Inspiration Without Inspiration Porn

Green highway-style road sign reading InspirationFirst read this …

Charles Roberts, America News - November 11, 2015

… and marvel at the stunning insensitivity it took for this woman to congratulate herself for doing a good deed, after “stubbornly” overruling a disabled veteran who said several times he didn’t need or want her help, and forcibly helping him anyway. It takes a lot for a news item to stun and offend me personally, but this one had me swearing aloud to my iPhone.

Now read Dominick Evans’ terrific blog post about the story:

Dominick Evans - December 16, 2015

Yes, it’s “Inspiration Porn” again. Why are we so bothered by people who are just trying to be kind? Why won’t we leave it alone?

Because it keeps happening, it’s genuinely disturbing, and people keep finding ways to make it even worse.

Still, I hate being a sourpuss. Just because I loathe sentimentality, doesn’t mean that all sentiment is wrong. Just because I don’t exist for your inspiration, doesn’t mean it’s wrong to feel inspired by whatever happens to inspire you. The alternative to Inspiration Porn isn’t gross negligence, like stepping over a disabled man choking to death in a McDonalds. There are decent, acceptable ways to be decent, kind, and helpful to disabled people.

Can you do a "good deed" for a disabled person without offending them?

Is it possible to do inspirational stories about disabled people without being smarmy and condescending?

Yes and yes!

First ask, "Can I help you?", and then respect the answer. And if the answer is "No thank you," or even just plain "NO!", don't take it personally. How each disabled person answers depends on many factors. I’m not often asked if I need help. When I am, I usually say, “No thank you, I’ve got it” because I’ve got it. Sometimes I say, “No thanks,” then pause a moment, survey my situation, and say, “Actually, yeah, that would be great, could you …?” and then I tell the person exactly how they can help. Sometimes, I say, “Yup!” right away, and hand them the whatever that I’m trying to carry while inching my way down some stairs. The point is, it’s fine to ask, I call the play, and the only really offensive thing is if you don’t listen to my answer.

What about pictorial depictions of bravery, kindness, perseverance, inspiration, like Facebook memes or YouTube videos?

Never snap a photo, never shoot a video about a disabled person without the disabled person's consent. It doesn’t matter that you admire the thing you are depicting. It doesn’t matter that you do it to make people happy or uplift them, or teach them a lesson about gratitude. What matters is the result, and if the disabled person isn't on board with the situation or being used in your little morality play, any good you think you’re doing will be undone.

Above all, make sure the disabled person has a voice in the story or scenario or whatever it is you’re focused on. If you write about an actual, named, identifiable disabled person, ask the disabled person to comment and include what they say. You’ll discover pretty quickly whether they think the situation is amazing and remarkable, or pretty standard and nothing to crow about. And that should be your guide on how to think about it, too. Follow the disability rights movement motto: "Nothing about us without us."

If you focus on a disabled person overcoming adversity, ask questions about that adversity and why it is there. Stories of individual courage and character are uplifting, but disability discrimination and hardships don't happen in a vacuum. The problems disabled people face usually come from or are made worse by the bad choices and neglect of actual people and institutions that should be challenged. Battling institutional ableism doesn’t translate so easily to cute Facebook posts that make people go, “Awww!” but that’s part of the point. And anyway, fighting discrimination IS inspiring!

Finally, remember that not every disabled person craves "going viral." Most disabled people just want to get on with life. Believe it or not, many of us strongly prefer anonymity! Most importantly, we all want to be treated as people, with three full dimensions, unique points of view, and complex feelings, not cardboard cutouts employed to symbolize abstract values, or tools to make you feel swell and become Internet-famous.

But what if I can’t follow all these conditions and still tell my story?

Simple … just don’t tell the story! Sometimes, a little restraint is the best, most uplifting gift of all.


Giving Tuesday

Picture of a potted plant with a dollar symbol on it being watered by a hand holding a watering can
Today is Giving Tuesday, which I guess is a special day meant to follow the commercialism of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, by encouraging people to give to charities. It reminded me of a post I wrote in May, about how to choose a disability-related charity:

Disability Thinking - May 13, 2015

I tried in that post to be fairly neutral on what kind of disability work is most valuable, and instead focused on effectiveness and simply being aware of what kind of disability-related goals you want to support. In other words, I didn’t really make any value judgments. Today I’m going to go ahead and talk about what kinds of disability work I value, and why.

