One Year Ago As of March, … Tribute to the Year of Challenges

Dear readers,

While all my family will expect me to pay tribute to a grandmother I couldn’t even spend time with for ten years, I would like to also point out that it will have been a whole year since people expected me to bow down and kiss the ass of two very bigoted people. In the blindness community since then, I have seen a great awakening in the group of survivors of sexual abuse. I have also seen a great awakening within myself, especially because the people responsible for the bigotry and the death threat that culminated in months of being exploited on my end, and then the guys expected people to shut me down here on WordPress for defamation. One young lady in Australia tried to report the blog for defamation, but here’s the scoop on that. This woman in Australia is in Australia, not the United States, and has no knowledge of legal matters here. She has no business reporting my blog because she’s Australian, which has a different law structure, also it’s a different set of issues and different government. We have a bicameral legislation here and we have a President, and we elect just about everybody freely and fairly. What Australia does obviously isn’t my business, though I find their politics amusing. The point is that if you live outside the U.S., don’t go reporting my blog if you don’t know the subject material enough to understand why I wrote it.

As for Dirty Money on Netflix, some little weasel sued Netflix to get the segment on guardianship removed. I could have been told to take down the Right Wingnut Roundup, but guess what? Wes and Bill, the guys responsible for the accusations of defamation, can’t get a grip. They’re the bigots, they entertain the thought of police brutality, and my buddy Clayton could have been targeted by the U.S. or other countries for any number of reasons, but you chose to target me instead. Why is this? Probably because Wes and Bill perceived me as weak, but what they don’t get is that threatening people is against the law, illegal. I did not threaten, I only told the truth. It’s been a year since it happened, and since that year has passed, I’ll be darned if I have to change names again. Screenshots of conversations don’t lie, and I can’t alter the evidence, after all that would be tampering with it. Right?

to those who believe that I should be warehoused in a group home, denied the chance to see my partner, and otherwise honed in to guardianship, guess what? You’ve got something coming. Guardianship is evil, and I’ve been the victim of such. I was denied the chance to see those I cared about, and the minute someone finds out I’m in guardianship who’s a vision or blindness professional, my expectations in terms of DVR and professionals like that are lowered to the floor. DVR in Colorado won’t support my dream of being a musician, and I wanted training so I could produce and learn how to use the program Komplete Kontrol, I have the m32 midi setup but I had to uninstall much of it because of the space limitations on my drive and Big Sur. Ugh. But the biggest problem I have with DVR is the gender based stereotypical chores I was forced to do over all the others. I won’t be cooking or cleaning my living space for anyone but me, myself, and I and my partner and immediate family products, likely children and or pets. I’m not your maid, so I should say. The big thing I want to stress is that I’m not anyone’s nanny or handmaid, and if I had my skills abused by someone, it was likely my parents. They abused my talent for music, honed it in to church mass every Sunday, and expected me to stay Catholic and asleep.

The big thing bothering me is how people view me as a woke person, and let me tell you what woke is. When you’re woke, you’re awake. You have this sense of being yourself, that it’s okay to feel the feelings you have, that it’s okay to cry if you need to, laugh if you want to, all that. These bigots who censored the Netflix documentary and tried to kill me are not woke. These guys are asleep in the not so comfy embrace of conspiracy against me bullcrap and theories about woke culture that don’t fly and aren’t really in line with what’s acceptable. Even with Trump in office, I was woke. I”m still woke, still awesome, and I have a lot to say. As a woke person, I’m going to stay woke. I was given a very personal statement about the problems of “insane asylums”. One man puts it that woke culture is controlled by psychiatric patients not on medications. I don’t believe that for a split second. I’m on abilify, and I could have been on a ton of sedatives. I could have been on dangerous medications that made me drool all over myself, speak incoherently, and not know what is going on. I was on a mood stabilizer that caused a seizure, how’s that for scary. I don’t think institutionalization is a right and fair process, and even my friends think it’s okay for this to happen. It’s not. This man I speak of is blind and in his forties, but yet still doesn’t have a paid job, but lives with family. This same man could easily be targeted by someone and yet doesn’t know how awful the system is. As Rosamund Pike says in I Care A Lot, and let me paraphrase, she says she can put sedatives and all kinds of bad things in your food, deny you food, all that. And then she says, “I own you.” She’ll own you, this fictional guardian that Pike portrays in I Care A Lot. I watched that whole movie and wanted to jump through the screen and smash the whole system. As the action unfolded, things got really weird and wild. When one of the characters, Roman, is put to sleep on tranquilizers, the character of Marla goes “Sleep tight, motherfucker.” Wow, I thought, how damn heartless she was. Sleep tight, motherfucker, I want to say to those who don’t want to get woke and realize that guardianship is evil. If you side with evil, you’re not probably trying to read this blog. IF you’re going to read this, wake up, motherfucker. Wake the hell up. I could have been threatened with death by the lady I like to call Avilar Karen, and what I am about to tell you might startle you. It might not.

When the lady called me threatening me, she sided with evil. Wes had commented on this blog that “the guardianship your parents had in Florida was correct” among other things. I should have said this is a little paraphrase of what he said, but I spammed the comment because I needed readers to understand that the comment Wes wrote was sacreligious to me. Wes’s comment was deleted because it contained defamatory and ableist information about me that readers don’t need to or want to know. I blocked a young lady in Wisconsin for writing that it would be my parents’ business to terminate pregnancy if I got pregnant. That the guardianship was okay was not a misnomer on this young lady’s part. I blocked others for being evil, unfriended a few people’s pages for the very crime of banning me from speaking, silencing and retaliating against me for being myself. I can’t afford a criminal record, going to jail requiring the cash bale system. I hope that people understand that filing a police report against someone in Denver when you live in Iowa or somewhere else is wrong. Wes and Bill’s little stunt with my buddy Clayton hasn’t left me at all, and it could get worse. Here’s why I believe we need change and what we can do to make it happen.

We need change because believing ableist and evil things should be considered a crime, and some form of conspiracy against the disabled entitled white man should also be a thing to scrutinize. There are disabled assholes, I won’t doubt it. However, any disabled person who ginds subminimum wages favorable is a real asshole on I95. Jimmy Buffet, sing it buddy. If you don’t get the reference, it’s the Asshole Song, and Jimmy Buffet and his parrotheads sing this awesome song that pretty much talks about the bad driving on I95. Well, that’s what I compare government officials who favor the subminimum wages to. They are driving badly.

