The World Through The Eyes of Ms. V


Vilissa: A woman who wears many hats
Founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice! • Disability Rights Consultant, Writer, & Advocate • Life Coach • Motivational Speaker • Aspiring Children's Picture Book Author • LMSW • Macro Social Worker • Entrepreneur • Businesswoman • Writer • Blogger • Disabled Womanist • Proud Woman of Color with a Disability • Self-Advocate • Politically Active • Socially Conscious • Virtual Runner (5K & 10K Races) • A Student of Life • One-Of-A-Kind

Who is Vilissa?
I am the Founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice!, an organization focused on promoting self-advocacy and strengthening empowerment among people with disabilities. Being a Disability Rights Consultant & Advocate affords me the opportunity to become a prominent leader and expert in addressing and educating the public and political figures about the plight of people with disabilities, especially women of color with disabilities, in America and abroad. I also strive to use my writing as a medium to empower and encourage women of color with disabilities to share their life stories and have a more visible presence in our society.

I am a self-advocate; I have spoken at public hearings to raise awareness about the needs of youth and adults with disabilities, as well as shared my life experiences as a woman of color with a disability.

I am also politically conscious; I am working towards becoming involved in politics so that I can spearhead the creation and implementation of more empowering and effective social policies and practices that will improve the lives of people with disabilities, especially women and those of color.

On a lighter, personal note:
I'm a modern Southern Belle who tells it like it is from her point of view. Some of the thoughts/opinions I express on this blog may be unconventional, but do not mistake me for someone who isn't educated. I do possess a Master's degree, but I don't just rely on my education alone; I use a seemingly forgotten thing called COMMON SENSE in my analyses of the world around me. The ideas I express are not meant to offend anyone, but sometimes the truth can be a hard pill to swallow. :)

I do ask that those who desire to post comments to be respectful; offensive comments will be DELETED. This is your only warning.

Until the writing bug "bites" me again, Roses & Tulips, Vilissa, a fearless advocate & heck-raiser for equality for all.





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Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2014: #yesallwomen Includes Women with Disabilities. →

 
  • Women with disabilities are at least twice as likely to be victims of domestic violence and sexual assault than women without disabilities. 
  • Women with disabilities experience abuse that lasts longer and is more intense than women without disabilities.
  • Women with disabilities are less likely to report domestic violence or sexual assault. Approximately 70% - 85% of abuse against people with disabilities goes unreported.
  •  Studies estimate that 80% of women with disabilities have been sexually assaulted.
  • One study showed that 47% of sexually abused women with disabilities reported assaults on more than ten occasions.
  • Another study found that only 5% of reported crimes against people with disabilities were prosecuted, compared to 70% for serious crimes committed against people with no disabilities.
  • Women with disabilities are often perceived to be weak, unwanted or asexual, making us  more vulnerable to sexual violence.
  • Some attackers have stated that they considered it a “favor” to rape and/or sexually assault women and girls with disabilities because they thought no one else would have sex with us, that we could not have sex otherwise, or they didn’t even view us as human beings.
  • Abuse has a more severe negative effect on the self-esteem of women with physical disabilities than those without disabilities. 
  • Many women with disabilities have fewer economic resources, thereby increasing the risk of abuse. 
  • Women with disabilities face limited options for escaping abusive situations and accessing battered women’s programs.
  • Women with disabilities are women too. Our voices, our thoughts, our bodies, and our lives matter.

Source: socialismartnature

Want to Be a Part of a Disability Rights & Advocacy Organization? Become an Intern at Ramp Your Voice!

Want to Be a Part of a Disability Rights & Advocacy Organization? Become an Intern at Ramp Your Voice!

Image is an internship-themed word cloud, with words and phrases that relate to being an intern and/or the internship experience

WINNSBORO, SC (Sept. 16, 2014) - Going into the second year of Ramp Your Voice!, I decided that now is the opportune time to expand my team by seeking the talents and skills of interns.  There is a lot of work that I plan to spearhead within the next year and beyond, and I cannot continue to do this work solo – compiling an energetic team with the skill sets I need has to be a priority.  With…

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Tagged: DisabilityGraphic DesignHelp WantedIntern TeamInternsInternshipInternship OpportunityRamp Your Voice!Social Media & Press RelationsUnpaid InternshipVilissa ThompsonVolunteerWeb Design

Living in the Moment - Last Life Lesson Learned at Age 28 

At 7 am this morning, I had an epiphany - I don’t always live in the moment.  By that, I mean when something new comes along, or a shake-up in my day-to-day occurs, I worry about the “couldas, wouldas, shouldas” instead of just “being” & trusting that things will work out for my good.

I think that the catalyst of this epiphany has been the transition I’ve experienced this year.  I’ve been through a rollercoaster of emotions & changes, from trying to get new hearing aids, figuring out what I want to do career-wise, making baby steps to get on my own, building up my organization, & making time for romance.  Each of these situations are chock full of unknowns, and as a perfectionist, that makes me anxious.  I don’t like not knowing what’s going to happen next, or how I’m going to achieve my goals with the bare minimum resources I have.  I feel very vulnerable, & I hate that feeling.  