There are four main kinds of non-profit disability work I will list them in order of my personal preference.

Advocacy and Policy

- Helping disabled individuals fight discrimination, improve physical accessibility, and navigate bureaucratic barriers.

- Shaping all kinds of policies, regulations, and laws in ways that expand opportunities and make life better for disabled people.

Advocacy and Policy are my top priorities. I believe that most of the problems disabled people face are systemic rather than personal, and that making better policies and practices regarding disabled people does the most long-term good for the most people. It also happens to fit my personality, which is unsentimental and analytical, so I just "like" advocacy and policy wonkery more!

Services and Support

- Helping disabled people solve everyday problems directly and indirectly related to their disabilities.

- Providing disabled people with the financial support, technology, and direct personal assistance to achieve and maintain their independence.

Services and support address individual needs, especially when they are tailored to each person's situation and directed as much as possible by the person using the service. I feel it is important to support these services because individuals should not have to wait for that perfect accessible world in order to enjoy independence and fulfillment. I'm not into fancy, elaborate programs, and I'm dead set against segregated, sheltered ones. But certain basic services, like income support and home care, are massively valuable.


- Informing people about disability issues and the experience of living with disabilities.

- Increasing social acceptance and reducing prejudice against disabled people.

Although social acceptance is important, and being treated cruelly because of your disability is terrible, I am skeptical about the effectiveness of most kinds of "disability awareness" campaigns. For one thing, I'm never quite sure what, exactly, people mean by "awareness." Disability awareness campaigns also tend to be rather simplistic, setting too low a bar for what it expects from people.

Medical Research

- Learning more about specific medical conditions that produce disabilities.

- Developing therapies and cures that might lessen or cure disabilities.

I value all kinds of scientific research, and in some cases, better therapies and treatments can improve disabled peoples' everyday lives. Too often, though, the search for a "cure" seems like a boondoggle. The rhetoric for these campaigns is often so negative about disability itself that they actually make it harder for us to achieve social acceptance. Basic research should be funded objectively, not based on who has the saddest stories, the cutest poster child, or the slickest marketing team.

I'll add one more recommendation, which was also in my May blog post ...

There are few more important principles of the disability community than: “Nothing about us without us.” Whenever possible, support disability organizations led by disabled people, with disabled on their boards, and disabled people in upper management and on service-providing staff. If nothing else, you should seriously question the commitment and relevance of a disability organization that resists or downplays inclusion of disabled people in leadership roles.


Accessibility Rating: Into The Weeds

AXS Map logo
September 26 - December 31, 2015

It is entirely possible do go out and do credible, informative accessibility ratings without having the complete ADA Accessibility Guidelines tattooed on your brain. You don’t need to know everything. You don’t have to take a hundred measurements at every place you visit, either. 

It is, however, important to understand the fundamentals of accessibility in the United States in 2015. You can’t really get a proper grip on advocating accessibility without understanding:

a. What the law actually says about accessibility, and

b. What “accessible” actually means.

Which buildings are required to be accessible?

First of all, it’s not so much “buildings” as businesses that own and operate buildings or portions of buildings. Which businesses are required to have physical facilities for the public that are accessible?

- If it was built before 1992, it’s required to fix any accessibility problems to the extent it is “readily achievable.” That’s a very loose standard, open to a lot of interpretation and pleading, but it does open the door for advocacy and some basic improvements. There is no “grandfather clause” in the ADA for anyone.

- If it was built after 1992, it must be fully accessible. Full stop.

- If it was renovated, all or in part, or added to, the worked on bits must be fully accessible.

There are standards for all kinds of buildings and spaces, including schools, hospitals, hotel rooms, apartments, and recreation facilities, though the exact laws that apply to some of these kinds of places are sometimes separate from the Americans with Disabilities Act. Another complication is that the generally, the only officials who are really charged with enforcement are local building code officials, and they technically don't enforce the ADA. They enforce local building codes, which usually, (but don't always), mirror the ADA Accessibility Guidelines.

Nevertheless, basic accessibility does tend to boil down to a few important standards that apply in all kinds of situations.

What does “accessible” mean?

The first thing to say is something I think most people already know, but at times we forget. There are two ways of assessing accessibility. Is it accessible to me, with my disabilities, and does it comply with legally applicable accessibility standards. Accessibility standards aren’t perfect. They aren’t the best a business can do. They are a minimum standard. If every building complied with them, there would be much better accessibility for everyone, though still not complete.