I also found an article in which Marjorie Taylor Greene pretty much mocked trans people. She should be expelled from Congress also because she’s a believer in the Q Anon group. Do you guys know how much that group tears apart families? There’s a guy in an article I read whose stuff was tossed outside and the mother threatened to have her son hurt. I have a message for those people who hinder progress and kick guys like that out of their home. Get your heads right and wake the hell up. Q Anon is a bad group, they’re terrorists, and you can’t negotiate with them. It’s people like that who hamper our efforts to change the nation to something acceptable for black and trans and disabled people.

IF you’re a government official who believes that I should be warehoused in jail for writing this, check your privilege at the door. Police brutality is a bad thing, and I don’t want my partner to die from that. If some cop in Aurora or Denver comes to my door, he should know that I’m not a good target. Trenton who loves me and supports me won’t support your targeting me. The guys who did this don’t realize that they’re going to lose everything if they mess with the wrong person. And they messed with the wrong girl. I don’t want to be put somewhere where I don’t belong. I want to have children, stay with Trenton, and live a happy and uncompromisingly normal life. To those of you who wish to target me, put down your guns and wake the hell up. But if you choose, well, if you choose evil, then sleep tight, motherfuckers. Don’t come crying to me if someone stabs you in the back, whether it’s with a needle or in the mind. Sleep tight, motherfuckers, don’t come crying to me if you’re just like Roman in the hospital with a tube stuck in your throat, or you are like me and get denied the chance to see your beloveds or the person you love. If you wanna wake up, then wake up. Just wake up and come to the front of the line and the middle of the circle. IF you want change, make it happen for the benefit of all, not just you entitled ones.

Beth

Letter to Government People in All Fifty States: If You Can’t Handle This, Put the Blog Down and Think

Dear Readers,

The following is something I found using the Human Rights Watch website. With the publicity of the #freebritney movement, HRW is noticing that guardianships are evil, bad, and wrong. Let me explain the evils of such, and if you are a government official reading this, let me explain how each of these parts of a guardianship is detrimental to your country’s citizenry, particularly those who are of protected classes like LGBTQ or women or persons with disabilities.

