Justin smiling with MN Governor Walz
Accessibility (#A11y), Advocacy

Seat at the table in #OneMinnesota

On Monday, I went to the Legislative Forum sponsored by the Minnesota Council on Disability. Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan were both there - the first time that a Governor or Lt. Governor has come to this Legislative Forum. It was also great to hear from the legislators who were there to talk about… Continue reading Seat at the table in #OneMinnesota

Justin Smith and Mary Lucia smiling
Accessibility (#A11y), Advocacy, Music

Talking Accessibility @ The Current

Wait, what? Ok, this was a big awesome week! Unbelievably big and awesome! Who knew when I wrote my last post about seeing Maggie Rogers and accessibility at the Armory, that Mary Lucia from Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current would reach out and ask to interview me? Of course, I said yes – anything to… Continue reading Talking Accessibility @ The Current

Concert stage
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Maggie Rogers at the Armory: Accessibility Check

Ok, that question that everyone is asking about: how accessible was the Armory and how was the music? First part of the question is definitely what I want to talk about, but starting with the music - amazing. NowNow was the opening band. I’ve been listening to their music and interviews so was familiar with… Continue reading Maggie Rogers at the Armory: Accessibility Check

Justin smiling in wheelchair on path with flowers
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Appearances may be deceiving OR how something might appear accessible but in reality…

Here's a quick story of what was to be a short walk with my mom, on a lovely sunny day,  to the new accessible little park down by the lake. And when I say accessible, I mean NOT really at all accessible for me or probably any other wheelchair user. In fact, they probably could… Continue reading Appearances may be deceiving OR how something might appear accessible but in reality…

Justin looking at computer monitor with hand on joystick mouse
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Pride, Prejudice & Accessibility

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that this blog must be in want of a classic accessibility check and a Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennett. Jane Austen’s books are great, but Pride and Prejudice is one of the perfect examples of what is it that constitutes 19th century love. Take Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.… Continue reading Pride, Prejudice & Accessibility

Justin, mom, dad with the Interrupters band
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The Interrupters up close

Amazing concert on Wednesday at the Varsity Theater! Can't even describe how awesome this concert was! The pictures say it all - this band is energizing and exciting. After the last song, the band threw t-shirts, drumsticks, guitar picks, and sheet music out to the crowd. The lead singer, Aimee, saw me and brought me… Continue reading The Interrupters up close

Justin reaching out to air-fist bump with Senator Durenberger
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Barriers to Inclusion Part 3: Employment

In the 2018 fiscal year, 16 percent of Minnesotans with disabilities who received state services worked in the community alongside people without disabilities.  Chris Serres, Star Tribune, 3/16/19 How is this real? That number needs to be a hell of a lot higher than 16%. I am NOT one of the 16% by the way… although I… Continue reading Barriers to Inclusion Part 3: Employment

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The scary part of editing

Why did I write this book? It seemed like a good idea at the time I started writing, but now that I am editing, let us just say that there are moments when I feel like the book should be thrown into the garbage can and then the garbage can should be thrown into the center… Continue reading The scary part of editing