That said, here are some basic standards to keep in your head as you rate accessibility of businesses you visit:

Doorways should be at least 32” wide. That means 32” of clear space, with nothing in the way. Make sure that when you open a door, the door itself doesn’t impede a wheelchair user’s progress in or out.

Hallways and other paths, like sidewalks, should be at least 36” wide. Again, that means clear, unobstructed space. Watch out for aisle displays in stores and things like outdoor restaurant seating that can narrow otherwise adequate sidewalks.

Ramps should also be at least 36” wide, and not too steep. A ramp should take at least 1 foot of horizontal distance for every 1 inch it rises. Don’t measure the ramp path itself. Measure the total height it climbs and the amount of flat space it takes up. Like this:

Diagram of the proper scope for a wheelchair ramp

Ramps should also have railings on both sides. That’s both for safety, (not falling off the ramp), and so people can haul themselves up if they need to, in a wheelchair or on foot.

Entry areas near doors, areas at the top and bottom of ramps, and turning spaces inside restrooms and toilet stalls should be based on a minimum 5 foot square turning area. It’s also helpful in figuring out if other interior spaces are spacious enough or too cluttered. Like this:

Diagram of 5 foot square wheelchair turning space

Accessible restrooms and / or accessible toilet stalls should combine enough clear maneuvering space, toilet height within certain parameters, and secure horizontal grab bars behind and on at least one side of the toilet. Something like this:

Diagram for accessible toilet stalls

Designated disability parking should include spaces marked both on the pavement and on a vertically posted sign, and at least one adjacent access aisle. For example:

Diagram for accessible parking spaces

For the complete accessibility standards applicable in the United States, consult the United States Access Board ADA Standards.

One more note ...

Whenever possible, explain the practical, real-life problems that specific barriers pose. For example, don’t just say, “The doorway is only 29” wide.” Add that this means most wheelchairs can’t get through.


Join The Accessibility Mapping Campaign!

AXS Map logo

Let’s do this.

Dominick Evans and I have set up a “Mapathon” at AXS Map, part of the Celebrate Access Equality 2015 event. Our goal is that by the end of 2015, at least 200 businesses in the United States will be given accessibility ratings by at least 20 people participating in their own towns and travels, using the AXS Map website and mobile app.

Watch this video to see how AXS Map works, and how to approach doing on-site accessibility ratings:

So, what’s the Marathon? It’s just a way to keep track of how many surveys get done during this online-organized effort. To participate, you need to do three things:

1. Register free at AXS Map. This sets you up to be able to enter the results of your accessibility ratings.

2. Go to our Celebrate Access Equality 2015 Mapathon page, and join it. All of the surveys you do until December 31 will be added to our campaign total.

3. Download the free AXS Map mobile app to your smartphone or tablet. This is optional. You can do everything on the website if you want. The app just makes it a little easier to add your ratings immediately while you are out doing them.

That’s it! Simple, right? Tomorrow, I’ll post some tips on how to judge whether or now something is accessible.

Celebrate Access Equality September 26, 2015
If you are disabled, or interested in disability rights, then you probably know the frustration of encountering businesses and public facilities that are still not accessible, 25 years after the ADA became law. It’s frustrating in principle, and it’s a practical barrier to full participation, especially when you don’t know which places are accessible, which are not, and which features are usable. AXS Map documents the issue, and creates a more and more reliable and complete resource on accessibility.

But it’s only as good as the ratings entered. Most cities and towns don’t have any surveys. That’s why we’re doing this. We want everyone who knows about accessibility problems and complains about them to do something constructive about them. Documenting the problem is a vital step, and identifying places that are accessible is incredibly useful. Let’s see how many places we can rate between now and the end of the year!

Also, if you do participate, please keep us and all your friends informed about what you are doing. Share the link to the Mapathon. Post on your Facebook Page and your Twitter Feed when you enter another rating. Encourage your friends, families, and coworkers to join the effort.

If you have any questions or just want to share your experiences, we’ve set up an email for the effort:

We look forward to hearing from you, and seeing those numbers go up!


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What Are Centers for Independent Living?

Map of the United States and Territories
Wouldn't it be great if there was a place anyone could go to for practical information and dogged advocacy for people with all kinds of disabilities ...