  1. Liquidation. Jamie Spears liquidated the hell out of his daughter Britney, weedling down her estate from over $300 million to just under $60 million in less than probably six months, but this is something I could have gone through. My parents would probably have sold a beginning student flute, absolutely they would have sold all my CD’s, thinking they were collector’s items or something like that. They could have liquidated my *Nsync bobbleheads and sold them all for a price. At auction, who knew what all those collector’s items would have gone for? And then, there go my parents, saying they are rich and can throw me away if they chose. But instead, since there was no trust and estate to weedle down to nothing, since there were no valuables to barter, no house to plunder, they just left the guardianship discharged as of December 2020. I never knew what was in their heads, but I thought I’d never see this day. We need to make all group homes liable in the cases of estate trafficking of disabled citizens of any country in the world. For example, you have a mentally ill or impaired boy who is twelve years old, labeled aggressive in school and all sorts of stuff pops up in his classes, and the kids bully and make fun of him. He can’t communicate the same way as other people, only speaks to you in metaphors, doesn’t give you a good firm grasp of reality from a glance, but you know he’s in touch with reality, and reality hits harder than anything. At eighteen, he’s guardianized by his caring mother in order to protect him from the abusive casework of the state, then let’s say the mother and younger brother both die one at a time because of life circumstances. This young man will be left to the care of a professional guardian who will weedle away his Special Needs trust, take the money and run, throwing him in a group home in the process. This situation is far too common as described to me by one activist I spoke with. What guardians often do is steal a child’s belongings or take the adult’s house and other things.
  2. Isolation. “You’re not allowed to talk to so and so.” “No phone for a week.” Those phrases I can’t help but wonder if others like myself are hearing all too often in their guardianship hells. Remember Katy, the young Orlando woman I wrote about here in this blog? Well, her phone did indeed get snooped on and snatched away for talking to a guy she liked. She was forcibly broken up with her boyfriend, a group home resident from Miami who truly wants a life away from the system. Katy was told no by her guardians, and this is how it happens. Isolation of the ward is a very big evil and favorite tactic of guardians seeking to please the judge and attorneys, besides the estate trafficking of course. Britney Spears had been so isolated from her boys, I wonder how she feels about seeing them now. She was stripped of custody of her two boys, and now she can’t even see them because of a guardian or conservator saying no, you won’t. This is not acceptable treatment for a ward of any state, a person with a disability, a human being whatsoever. I was told repeatedly that if I called Orien Henry, a friend from school, my phone would be taken away. This is called unacceptable treatment in a restrictive environment. The young man in the vignette above does not have to worry about this, but it could be a ticking time bomb if a professional such as Bessimore Trust was put in charge of the young man’s trust, care, and personal freedom. Parent as adversary is most common, and the favorite way to stoop the ward subject low in life is to isolate them. I was so isolated that by the time I got to Colorado Center for the Blind, I had to relearn blindness skills and how to talk to others, and ultimately was alienated from certain peer groups and in trying to get away from the immature group of folks, I had to get counseling. There were people at CCB who acted like it was high school, and I didn’t want to see that kind of thing, all that because I was in Titusville, seeing this same abhorrent behavior. I was also subjected to name calling, Islamophobia, and all kinds of abuse from my peer group because I chose to date a Somali boy. Well, I was also seeing a lot of antiimmigrant sentiments from most of the white folks in CCB and their ITP program, and I couldn’t really pin a label on it yet. Being isolated reminded me that the world was waiting for me to step out, but because I was isolated, bullying was what my peers chose to do. The NFB is a clearly Islamophobic organization and I didn’t even know it, but for me in isolation, it was either NFB or stay in isolation. I got through CCB and graduated, but then I was trying to make friends among Mosque attendees in Denver. The problem I saw was that any man interested in marrying me was a stranger, and I could have been further isolated. I left Islam not because of my ex, but because of the mentality of the brothers in most of the Islamic centers anywhere in the world, that women should be isolated from the men who were unrelated, making it impossible for me to get to know a potential husband in the community, and I wasn’t about to get barefoot and pregnant with just anyone, no matter what deity allowed me to love him. He had to be someone I could trust, someone with a disability so superiority was wiped out, and someone with talents and interests similar to my own. In Islamic circles, music is supposedly the call of the devil, but I wasn’t about to let a religious extremism insult my musical career. This was essentially the nail in the coffin for myself and my ex, and furthermore me and Islam. Allah didn’t like music, so I couldn’t be in a religious group that didn’t appreciate my music, and since Arabic was not a language I spoke, forget it. Isolation had a greater impact on who I chose to marry in the end. I met my husband online, and we met, but the relationship should have gotten slower and it felt like a whirlwind tour of Africa the way it was going before. But the thing was, we had to go to a marriage counselor, and because of the way I was called nasty sexual names that would not look nice in print, something about a dog in heat, I had to cut off someone who we both thought was friendly to us and our relationship. My husband insisted that his “sister” go to our wedding, but the pandemic changed that and her actions toward me changed everything between all of us. We no longer speak to her, and we can’t given her actions. She chose to abuse rather than uphold me. This happens oftentimes to women who are isolated, and isolation any further in Florida could have cost me my life.
  3. Overmedication. Another favorite evil tactic guardians use is overmedication. Guardians love it when a charge is sedated. They can also be dangerously close to allowing a perverted caregiver to seriously have sex with their charge if the charge is overmedicated. Most of the time, however, overmedicating someone leads to them obeying orders and looking on helplessly as their friends are taken away, their phones stolen, and other property pilfered. A guardian will overmedicate the ward so that they can’t participate in everyday activities like a relationship or group of friends, and then they will lie about the person’s condition in court. This is health trafficking as described to me by activists LuAnne Fleming and Rick Black. I want to thank these folks for opening my eyes big. Overmedication happened to me, and almost could have been worse. I had to take fistfuls of meds according to the Brevard County School system, and they wanted me to be sedate and pliant, but the antidepressants and mood stabilizers I was put on cost me many pounds of weight, a doctor saying I had to drink insure, which is a meal replacer, and worse, I had to be carried out of a room because my parents wanted to steal things from me. I was about done and tired of it. They had guardianship when I was seventeen because of false claims of sexual abuse, and they claimed Rico will have sex with me as described in prior blog postings. Rico never did this, so I am going to label that as a lie. The overmedicated me at sixteen was zoning out in chorus class, clinging to life as it should be, but then I didn’t care what happened. My parents were emotionally abusive and did not understand that their parenting was literally making me sick. The medication didn’t help. Worse, John E. McCarthy, the former psychiatrist who prescribed the medication, was later demoted and deprived of his medical license anyway because according to a headline in the Florida Today or some other paper, McCarthy was having sex with patients and was not taking care of alcoholism. The man didn’t do much good, and when I went to another psychiatrist, it was an older gentleman who later died. I was taking a lot of mood stabilizing drugs like Tryleptol, and I’m still taking an antipsychotic called Abilify. It’s not a drowsy med, but why I am taking it, there’s no real understanding here on the part of this patient writing it all down. When I was on the tryleptol, I also came down with a bladder infection while under the care of an Irish guy called Kensla, and Dr. Kensla found trace of white blood cells in my urine sample, so had to put me on yet another med, septra. Unfortunately, because I was on tryleptol, the septra didn’t play so nicely with the other medications in my bloodstream, and I had a very terrible seizure that brought an end to a graduation party from college. I was about to hold the party, it was all set up, when bells rang in my brain, and suddenly, I fell unconscious, and a buddy of mine called Josh called 911 on his cell. He was caring enough to recognize that I had a seizure and needed to go to the hospital. Five minutes later, I was on an ambulance at Parrish Medical Centre, a hospital in my hometown, and was being hovered over by nurses, doctors, and EMT’s. It was a scary situation, but the highlight of that was that I was also executed sort of. Want to know what happens when your potassium levels go to shits? The seizure was the effect of being executed while on death row, and yet my living room at that time was almost a death chamber. Thank God I am alive, but hearing the ER notes scared me half to death. My parents had to change the bladder infection meds, and gave me a salt booster and made me eat lots of junk food. Okay, that was fine, but why the medications in the first place? I was frail feeling, and I wished I wasn’t living with my family at that time. My dad did however leave me with a wise adage, “When you’re young, pile on the sodium but when you’re old, reduce it.”
  4. Visitation and cremation upon death. Visitations were indeed monitored by my guardians, and they limited times I could talk to people on the phone and used the phone as punishable bait, and like the vignettes above, it was hard. I didn’t get to visit favored relatives, so I can say none of them understand what they were faced with and if I died under guardianship, I might have been a collector’s item, my ashes sold at auction to a professional and left in her office. Oh, a note about the pronoun “her”. Most professional guardians who have killed their clients, the ones in the paper at least, were older women. I’m using the female pronouns for those people like Rebecca Farrel and Tracy Hudson. Tracy stole money from elders she was caring for, bought Tampa Bay Buccaneer football tickets and ordered DNR for some of her clients. Rebecca had some of her weakest clientele in her office as nothing but ashes. What would have happened to me? I might have been kept in an urn, just a bad tank full of ashes, ashes to ashes. My ashes wil have been scattered about, and my parents would not have cared one way or another and the professional guardian would have said, “Oh well, I did a DNR on your daughter because she was sick.” I call bullshit. Sickness doesn’t just happen, and the medications I was on might have made me experience tartiv disconesia which is a tremor in the nervous system that causes your arms and legs to shake a bit, or you could have involuntary movements of the tongue and such. These are the evils of guardianship, and if you are willing and able, and you’re a government official, there is more you can do for citizens in your countries.
  1. Illegalize all other forms of guardianship except for a child’s natural guardianship.
  2. Illegalize the trafficking of estates and possessions by people other than the owners of such assets as houses and cars. If anyone wants to go into the caregiving profession, demand criminal background checks for all involved.
  3. End the representative payee program for SSI recipients. It’s radical, but must be done. Clients from school age should be learning monetary skills anyway, but if they have intellectual disability, the program should be reformed so that others don’t have full control of their finances. Example, if Britney spears had SSI, her father would not be able to be her payee, not under my plan, and Britney would have full control of money and things, on top of which, if she had any reason to give out money, it would have to be for food and shelter purposes. Examples of this might include a caregiver going to her local grocery store on Britney’s behalf and bringing home food. I trust my caregiver to do this, but she is not I repeat not my payee. I don’t want a representative payee because they could easily spend that money, either mine or my partner’s, on drugs, cigarettes, luxury goods, whatever, against the partner’s wishes. If the child recipient needs a guardian to help with finances, that would work. My caregiver’s daughter is naturally her charge, and the caregiver is her mother, therefore her guardian by nature. In this way, the monetary stuff can be shared, and she may then use the SSI check to do the things she needs, but those needs must benefit the child. That is fine by me, but adults? Forget that.
  4. Create a world in your country where acceptance of all peoples with disabilities is mandatory. Include integrating disabled kids into regular school systems, protect disabled citizens from discrimination and don’t let females collect dust on the shelf labeled “to abuse.” Females are not to be guardianized on the basis of sex, right, Prince MBS? Women may not seem like your ideal personage, right, Yemen and Jordan? But think about this. Women in islam should be equal to men, and their roles in family life should be elevated, and moreover, we need to combat inequality for disabled women by allowing them to choose who they want to live with, marry, or be intimate with. I’m also talking to you, Dubai. Let your princess do what she wants, because of this whole British thing. The princess has a right to leave, so let … her … go. I’m sure the UN commissioner on human rights would have a field day if you killed her. So just do the right thing and let her go.
  5. Illegalize all forms of pseudoscience, and demand higher standards than ever in your medical schools. Doctors should learn what calmative drugs can be used for, how chemical restraint could lead to death, and other things. All medical doctors should be forced to agree with and comply with a serious form of the Hypocratic oath which should be amended to say that all patients with disabilities have rights, and should be treated with extra care should they request it. Chemical restraint is not the best interest of the patients, rather it is the best interest of the Devil, Death, and Evil guardianship Law. No doctor should be allowed to overdose a patient on medications like mood stabilizers where the patient is unable to express themselves. Antidepressants should be taken sparingly. Doctors should get inside their patients’ shoes as much as possible, even if they themselves are stil in med school. I’m calling on medical schools to teach psychiatrists better ways of handling desires from guardians to restrain their patients, and attorneys should not be a part of the medical equation at all.
  6. Take the attorney out of the equation of medical practices. Judges and lawyers with salacious histories should not be allowed to make any judgments on guardianships. No judge should ever be a judge or attorney unless they learn that playing dirty games is not something to do on behalf of someone or their estate. Attorneys should never file motions to declare someone incompetent for blindness, and all law students in a school like the Florida State law School should be required by law in all areas to learn about disability law, practice with disability lawyers, and should be required to either uphold a code of ethics upon graduation or lose their jobs, and be investigated by ethics committees. Colorado has a salacious history of judges and lawyers being bratty and saying and doing sexist things, so we need to further amplify the need for more ethical individuals in law professions.

