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Words I Wheel By’s Top 5 Posts of 2014

By Emily @emily_ladau

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Words I Wheel By's Top 5 Posts of 2014

Words I Wheel By has been my little home on the Internet for nearly a year and half now. It is where I have turned to sort through my thoughts and emotions, to work on my activism, to share my frustrations, triumphs, and joys. Often, as Flannery O’Connor once said, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” Words are my constant companion, and this blog has given me the chance to share them with more people that I could ever have imagined in my wildest dreams.

With 2015 upon us, I have even wilder dreams to continue growing, expanding, and advocating for the fundamental human and disability rights that I so deeply believe in. Most importantly, I plan to continue using Words I Wheel By as platform to connect with people and learn more from the world around me.

As 2014 comes to a close, what better way to wrap up the adventure than to share once more the top 5 pieces I’ve published throughout the year? And just as I shared in my top 5 posts from last year, these are the posts that resonated with readers, stirred up controversy, made people think, and helped me grow. I’m immensely grateful to everyone who has taken the time to read them.

1) The Politics of Disability Representation in the Wendy Davis Wheelchair Ad – As the most popular piece I’ve published on this blog ever, this post tackles the controversy surrounding politician Wendy Davis’s ad focused on competitor Greg Abbott’s disability. My take was different than many people expected, and evoked strong responses. What did you think of the ad?

2) Generation ADA is Here to Stay in the Fight for Disability Rights – I hammered out this post on my birthday while in the car after discovering an advocate from an older generation accused advocates from my generation of being careless and lazy. When we’re all working towards the same cause of expanding acceptance of disabilities, there’s just no need for generational divisions. What’s your take on age differences in activist communities?

3) Playing Disabled is Never Cool – After reading a New York Times op-ed that seemed to celebrate Justin Bieber for making wheelchairs “cool,” I couldn’t stay silent. I worried this piece sent a message that pretending to be disabled is a fun thing to do, and that’s just not the case. How did you feel about Justin Bieber’s supposed faking disability to use a wheelchair in Disney World?

4) I Am More Than An Empty Wheelchair: Speaking Up Against Ableism – Writing this piece proved to be an incredibly empowering experience. When I was ignored by an usher at a disability-related event, I knew I needed to speak out. Has anything like this ever happened to you?

5) A Mother’s Day Reflection on Mother-Daughter Disability – This post hit home for a lot of people – especially my mom! I’m proud to have someone so close to me who shares the experience of disability. Are you the only disabled member of your family, or are you in a unique situation similar to me and my mother?

Happy, happy New Year, everyone! Here’s wishing you a peaceful, fulfilling, and powerful 2015!

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