... an agency near you, wherever you live in the United States

... a non-profit that can also help families, schools, government agencies, and businesses become better allies of disabled people

... a grassroots movement that combines formidable real-life expertise and personal empathy

... an organization run by and for disabled people?

Someone should definitely get busy and start an organization like that. Wait. They already did.

Centers for Independent Living are not-for-profit disability organizations that are governed and staffed mainly by people with disabilities. They are funded by the federal government, some state governments, and by foundation grants and individual contributions.

There are CILs in every state and territory in the United States. Some states have a 2 or 3 large centers serving big rural territories or large urban populations. Other states have many more Centers of different sizes serving just a few counties. Each CIL is a independent organization. At the same time, Centers are all part of a loose but extensive nationwide network, operating under a common service model and a common approach to disability.

There are several things that make Centers for Independent Living different from other disability-related agencies:

Majority Disability ... The majority of all Centers' staff and board members are always disabled. This is more than a gesture of inclusiveness, and it is certainly not a practice designed to provide employment opportunities for disabled people. Rather, it is a key to the very nature of every Center's services. Nowhere else can you get disability-related services provided by people who live with disabilities themselves.

Broad Scope ... CILs define disability broadly, and encompass the concerns and needs of all disabled people, regardless of the degree or type of disability they have, or of their age, income, gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other social identity they may have. CILs believe in the essential unity of the disability experience.

Services and Advocacy ... All Centers do both services and advocacy. In fact, the two are interrelated. While providing services, you discover systemic problems that call for policy changes through advocacy. At the same time providing services every day, dealing with peoples' individual problems and goals, helps ground CILs' advocacy efforts in every day reality. Few other disability organizations are as committed to both services and advocacy as CILs.

What CILs Don't Do ... What Centers don't do is also important. CILs do not run residences, group homes, assisted living facilities, special schools, or sheltered workshops. In general, they do not seek to create separate, specialized services for disabled people, but rather work to make existing services accessible and equally satisfying for all, including people with disabilities.

I am prejudiced. I worked for 23 years at a Center for Independent Living. For 14 of those years, I was the Executive Director of one. I still do grant-writing work for my local CIL. I still think CILs are as close to being the perfect organization for disabled people and their families.

I also know that CILs aren't perfect. For one thing, with literally hundreds of independently-run Centers operating, they aren't as consistent as one might wish them to be. And CILs do have both strengths and weaknesses. The following is my personal perspective on both:


The most common complaint I hear from people who try Centers and come away disappinted is that they were unable to help with some very specific, very urgent problem. While Centers usually can get things done in a pinch, they do tend to be better at helping with long-term goals than with emergencies. CILs are not crisis centers.

Centers' struggle for funding can sometimes become a higher priority than their advocacy goals and even their values. It is still quite rare for a Center to "sell out," but it is easy to get distracted off your main mission when money is available to do something that is only semi-related.

Because CILs are so grassroots and rooted in local communities, they can sometimes fail into the trap of wanting to be admired more than wanting to be effective advocates. It's usually possible to be a strong advocate and be well-liked, but it isn't easy. Being considered a respected colleague ... a "team player" by all the other bigwigs in a small community can be awfully tempting.

There is always a risk when you hire people for their life experience more than for their professional credentials. On the one hand, you often find untapped wells of talent, wisdom, and compassion. On the other hand, you may find you have to build up basic administration and collaboration skills, sometimes from scratch. As a result, CILs at times can be a bit shaggy or sloppy with what is broadly termed "professionalism."

Independent Living grew out of a genuine grassroots movement, but was first built mainly on the aspirations of relatively privileged, well-educated, middle-class disabled people. Although there is nothing in Independent Living that is incompatible with other people and goals, it sometimes feels relevant to people with lower incomes, people with cognitive and mental disabilities, and people from more diverse cultural backgrounds.

These are not inherent weaknesses. They are inherent risks of weakness. And most Centers are more open to criticism and change from the people they serve than most other non-profits. After all, most of the staff and board members of CILs have had lots of experience dealing with the failings and shortcomings of agencies and services they rely on.


Centers have a unique authenticity and credibility because they are staffed and governed mainly by disabled people. The "peer" connection thing doesn't work for everyone, but overall it is remarkably effective. One of the biggest mental barriers for disabled people is believability. They often just don't believe what non-disabled people tell them they can achieve. But when the person telling you has disabilities, too, then the message is just more believable.