Thank you for reading this and I hope that in doing the reading, you are listening to your inner selves, creating a vision of a world free of guardianship abuse and conservators who pilfer assets and other things from people because they have a disability.

Beth

Guide Dogs and Spiritual Centers: How to Include Your Congregants with Guide and Service Animals Who Are Disabled

Dear readers,

You’re probably a cleric or minister who’s had a guide dog or service animal user in your congregation. You probably don’t know much about the dog or other animal’s ability to do its job and not mess up your building space. So here’s the question: have you considered making your space welcoming for these people and their dogs? Let’s take a look at guide dogs and service animals, and I’ll tell you how my guide dog handler friends would like you to address these issues.

Guide dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California is a great example of a guide dog school. Note: Seeing Eye dogs are usually only dogs trained and registered at the Seeing Eye dog school in Morristown, NJ, so please refer to all other types of mobility assistance dogs for the blind as simply “guide dogs.” Guide dogs help their blind owners walk around and they will be able to walk up and down your church aisle. While you’re busy making your church or spiritual place of worship welcoming to the wheelchair user, there are some issues with blind people who use guide dogs being asked to leave or not let the dog in the communion line or otherwise don’t bring the dog at all.

First and foremost, guide dog training takes a lot of effort, love, and money. The dogs are raised with puppy raisers as young as eight weeks old, right after weaning from the mother dog. When they are removed from the mother, they are individually given to a family or person who wants to help instill the fundamentals of obedience and socialization. This sort of training includes the sit, down, stay, and other sorts of basics. They also learn to do some commands like forward, left, right, etc. They don’t do harness stuff till they leave the puppy raiser and go to what we blind people would call “dog college.” At the dog school, you as the dog handler would learn how to control your dog, give corrections gently and such, and how to work with the dog in harness. There are also dogs at the schools that are in training to become guides. If you want all kinds of cuteness and puppy love, watch Pick of the Litter, and watch GDB pups go into training. Some will become breeders, others will become working guides. The working guides are amazing guides indeed, so when you meet a guide dog user for the first time, ask them questions about what your dog user friend uses their service animal for. They will be glad to answer, but please don’t give a standoffish comment like, “Oh, you can’t bring the dog here.” I’ve had people complement my dog handler friends on how beautiful their dogs are. If I personally had a guide dog, I would groom the dog like crazy to perfection, put bows and ribbons on their collar, and make sure the dog is spiffy and all dressed up to impress, just like myself. This would be great for job interviews, and making a good first impression on a church or spiritual leader in a center of spiritual knowledge.

Service animals for wheelchair users follow the same sort of path, and some disabled people have diabetic alert dogs. Here’s a profile you guys might want to consider: there’s this one dog who was a breeder, and after she bred two or more litters of successful working guides, she became a diabetic alert dog for her custodian breeder, Jim. I believe her name was Charity, but I forget the name altogether but wait, Trinity. How appropriate. Trinity might be her name, but I know it had a y at the end, that’s all I remember. This dog had also bred a son, Jenkins, who also went on to become the breeder stud behind several chocolate labs. Chocolate labs are adorable dogs with brown coats as brown as, well, chocolate. German shepherds are highly responsible dogs with high intelligence, but the dogs frequently chosen by guide dog schools these days include labs and golden retrievers, beautiful dogs with great devotion to their masters and they are highly intelligent and responsible dogs. Goldens are known for being good family dogs, but I think their spirits can be a bit high, and they can sometimes be class clowns. That’s just my observation for me of some guide dog users and their guides.