The most recent change, a good one, has been my connection with a fellow PWD.  It has been a long time since I’ve connected with someone on this level, though it has been a brief interaction, time-wise.  The biggest hurdle is distance, 800+ miles to be exact.  I honestly hate that distance is an obstacle, & I know that he dislikes it as well.  I’ve found myself worrying if I’ll hold his interest, & allowing that worry to amplify within.  I woke up this morning & realized that if I don’t start living in the moment with him, I’ll prevent myself from truly enjoying his company.  I can’t worry about tomorrow or the future - my only focus should be getting to know him, & allowing him to do the same with me.  I can’t allow worry or fear to steal my enthusiasm in talking to him.  

With the recent change, & everything else I’ve experienced this year, I know that I have to truly begin to trust in God’s plan.  That means that I will have to actively stomp out worry when it tries to rear its ugly head.  When I’m talking to Bae, I need to focus on what I’m reading & seeing, & not get frustrated because we’re eons apart.  When things don’t always go as planned, I need to be more flexible and keep a positive mindset.  Everything and everyone has a reason & a season, & nothing in life is permanent - easy to say, hard to remember & put into action. 

I’m glad that Bae & I have connected because it forced to see what I was doing, & to begin focusing on living in the present, & not stress about the unseen & unknown, in all areas of my life.  Sometimes it takes someone special to give you the wake-up call you need so that you can enjoy not only their presence, but start living in the present.  

My 29th birthday is in 2 days, & I’m ready to experience life, second by second, minute by minute.  Divine 29 will be better that Great 28, especially now that I know what I need to do to be calmer, more full of life, and just be, no matter what curveballs come my way.  

Today was the start of a new journey, & it’s looking good on me.  ~ V :)

Tagged: PersonalLiving in the MomentSelf-Reflection

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Sickle Cell Disease Awareness 1

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and I decided to show my support by educating my readers about this disease that affects so many in America, and abroad.  As an African American, I am well aware that sickle cell disease hits our community the hardest, and we have to stand in support of those we know and love who live with the symptoms that affect their well-being each and every day.…

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Tagged: AcceptanceAfrican AmericansBold Lips for Sickle CellDisabilityLatinosLiving with Sickle Cell DiseasePrevalenceSCDSickle CellSickle Cell AnemiaSickle Cell Awareness MonthSickle Cell DiseaseSickle-Shaped CellsT-BozTreatmentVilissa Thompson

micdotcom:

Watch this heartwarming video of 2 blind sisters seeing for the first time 

micdotcom:

Watch this heartwarming video of 2 blind sisters seeing for the first time 

centerofrestorativeexercise:

Free for download Disability Etiquette

A great resource for businesses, schools, organizations, staff training and disability awareness programs. You don’t have to feel awkward when interacting with, or when you meet, a person who has a disability. This booklet provides tips for you to follow that will help create positive interactions and raise everyone’s comfort levels.

Source: centerofrestorativeexercise

HUD Charges University with Discrimination in Failure to Allow Disabled College Student to House Support Dog

HUD Charges University with Discrimination in Failure to Allow Disabled College Student to House Support Dog

Image of a small dog wearing a harness with a tag called "emotional support dog."

A new school year means that disabled college students are adjusting to their new environments, and are making accommodation requests to their school’s disability services department that will allow a smoother transition.  Accommodations can range from needing note-taking assistance, placement in a quieter environment to take tests, and/or being able to use service/support animals on campus.…

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Tagged: AccommodationsADAAmericans with Disabilities ActCampus HousingDisabilityDisabled College StudentDisabled StudentDiscriminationFair Housing ActFair Housing Advocates AssociationFHAFHAAHousingHUDKent State UniversityService AnimalSupport AnimalVilissa Thompson

Interacting with Disabled Students on College Campuses: Disability Etiquette & Words of Wisdom

Interacting with Disabled Students on College Campuses: Disability Etiquette & Words of Wisdom

Woman in wheelchair attending group meeting

Earlier this month, I wrote about my college experience as a disabled studentat my alma mater, Winthrop University.  That article received great responses from those within my networks; one particular response came from a former professor suggesting that I write a follow-up article for classmates and professors.  She stated that such an article would be helpful to those who are interacting with…

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Tagged: Able-Bodied PeersAbleismAcademic AbleismClassmatesCollegeCollege StudentsDisabilityDisability EtiquetteDisability First LanguageDisabledDisabled College StudentsOIOsteogenesis ImperfectaProfessorsUniversityVilissa ThompsonWheelchair

The George Takei Disabled Meme Controversy: The Offense, Response, & Public Apology

The George Takei Disabled Meme Controversy: The Offense, Response, & Public Apology

George Takei, Headshot image 1

Over the past few weeks, the disability community has expressed its outrage regarding the inspiration porn-like meme that George Takei posted on his Facebook page.  George Takei is well-known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek.  George Takei has amassed a strong following online, as many loved him and those who were a part of the…

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Tagged: ActorCelebrityControversyDisabilityFacebookGay Man of ColorGeorge TakeiInspiration PornLGBTMemeMemesOffensiveOppressionPrivilegePublic ApologyStar TrekVilissa Thompson

rockandrollingdiva:

argonianbot:

i dont think you guys appreciate how rad this site is 

because first of all you got your basic fantasy and game race names for like

everything

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BUT AS IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH

REAL NAMES WHICH ARE GOOD FOR BOOKS

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AND THIS THERE’S MORE????

BAM, PLACE NAMES

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AND STILL MORE

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SO YOU SEE THESE LITTLE OPTIONS HERE

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PLEASE, PLEASE

GO AND TRY TO HELP A GOOD PERSON OUT

For the creative rolling divas. ~ V