Centers provide a structure for organized disability advocacy that can be reproduced anywhere. Independent Living philosophy, service models, and operating principles are firm enough to give structure to a particular approach to disability, and flexible enough to work in any kind of community.

Centers across the country are diverse in their services and activities, but share a common philosophy of disability and operating values. The tools are the same wherever you go, but the goals and priorities vary to fit each community's unique situations.

Centers make fulfillment of each individual’s goals a higher priority than what society says is good for them. This is critical. CILs definitely share a point of view on disability. But part of that point of view is that no ideology should replace what each individual cares about and wants to achieve. CILs are often the one type of institution that will always stand up to support what a disabled person chooses for themselves.

Although CILs aren't there specifically to provide opportunity for the disabled people who work at them, they do constitute a unique and varied career path for disabled people who want to devote themselves to serving the disability community. Plus, Centers are often proving grounds where disabled people with limited work experience can hone their skills and then move on to greater success in other fields of employment.

After two and a half years of disability blogging, I feel like it is finally okay for me to reflect more deeply on Independent Living and actually encourage disabled people and their families to find their nearest CIL and get involved. I am curious to hear feedback on readers' experience with Centers for Independent Living.

Meanwhile, check out these links for more information:


Old Video, Fresh Ideas

22 years in Independent Living and I never saw this video about Ed Roberts until yesterday. There’s nothing in it I didn’t know from other sources, but I really feel like I missed out not seeing this much earlier in my Independent Living career.

The video does have a bit of a corporate instructional film feel, but focus on the words, which are as relevant today as they were in the early ‘90s. In fact, I am amazed at how current the content really is. Just update the technology from a “word board” to an iPad, make the music a little more energetic, (or just get rid of it entirely), shoot it in high-res digital, and this could be made today.
Sadly, we don’t have Ed Roberts anymore. He died in 1995. But, there are other people still living who share Ed Roberts’ philosophy and commitment. You might find them working at your nearest Center for Independent Living. If you want to understand what Centers for Independent Living are and what they are supposed to be, this video is an excellent place to start.


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Erin Blasco - July 14, 2015

Blue box that says “#DisabilityStories July 15, 20150” with a pointing hand symbol.

I will be spending most of the day dipping in and out of this huge Twitter event, marking the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s organized by the National Museum of American History. Click the link above for a good summary of what it’s all about and how to participate. Click here to see a schedule for the day.


Digging Into The Employment Gap

Picture of a 3-d bar graph, being viewed through a magnifying glass
How much worse is unemployment for people with disabilities, compared with non-disabled people? While working on the Disability.TV Podcast episode on disability in Seinfeld, I came across a couple of bits where the comedy depends on the idea that disabled people have all sorts of perks and advantages in the workplace.

I get what that’s referring to. People with disabilities do have some specified legal rights in employment that non-disabled people don’t have, and "hiring the disabled" is widely understood to be a good thing to do. I also know that these advantages don’t amount to much, and that disabled people are in fact massively disadvantaged in the job market, at least if employment rates are any indication.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics now reports monthly on employment of people with disabilities nation-wide. Here is the June, 2015 report:
Reduced-size picture of US Bureau of Labor Statistics June 2015 report, accessible in full through link above
I circled eight items, each of them a percentage, because I think they are the easiest to understand and most meaningful measurements and comparisons. For one thing, they include only "working-age people" … age 16-64. They also take in two other relevant comparisons: Disable vs. Non-Disabled and Male vs. Female.

Finally, the report highlights two main ways of measuring employment itself: Participation Rate and Unemployment Rate.

The Participation Rate is the percentage of the given population that is either working or looking for work. It doesn’t count retired people or people who are unemployed not actively looking for a job.

The Unemployment Rate is the percent of people in the Participation Rate measure who are not employed. That is, it’s the percentage of people actively looking for work who haven’t found it. Put another way it’s the gap between how many people want and intend to work, and the number who are actually working.

With all of that said, here are some tentative, non-expert conclusions:

- The Participation Rates for disabled men and women are a lot lower than for men and women without disabilities. A far higher percentage of disabled people are neither working nor looking for work than the percent of non-disabled people. 28-34 percent of disabled are working or looking for jobs, while 70-83 percent of non-disabled people are working or looking for jobs. There are probably many reasons for this difference, including self-perception, societal expectations, work disincentives, and the immediate barriers imposed by peoples’ actual disabilities.