When you first meet a guide dog user, don’t be alarmed. If you’re a Muslim imam or cleric in a mosque, you may recall that the nose of a dog is dirty, I get it, but think of this. The dog has its own natural way of doing a kneeling pose, the sort of pose you do when you pray. When a dog is lying down, it looks so cute with the legs all done that way. My ex said something about that in a riddle. Anyway, if you’re Muslim and come across a guide dog user, don’t be alarmed. The dog won’t lick unless your hand is right underneath their nose, but keep your distance from the team as they work, and they will follow you if commanded. That is, the handler may tell the dog to follow you to a seat. Let the team do its job. The dog will be content lying down on the floor, so the brother or sister handler will be happy to go off and pray in the center of the circle. For Christian and Jewish establishments, don’t be afraid to bless the guide or service animal. My choir director goes to a Mennonite church, and dogs are a frequent love of hers. I have a guide dog handler friend who comes in to choir, barring the pandemic, and sometimes she gets a break at the church. Even animals need to relax too, so when you are able, for all religious areas, let the team play together and designate a guide or service dog relief spot. Tell your congregants with dogs for service exactly where they can and cannot relieve their animals, and this will assure your congregation is safe. Don’t be alarmed if the dog is lying on the floor, but dogs make great conversation starters when they greet people, wag their tails, and do their work with grace and dignity, and with a sense of animal humor. Don’t forget about the guide and service dog retirement stage. Your congregant will want to retire their guide or service animal at a certain age. For example, some guide dog schools recommend retiring your dog at age eight or nine. That is, in human years. Dog years is different in calculation than those of humans for some strange reason.

What should you not do with a service dog? Well, don’t encourage anyone to pet the dog while they’re in harness working. Most service dogs will only respond to their master in harness while working, and they don’t need doggy distractions. Do not ask for ID’s or papers for your potential congregant’s dogs because they don’t usually provide those. However, you can also ask where the dog was trained and contact the guide dog school. GDB and Guiding Eyes are amazing schools, to the most highest degree I can think of. I’ve heard that Pilot dogs is okay. Some prefer Leader dogs. But think about the dog and its training. GDB does have specific requirements for dogs, evaluations being done on the pups till they reach maturity and some are even cut well in to the guiding training. some dogs don’t make the cut, but others who do are lucky. Guide dog training also requires that the dog learn to effectively intelligently disobey their owner if the command could put the owner in danger. Examples of this include if there’s a car rolling down the street, I tell the guide dog “forward” while the car is going on the street, and the dog doesn’t move. I have to wait until there’s a deep and definite lull in the traffic, then tell the dog to go again. The command is usually a forward, and if you want to speed up, there’s a command for that. You want to ask as many questions as you want to ask, but they have to be good questions. Now, how does this relate to spiritual matters? Guide dogs can do just about everything guide related for their owners. For the wheelchair companion dogs, be careful of things that fall on the floor. Such dogs can be trained to pick them up, and ask first before attempting to pick up a dropped item for a service dog user. For dogs that assist the deaf, their job is to alert the person when someone is talking to them, when the phone rings, and sometimes to paw the owner if a fast moving vehicle is running down the road. Psychological service dogs count too, and so do diabetic alert and medical service dogs. Jim’s dog has had training to alert him when his blood sugar is too low or too high. Respect when the dog is alerting you to something, especially in the case where an epileptic person with seizures is using their alert dogs. Seizure dogs are great, but please note that such dogs are trained to lick their owners in the face. It may look like they’re giving them doggy kisses, but when I saw this one dog doing that, it stimulated the brain of the seizing woman on the floor. Also, dogs like these are supposed to alert the average Joe citizen for help if their owner is on the floor. I love dogs, as one can tell, and the amazing things they do for people. If the service dogs for veterans pop up, don’t be afraid to ask. But remember, veterans with PTSD service dogs should get no less than the guiding service dog for the blind. My cousin has a dog that helps him get over stuff, and he’s an army vet. My best friend from high school has a brace and balancee and PTSD service dog and … well, dogs are good for just about everything. Some dogs can predict seizures, so if the dog is alerting you or the owner to a seizure, please note that this is a natural occurrence, and if the person falls, get help immediately. That’s my story on service dogs and spiritual centers.

Beth

Overview of Inclusivity and Religion: Making Spiritual matters a Thing of Inclusion for Disabled Congregants

Dear readers,

I shared Ellen Stumbo’s post from the Mightete, a disabled news org, and she has a lot of things to probably unpack. Thank you for those who saw that story and wished to be a part of my spiritual life. I looked through this blog, and I saw some mistakes I might have made, identifying one man as Somali and another man as not. Who knows, but I want to truly open a timeline and a dialogue with all faiths and religions, notwithstanding the mistakes I made, but I want to put all the stuff I wrote prior to this post in one big summary timeline, and here it is. It includes what you should do with disabled congregants, and this is based on experiences I’ve had with churches.

1. First and foremost, your parking lot and door entrances have to be wide enough for wheelchairs, even if the building is rustic and old. Make some accommodations in your restrooms so that disabled people can use them. Place bars on the walls of each stall, and make the stalls wide enough so that a wheelchair user can use the stalls. Blind people should be able to ID the bathroom with a Braille sign. Place such signage above the door, or by the door on a wall in the alcove’s outer side. That’s how the signage can be easily seen, and I look for signs there. Also, make sure your Braille is proofread by a certified NLS Braille proofist, even if it’s the word handicapped. here’s a funny Braille story to show you why: The Braille sign for “and” is written with dots 1-2-3, then dots 4-6, all put together. it’s a letter y in Braille but written a bit backwards. So the dot combo is 1-2-3-4-6. However, there was a sign that was written with the “ing” sign: the dot 2 was missing from the “and” sign, so the sign that my cane teacher interpreted was the following: “Girls hingicapped.” Be careful with Braille contractions and lettering, and make sure you have a Braille cheat sheet on you to make sure all signage is correctly Brailled. The architecture of this building should reflect inclusivity. For Muslims, make sure the woodoo areas are completely user friendly, and if you insist on women and men being in separate prayer areas, do not use only stairs. Put the women in a place where wheelchairbound sisters can enjoy worship from the same floor as the men, but you must have wider doorways and the woodoo fountains should be at a level that is usable for those sisters who can’t raise their right or left hand to turn on the fountains. Make sure there are places to put shoes where a sister or brother won’t trip. This is something an old friend frequently would talk about while I was present at mosque. For Jewish ceremonies, always include your wheelchair using sisters and brothers, and for those who count themselves as orthodox or Hassidim, always always always have a door open for disabled congregants who want to join in. Even the goyem will admire your inclusivity.

