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Lissette Garcia in bright red gown

We Remember...

Patricio “Pat” Figueroa Jr. (April 20th, 1948 – April 3rd, 2012). Figueroa, a native of Puerto Rico, was a disability rights activist, a national disability newspaper publisher and an advocate for people with disabilities. Continued

Ralf Hodgekiss‘Accidental’ Wheelchair Inventor Seeing His Dream Gain Traction

By Mike Ervin

Two events in 1966 changed Ralf Hotchkiss' life forever. The first occurred near his hometown of Rockford, Ill., when the then 18-year-old sustained a spinal cord injury.
Full wheelchair story

Into The Light by Peter Kahrmann

Starting Over – All Over Again

By Peter S. Kahrmann

I am 58 and, once again, I am starting over and planning change. And, as Michael said, how many people get the chance to start over? I am a lucky man..
Starting over Continued


In a commentary in Independence Today issue 32, Peter Kahrmann wrote at press time that Rick Santorum had lost January’s Iowa caucuses by nine votes to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a result that had been reported nationwide. On January 20th, after certifying the results, the Iowa Republican Party announced that the former Pennsylvania senator had won the caucuses by 34 votes.

Remembering Pat

 Pat in blue vest with baseball capThe following are excerpts of comments from family, friends and colleagues on the passing of Patricio “Pat” Figueroa.

go to comments

Pat Figueroa and the Battle for Independent Living in N.Y. Pat figueroa C967

By Len Tarricone

The social unrest of the sixties had spilled into the seventies, and as an idealistic Brooklyn College student, Figueroa found himself thrust into the midst of the fray. full story

Pat in his sheelchair at ILCHV Memories – and a Forever Smile

By Mike Piekarski

The social unrest of the sixties had spilled into the seventies, and as an idealistic Brooklyn College student, Figueroa found himself thrust into the midst of the fray.
read more


Pregnancy as Disability? pregnant woman
Maybe Some New Rules are Necessary

By Deborah Kendrick

When I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I had an experience with a couple of strangers that we would recall (for entertainment) for years to come.
Full story

Transition Programs Urged
for Students with Disabilities

By John Williams

Why is it that students with disabilities are seldom asked, “What do you plan to do after you graduate from high school?” Students have cried as they told me they felt abandoned by a society that does not want them to succeed. Sixteen-year-old Carrie Smiths of Houston, Texas, said: “I graduate next year and not one counselor has talked to me about college. They have talked to my classmates.”Continued

RoyFor Mitte, ‘Bad’ Rep is Good

By Kathi Wolfe

(The following is one of an ongoing series of articles on actors and performers with disabilities.)

Actors with disabilities are being seen more and more on the small screen. Such is the case with Roy Frank “RJ” Mitte III.

For TV Journalist Richard Cohen,
Chronic Illness Fight Not Over Yet Richard Cohen and wife, Meredith Vieira

By Kathi Wolfe

Nearly 40 years ago, Richard M. Cohen, a young television journalist, joined a PBS documentary series called "America ‘73." For the program, Cohen produced a film about disability rights issues.
Complete story


justice scaleTime Has Come to Embrace Disability Justice Movement

By Janine Bertram Kemp

The younger movers and shakers of disability nation are challenging the movement. They are asking tough questions and pushing the traditional leaders of disability rights to act with integrity in the interests of the whole community. Savvy leaders should listen to them and facilitate significant growth in the disability movement.

Product Review Kindle Fire Shines Brightly for People with Disabilities

By John M. Williams

I am a voracious reader. Biographies, history books, novels and politics consume my unsatisfied appetite for reading and learning.

Last year, my family asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I responded, “A Kindle.” On Christmas Day, I got my wish. Read full story

What an Idea! Woman Moves Robotic Arm with Her Thoughts
The Washington Post

A paralyzed Massachusetts woman picked up a bottle of coffee and sipped from it by moving a robotic arm with her thoughts, researchers reported recently — the latest advance in the race to restore movement to people who have lost control of their muscles.

The moment marked the first time in 15 years the 58-year-old, who had suffered a stroke, had been ableto pick up anything of her own volition. Continued

Which Race? The Human One!

By Peter S. Kahrmann

When my daughter was pregnant with my first grandson, someone asked me what race the child would be (my grandson’s father, a young man I love very much, happened to be black). I responded to the question with pure truth: the human race. Continued


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Additional Articles
Red triangle indicating article is from previous  issue ILUSA.Com Calendar of Events
- PDF version of this issue
- ILUSA.COM Searchable Database
Key Articles from back issues
- Shannon Murray: 'Model in a Million'
- A Case for Disability Spirituality Full Hull Article
- The Courage and Strength Myth
- Fred Francis: Disability RightsActivist, Innovator and Pioneer
- 'Accidental' Deaf TV Reporter: A Profession with a Purpose
- Holistic Approach Working for Handicap International
- Protecting Children, the Disabled?
Sorry! It's Money First, Safety Last
- Online Piracy, Property Bills Shelved
- CIL Advocates Take Bumpy Road to an Accessible Transit Triumph
- Travel Training Gaining Steam
- Medicaid Spend-Down Option a Health Insurance Lifesaver
- How About the Right to Live?
- Lissette Garcia: Pageant Champ Has Lovely Attitude
- Dr. Oz to PWDs: Nutrition,
Diet Extremely Important
- Judge Mandates Accessible Taxis in NYC
- Many Disability Rights Activists
Occupying a Place in Movement
- 'Sturdy' MV-1 Making Inroads Into Accessible Transportation
- Into the Light - Managing Your Fear
- For 5 Disillusioned Voters, Obama is No 'Man of Steel' 5
- Obituaries R Watt, K Slover
- 'Get the Black Guy Out of the White House'
- Group: Get All PWDs Aboard Accessible Technology Train
- For Visually Impaired, E-Books Creating Many Happy Endings

Old Stories

- Black Swan Soars Way Above Expectations
- Rebuttal to David Brooks: Death and Budget --Dying for the Sake of the Economy?
Perish the Thought, Mr. Brooks!
- Can’t We Make Our Own End-of-Life Decisions
- The Real Class War
- The Loss That’s Not There
- The Legacy of Steve Jobs and Accessible Technology
- New Photo ID Laws
- Visitability: Housing Advocate’s Life Goal
- AAPD Chief Sees Job
As Grassroots Calling
- Perseverance, Tenacity Pay Off For NYSILC Chief Brad Williams
- U.S., Wells Fargo Approve Anti-discrimination Accord
- Just No Stopping This Actress
- We Remember...Frederick Allan Fay
- My Dalliance with Irene - a Failure in Emergency Disability Planning
- Because He Matters We Found Markenley!!! (Part One)

Disability History: Help Us
Remember All Our Heroes

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