- The Unemployment Rate for disabled people is also quite a bit higher than for non-disabled people ... 11 to almost 9 percent for disabled, and only a little over 5 percent for non-disabled people.

- This means that, controlling for people not participating at all in the job market … leaving out people who consider themselves “too disabled” to work … we are still left with a large employment gap. If we go further, and note that there would probably be a lot more disabled people looking for jobs if they felt any hope of finding one that would hire them, then the gap would be much, much higher.

- It is worth noting that the Participation Rate has been growing and the Unemployment Rate dropping for disabled people over the last several months. But we’re talking about improvements in tenths of a percent, nothing to indicate a revolution or some massively successful new policy or approach, at least not yet.

Overall it’s hard to find bright spots or some hidden advantage of being disabled, when only about a quarter of working age disabled people are working, while over three quarters of working age non-disabled people are employed. The numbers certainly suggest that George Constanza faking a disability to get a job is not just funny, it’s nonsense.


Choosing A Disability Charity

Dylan Matthews, - April 10, 2015

I have been meaning to post something about choosing a disability charity or organization for quite awhile. I endorse the advice in the article. For those interested in disability matters, I strongly recommend that potential donors and supporters consider the following:

Find out how organizations spend their money, and choose an organization with priorities and interests that match your reasons for giving. Think about what kind of work you want to support. For instance:

- Money, adaptive equipment, and direct services to individual disabled people and their families.

- Programs and facilities that serve groups of disabled people.

- Public education and awareness campaigns aimed at changing attitudes and improving social acceptance of disabled people.

- Organized advocacy for specific changes in laws, regulations, policies and practices that affect disabled people.

Consider giving to an organization concerned with all kinds of disabilities, not just one condition.

Think about whether you prefer to support a locally-foucsed, independent organization, or a more high-profile, recognized organization with a state or national scope.

Seriously consider giving only to organizations with disabled people on staff, in leadership, and on governing boards.

Look very critically at how organizations talk about and portray disabilities. Do they depict disability as a heartbreaking tragedy, a hellish existence, or as something manageable through thoughtful support, social understanding, and good policies? Ask yourself how you would feel about how organizations talk about people like you if you had a disability.

Finally, let me add a couple of thoughts on staff salaries and overhead. Full disclosure ... I speak from my over 20 years of experience working at a disability non-profit organization.

Obviously, you want to watch out for "non-profit" organizations that pay stunningly high salaries to executives, consultants, and even board members. On the other hand, it’s important to keep things in perspective and not relegate all charitable work to second or third-class status in the wider economy. If you care enough about something to want it dealt with effectively, then you should pay enough to attract talented people, and make it possible for them to stick with the organization. That means paying people enough for a decent living for themselves and their families. That goes double for disabled people who work at disability organizations.

In fact, an organizational budget that seems to be heavy on salary and overhead may not necessarily be wasteful. The costs of counseling, education, organizing, and advocacy, are almost entirely in salary and benefits, along with offices, supplies, and perhaps mileage reimbursement, (for home visits), for those staff. If you prefer your money to provide material benefits directly to disabled people, then look for organizations that do more direct services and administer “pass through” funds directly to individuals.

I strongly prefer organizations “by and for” disabled people. I like organizations that do a lot of advocacy, especially fighting for better policies and practices. I split my interest about evenly between responsive, plucky local groups and truly effective and innovative national organizations. These are my personal preferences, but I do recommend them to others as well.

Still, the most important thing is to decide exactly what you want to do in the disability cause. “Giving to the disabled” doesn’t have to be confusing, but it isn’t as simple as stuffing a dollar in a can, either.


Tax Day Tips

"TAX" in capital, red 3-d letters, with dollar bills floating around
Andy Winnegar, Santa Fe New Mexican - April 5, 2015

It’s a bit late to post about this, since US Tax Returns are due at midnight tonight. However, there’s always next year. I get the feeling that some of these tax provisions for disabled people, and especially the ones that help businesses improve accessibility, are underused.

The biggest factors with my taxes are my copious out-of-pocket medical expenses, which are directly related to my disabilities, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Your mileage will vary, of course.

I recommend checking out both of these IRS forms, one shorter and more simple, the other more detailed.