2. When a congregant walks in, make sure you are welcoming to them. For Christian churches, please make sure you have alternatives to hymnals that a disabled person may use, and as a blind person, I wish I had been able to read the words to worship service songs in detail. Give the blind congregant access to the lyrics at worship services ahead of time, or let them hear a recording of the hymns you will be singing in services. For Jewish folks, same sort of thing may apply to shabbats, and for those who hate tech during shabbat, please note that an exception should be made for blind folks using Braille. Braille displays should be used in Hebrew services so they can follow along with the rabbi or congregation cantor, and make sure that the persons leading the choir and rabinical folks know about this stuff. Your Jewish blind congregants should have as much access to Hebrew scripture, Hebrew chorale pieces, and so much more so they can sing and follow along. Of course, young Jewish students should be included in Hebrew school as well, so for teachers of such, make sure your texts are written in appropriately hebrew Braille. it is in my opinion the best way to get a student familiar with the Hebrew language. It’s similar to Arabic, and I’ve seen Arabic Braille written down, but face it, the letters are pretty similar to both Roman and Hebrew script. For religious educators in Catholic circles, you need to consult the publishers of your books. Make sure the Catholic faith textbooks are written for children in Braille, and if you’re a teacher, beg the publisher for the teacher’s edition in the same format. If not Braille, kids and teachers who are blind should be given access to the same materials but in electronic format. If they use a pc or mac with screen readers, the formatting should be excellent, top quality, arranged so that pictures are captioned and labeled accordingly. This also applies to Muslim folks. Sadly, I wasn’t able to participate in Qur’an classes with my sisters in islam, but for the young folks in TAQI, or Tasir Al Qur’an Institute schools, they should be given Braille copies or electronic Arabic and English copies of the Qur’an. This way, as the prophet said, you can still gain knowledge, even if you can’t see it.

3. For all religious centers, babies should be baptized or blessed with the same dignity and pomp as with normal babies.

4. When a kid grows up, and with adults growing in faith, let the person experiment or teach them the science behind the choices they make with procreation. While i’m not a fan of the Catholic or Christian ideological senses of don’t have sex until marriage, please note that disabled children and adults face the most poverty because of that very thing. Disabled men become predators sometimes because they are not taught how to keep their sex organs to themselves, and disabled women get objectified. We need to create a welcoming and safe space for all, including disabled people. All religious centers and community churches should include a consent class, a code of honor and consent for all congregants and brothers and sisters. While islam has strictures of family honor tied right into the religion itself, I would encourage Muslims to research and understand the rules about consent in modern culture. islam must conform to let females make all choices, and even in cultures where this is not the case, females must be able to say no if they see something wrong or abusive about a man. This definitely includes disabled females. I left islam because I didn’t want to have to marry a stranger, and I wasn’t about to get barefoot and pregnant with someone i hardly understood how to please anyway. I would have also had superiority games played on me if I married a sighted guy, which the Muslim brothers suggested. Unfortunately, for these brothers, I married a non Muslim blind guy, and I won’t be coming back. I love my sisters, and I understand if the sisters insist I walk back, but I can’t do any such thing because islam has become a contested religion here in this country. I’ve been disrespected by a doctor who swore i was “pretending to be Arab”, and was trolled on Facebook for this very thing. I don’t subscribe to religious views that contradict my own core beliefs about me, and that should be what matters.

5. When a bride and or grooms and brides or couple comes to you and your religious center for marriage, get their story. If a couple wanting to wed is disabled, offer the commitment ceremony option first. I want to shout out to Jenny, my minister from Jefferson unitarian Church. I wanted a woman minister to lead my wedding commitment ceremony because I was not, I repeat not, going to submit to a man in everything, and I was just about done with the patriarchal … dare I say it? Bullshit. patriarchs like some of the priests that abuse women and boys should never be allowed to do weddings anyway. If a bride or groom is not supported because of financial disability, physical disability, or anything else, offer to pay for everything. St. Bernadette’s Catholic church paid for the catering of the wedding of a dear friend of mine, but the bride also had the support of her family. Since Trenton and I did not have the support of church and family, and the pandemic had ruined all churchgoing plans, jenny came by our apartment and we had no ring bearer. We also had a guy doing camera angling for the phone. I recorded my commitment ceremony on Facebook Live. It was a beautiful ceremony, and I honestly wish I had more support, but it was true to us. We had a biblical reading of course, but we also had a wisdom reading from another spiritual source, something I really wish other Christians would consider. Weddings are an important part of life as a human being, and even if the bride is incapacitated, offer the support she needs to fight back and marry the man she loves. I had no support, and now I’m having to sue my own family for damages related to the guardianship. They are very hostile if confronted, but they don’t get it. They never wanted me to legally get married, and I didn’t, but I’m still committed to Trenton and will stay that way for life. Anyway, i’m glad I did my own wedding, but with church supports and no pandemic, it could have been better.

6. Offer support for disabled adults wishing to integrate kids into the mix. Whether the family is getting started or has been started, please, please welcome disabled people’s kids. Baptize them or commit them or dedicate them as above, if they consent. In most Protestant churches, baptism must be given if faith is strong enough and if you’re eighteen. Also, scriptural abuse cannot be tolerated whether it’s committed against the parental couple or the kids themselves. For parents everywhere, disabled or not, always have an open line of communication with your kids about sex abuse and spiritual abuse. If your child is abused spiritually by a church, leave that congregation immediately.

7. If a parent with disabilities wants to know how their kid is doing in spiritual circles, they need to ask about it. Churches should be a welcome and safe space for all kids, including those with disabilities and colored folks, any stripe and color included but not limited to black, brown, polka dots, purple, etc.

8. If the parent of a disabled congregant in your church dies, be with the person and show them the grieving process. Give them bereavement resources in your spiritual center, and let them come to you for guidance. As a minister or cleric in your spiritual center, you should be a good ear to bounce off all the stuff the child or young adult is facing in the death of their loved one. If the disabled adult is facing terminal conditions related to their disability, give them the hospice resources they deserve. Give them a good sendoff whether they are nonbinary or otherwise. Islam insists on strict gender conformity, but to those who practice Native beliefs, the two spirit people should be honored above all else. For those who are nonbinary who were shunned from communities for being nonbinary or LGBTQ+, please note that there are people who won’t condemn you to hell, so if you’re on the heaven bound train, find the right person for your funerary care. It will be worth your while.

