Psych, Omaha, Nebraska, is a polio survivor, a writer, and is founder and former director of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association.

It got their attention—our friend Mac wheeling along in his power chair, lugging three two-by-fours and a standard toilet stool into the City Council meeting.

He’d been there before, our friend Mac, and had made no headway trying to describe why the city government building restrooms made it impossible for people like him in wheelchairs to use those facilities.

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Home Sweet Home?

Nancy Baldwin Carter, BA, M Ed Psych, Omaha, Nebraska, is a polio survivor, a writer, and is founder and former director of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association.

FACT: 90% of Americans polled said they definitely do not want to live in a nursing facility.

FACT: 80% of Americans polled want to continue living in their own homes until the end.

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Come Hear the Music Play

Nancy Baldwin Carter, BA, M Ed Psych, Omaha, Nebraska, is a polio survivor, a writer, and is founder and former director of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association.

The words kept running through my mind: “What good is sitting alone in your room?” Da dah da dah dah dah. Yes. That song from Cabaret. What was I thinking? Then it hit me. Exactly! How many polio survivors have said similar words as they explain their interest in a very special kind of volunteering—working with children.

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Racking Up Success

Nancy Baldwin Carter, BA, M Ed Psych, Omaha, Nebraska, is a polio survivor, a writer, and is founder and former director of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association.

A few years ago Hubby’s dentist gave him a scruffily pathetic Christmas cactus that wasn’t doing well under her tutelage. He brought it home, put in on his desk under the desk lamp, in front of an east window, next to the room’s heating duct, and here it is kept throughout the year.

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Movin' On

Nancy Baldwin Carter, BA, M Ed Psych, Omaha, Nebraska, is a polio survivor, a writer, and is founder and former director of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association.

We’re talking civil rights here. Big Time. “Our crowning achievement of the 20th Century,” as Justin Dart, Jr. called it—the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act—the ADA. On July 26 we celebrated its anniversary. Twenty years of freedom.

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Whose Life Is It, Anyway?

Nancy Baldwin Carter, BA, M Ed Psych, Omaha, Nebraska is a polio survivor, a writer, and is founder and former director of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association.

My friend Mary called with what she termed a dilemma: She has a friend whose mother won’t take a bath. “It’s been three months,” she said. “The woman refuses to bathe. Her daughter promises her a night out at her favorite restaurant if she’ll clean up, but she won’t do it.”

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Making the Most of Time

William Stothers

It all depends on your disability, of course, but most of us probably pay out more money, and most likely more time and energy, to manage our daily routines than non-disabled people.

For example, even with health insurance, I shell out a steady flow of funds for wheelchair repairs, other orthopedic equipment and ventilator supplies.

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Independent Living

The independent living movement grew out of the anger and frustration of people with disabilities who were excluded from places of education, work, general retail, worship, and recreation due to barriers in architecture, transportation, and communications.

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Self-assessment

Post-polio advocates noticed that polio survivors experienced very frustrating visits to physicians when reporting new post-polio problems. Barriers included the limited amount of time a physician had for an appointment and the lack of experience of physicians in the early days. They weren’t as skilled at asking the right questions. Additionally, polio survivors knew they didn’t feel well, but hadn’t spent much time thinking about details. In fact, many survivors spent years pushing polio and its effects out of their everyday thoughts.

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