9. Never put any sort of discipline in place that would disfavor disabled adults who are living in houses outside marital status with someone of the opposite sex. Trenton and I were abused and frequently targets of sin related comments from my former church. I feel that all churches should discipline anyone who abuses a disabled woman and calls her a whore, not blame her for being a whore at all. Churches must if anything have a discipline system in place to keep predators from working with youngsters, but above all, they should never define marriage as between a man and a woman who is able. Ableist marriage practices in churches make marriage difficult, along with those financial penalties from SSI. Please beware the issues we disabled people face.

10. Never tell someone they can’t come back because of their disability, and don’t make them confess sins they didn’t commit. I can’t fess up to sins, I didn’t commit the sins of being sexually abused. that’s not a sin. A sin is what my exes have done. Not my living with Trenton, not my commitment to him either.

Thank you all for reading this, and I hope you enjoy the blog further.

Beth

Can’t Say I Told you So

Dear readers,

I can’t say I warned you all ahead of time about the abuses of some blind men, within and without the National Federation of the Blind. Unfortunately, my story had a bad ending, and I was banned from the NFB National Association of Blind Students Mailing List, so I dropped out of college twice. I hate being a dropout, and I wish I could get more support from the disability community, but alas, that was not the case. With people such as Wes D. and Bill B. harassing and intimidating people like me, it gets a lot worse. They rallied around Jason and hee has been known to be a predator since he started dabbling in dating young girls. I don’t know if he was a member of the Georgia NFB, but it pains me to write that the patriarchy’s days are over. It’s time for women to band together and stand up for what has to happen next. Here are the reforms I will suggest to the higher ups if I must, but I want all of you to write these things down in your notes on your phones or tablets for safe keeping.

1. We need a female leader in the NFB, someone with passion and power beyond a white person’s understanding. I think that delegation should go to Monique Melton, my former travel instructor at Colorado Center for the Blind, if she still does things with the NFB. She’s a no nonsense woman who would say, “Enough of that lady crap.” She’d make us repeat the same damn routes, certainly, but with greater precision she’d map out what we needed to do. I was one of her star students, I knew the address system, and funny I can still repeat it back if asked. I nominate Mo because not only will she represent blind people and females, but those of color as well. If I’m not mistaken, she will represent all of us, color or no color. But we desperately need a female who can rule the federation with an iron will, someone who can do the equivalent of Margaret Thatcher, sort of, but it might offend some Irish folks if I wrote that. Thatcher was a tyrant to some poor Irish folks, so I don’t know what to use as an example, but Mo wouldn’t put up with men and their bullshit, not at all. She’s a powerhouse that I think works at DVR but she’s doing great things wherever she works. She should be given the leader position over any of the remarkable Marks or whatever because that’s who she is. She’s a born leader.

2. We need a survivor’s panel to discuss matters of the conduct code investigation, and no tribunals should be done at all in the org itself, rendering any defense of the accused null and void. IF someone gets accused of sexual or other misconduct, please report this to the NFB Code of Conduct people, I’ll post an email address below for those who want it. There is a phone number but I don’t want to be blindly accused of posting phone numbers in the blog, so I’ll do an email address instead. In any case, we need a survivor’s panel and an advisory board on this matter to investigate and interview victims with empathy and all the things that come with gentleness. We need to gently get the stories out of people who are abused, whether in or out of the organization. This may include some children in the summer programs, Buddy and Step programs included, and some in our Earn and Learn High School program in Colorado. I’m serious, this is something near and dear to my heart. We need to make these changes soon.

3. Any man who is accused and adjudicated by local authorities, including those in Louisiana and Colorado should be thinking about what they did wrong. They should be placed behind bars, under armed guard for a few years. Then, when they are released on parole, they need to be on probation, under strict controls just like nondisabled offenders. They need to be in psychological counseling and group therapy with nondisabled and likely other types of offending persons. IF they are male, they go to a men’s group. If female, the same. I know for a fact that there are pedophiles in every aspect of the world, including the disabled community. Situational molesters should be taken a lot more seriously though, and that’s because pedophiles are more often caught. We need to educate all our young people to watch for the Five Stages of Abuse, something I will write about and talk about later in the blog. Stay tuned.

4. We need to make consent classes mandatory for all students, regardless of gender identity and sexual preference. LGBTQi+ peoples are not exempt from bad behavior, and. pedophiles are not a sexual orientation, let me be clear. It’s a mental disorder that harms children. Situational molesters are harder to spot, more cunning in their seduction and the moves they make, so can easily go under the radar. What we need to do is do consent classes for all future students and staff at all live in training centers for disabled people, including the structured discovery places for blind people. Poor behavior should not be an excuse to dismisss a girl who’s going through shit, and if catcalling is detected in the halls, let the men who do it be called out for their actions.

I’m sad to say that the NFB did not take people seriously, so if you have a story to tell, please email them at the following email address: code@nfb.org

Please email your story to the email address I just provided and let them hear you. Vote out all the males in the top leadership positions, and we also need to nominate the right peeople to run the organization. Monique, if you’re reading this, I hope you forgive me for nominating you if you don’t want the job, but we need something other than a white privileged or white male leading this organization. There is so much intersectionality within the disabled community, and the indigenous peoples of that community are hurt most of all, especially because of lack of access to healthcare, frequent sexual abuse, and so much other crap. Minorities like Hispanics and Blacks are frequently targeted, but speaking out should not be a means for punishment. Please, Julie D.and others who are reading this, call on your staff to make reformatory decisions regarding the Colorado Center, and if Pam in Louisiana reads this, do something fast. To those who are at the training centers currently, I haven’t forgotten about you. BLIND Incorporated also needs to be a part of the conversation, and this may result in a firestorm, hopefully not too bad of one, but one of change and reflection on why the organization failed to protect its young people. Thank you for reading this blog, and for those who support the NFB, please do better. Fluffy press releases and codes of conduct must at all times be reevaluated, and they won’t do enough. Don’t just cover yourselves, and I don’t want to see death threats aimed at me. I don’t have the money for extra security for a building with a gated area. So please, if you’re the Karen in Avilar who thinks it’s funny to make death threats on me, don’t. Anyone who makes death threats will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement, I won’t bother publishing your number anywhere. But do know this: sexual abuse survivors I am on your team. We will march together as women, banded together by determination to dismantle the male privileged society that we can’t live with anymore.

Sincerely yours in service,

Your sister,

Beth

What I’m Thankful For in 2020

Dear readers,

This year has been a wild ride indeed. I have been subjected to the decision to disable commenting on this blog because of trolls like Wes and Bill, and I’m not changing names because their names appeared in the screenshots I shared in March. I was also subjected to a death threat by a woman in Avilar, Colorado, a Karen who didn’t get it. I also understood that in the more national front, there was corona virus. In the beginning, we had a president who was denying the “Wuhan corona virus” and was being racist against Chinese and Asian Americans, something I know in my concscious self I would never do. Unconsciously, I’m not racist against anyone, given that I was isolated in my youth from people I felt were stronger and less shameful than the whitewashed family I was raised in. For some reason, I feel welcomed in my black family relations, and I have a lot to be thankful for this year despite having to deal with people who don’t think I should be alive at all, but I am. Not only am I thankful to have the partner of my choice, commitment and all, I’m also thankful for my friends who support and care about the things I care about too. I discovered, this year of all years, the Jefferson Unitarian Church. They are a beacon of hope and social justice for all of Denver, but the Unitarians are extremely social justice oriented, something right up my alley. I was taken to the polls by a member of their church who was introduced to me by our wedding officiant, oddly enough, and I was able to vote in person. I’m glad I made a difference for the president elect, and I hope Mr. Biden reads my blog one day and discovers what the plight of blind and physically disabled people actually is like. Stutters are one thing, but you can’t fix blindness that is from birth, especially mine. Corrective glasses won’t work, so I had to learn Braille and adaptive skills and techniques, but my parents attacked my very dignity at seventeen years of age, having had guardianship for fifteen years. I was not planning on being involved with the Unitarian church, but I’m leaning towards that because of the contacts I made, and the wedding officiant I met through … yes, a google search. I was hoping a Unittarian Universalist church existed in Colorado or somewhere near because my buddy, a girl in Massachusetts, recommended such a church. She had been involved with Will and the Tribe, a band of folks who have this wonderful CD out. Will is awesome, no joke, and I’ve seen him and his daughter, my buddy Lavender, at very good times, but then I found Lavender through another friend. Lavender totally gets me. I get her. The difference with her is that she has autism, but I don’t think I’m autistic, and I totally get that some people don’t do well with talking. I’ve learned a lot from Lavender, but now I have her to thank for the choices I’ve begun to think about.

You might wonder what all this has to do with being thankful and all. It has a lot. I’m thankful for my friends, Lavender included; my partner who I committed to a few weeks back, and he’s all that I want him to be; my shelter from the storm because if I wasn’t in my apartment, I’d be frozen to death; and, oddly enough, the police department. When I received the death threat in march, there was only one problem: the police couldn’t find the woman who did this. Wes is probably out there wherever he might be, tracking down FBI agents or trying to tell people the lies he wants to about me. Bill? I don’t know what went through his mind when he had the wrong conversation with the wrong person about the wrong subject. I’m thankful my partner is even alive, and he’s breathing right beside me on the bed, probably staring at twitter and tweets right now. However, with these people’s philosophy of white supremacy, my partner could be dead even if I cried, “He didn’t do anything wrong.” The police cannot shoot my partner for anything but being armed and committing a crime. Neither of these things he has done. My partner is black, but still disabled and can’t imagine himself owning or receiving a firearm. I may personally have to get a gun if I lived in the projects, which we might be stuck in, even if we are thankful for this. FBI resources should not be used to investigate a blog, I wrote earlier in the year, and it should be duly noted that this Thanksgiving, both of these lecherous men will probably spend it alone and without their wives or girlfriends at the table. One of them suffered the millionth breakup, and while I don’t celebrate breakups, this is something that I absolutely must point out. Obsessions with girls named Megan, along with two divorces and a blood daughter who’s like, why is my dad being stupid, that should tell you something. Women are known to warn each other about predatory behavior by men, and what’s odd about the situation here is that a predator rallied with the two other men I mentioned … a predator I’ve mentioned here about a billion damn times. This predator does not understand that he’s not mature, he’s not fit for a relationship, and his heart issues could put him at dire risk of getting corona virus which, from the Georgia perspective, is not something you want to do. When I went to Georgia those times, I got good Southern hospitality, but the man I am referring to is not hospitable for women. I don’t wish covid on anyone, no matter how much I may hate them, not even Wes, Jason, or Bill. However, if they did get covid, I’d wish they’d use the covid sick and recovery time to think about why they got it, how they got it, and what they should do to abide by public health rules. I would hope that none of them, not even the first guy I talked about, will travel this Thanksgiving because of public health orders. Our mayor, Michael Hancock, decided to see his daughter in Mississippi, but I feel it is irresponsible. However, I do forgive him because that’s his daughter. However, I don’t want his daughter to get covid, or Mr. Hancock himself. I don’t wish covid on anyone, like I said, not even my worst enemy. I hope that the guys herein, however, if they get covid, they need to use the time to reflect and think about why they got it, how they got it, and where their errors lay. One of these errors is wishing me dead, or my partner or other black folks. When a person wants to wish brutality on the black community, says black lives don’t matter, etc., that person is a supremacist who can’t be trusted, and if they think this way, it’s dangerous for me as a woman, for my partner as a man, and for my future kids and nieces and nephews and other children in the family. Let’s be honest, I enjoy Christmas and Thanksgiving, but this holiday season, please do not send death threats, and try and mess up my whole life. If you are a Trump supporter, now you have to reconcile with Biden folks. I’ve been ridin’ with Biden since the campaign began, but I feel that Biden will be a strong force in our country, especially for the disabled. I’m thankful we elected him as well.

While I do want to go into detail about the year’s wins and losses, I won’t. do this until the rap up but it won’t be twenty things in 2020, for it was taken over by corona virus and the death threats. Because this blog has no comments allowed, you might want to talk to me on Twitter or facebook, and think about all the things you might have said wrongly about me. For Thanksgiving, while my partner and I are cooped up like chickens in the henhouse, we’re thankful we have each other, and our lives, to ponder. What we don’t want in our holiday celebration is people who associate me with slutty behavior, something I won’t tolerate, and sexist and patriarchal tropes have to go. Please read Unladylike by Christin Conger and Caroline Irvin, and get unladylike if you’re a woman and get educated if you are a guy. Just think about this for a few.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate, and stay safe and healthy, my friends.

Beth