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.

Follow Me on Pinterest

The WordCount Blogathon

(I'm an aspiring children's book author, so I definitely had to grab this free button to show my support in advocating for diversity in children's & young adult books.)

NaBloPoMo April 2014

NaBloPoMo January 2014

NaBloPoMo November 2013

NaBloPoMo September 2013

Ask me anything


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



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
















For the creative rolling divas. ~ V 

If white American feminist theory need not deal with the differences between us, and the resulting difference in our oppressions, then how do you deal with the fact that the women who clean your houses and tend your children while you attend conferences on feminist theory are, for the most part, poor women and women of Color?

What is the theory behind racist feminism?

Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” 1984 (via ethiopienne)

Audre be knowin’…

(via gradientlair)

Source: owning-my-truth


Hi! I made this little guide thing because I’ve noticed throughout high school and college that students, including myself, with disabilities often have trouble with teachers that use PowerPoints. Many people do not know how to make an accessible PowerPoint.

Having an accessible PowerPoint benefits everyone! Not to mention, it is a right protected by (Federal and State) law that people with disabilities have accessibility to electronic documents. So please, after reading this little guide, I HIGHLY encourage you to do some research on how to make electronic documents accessible (especially if you are a teacher or college student). Accessible documents do not only apply to PowerPoint, but Word, Excel, and a countless number of other programs.

I want to mention one thing though: I broke a big rule that I didn’t include on my little guide. Try to keep eight or less lines of text per slide. Each line should have less than ten words. I broke this rule because Tumblr allows only 10 photos for photosets, so I couldn’t break the text up anymore. I’m really sorry. :(  Also, this is not a be-all and end-all guide! I seriously encourage you to look into making any and all documents more accessible (go on YouTube, there is a ton of great tutorials).

Source: gojikas

Reflection of My College Experience as a Disabled Student

Reflection of My College Experience as a Disabled Student

College Bound 1

As students of all ages begin preparing to go back to school, I decided to reflect on my college experience as a disabled student.  August of 2004 was when I became a freshman at Winthrop University, my alma mater.  It amazes me that it was exactly 10 years ago that I set wheels on that campus, and the memories I had of those 4 years I will proudly carry with me forever.

Embracing the Fear of…

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Tagged: AccessibilityAccommodationsBack to SchoolCollegeDigital NativesDisabilityDisability CoordinatorDisabled College StudentsDisabled StudentsFreshmenFreshmen YearMillennialsSchoolVilissa ThompsonWinthropWinthrop UniversityZeta Phi Beta



In response to this Tumblr ask from rampyourvoice to gradientlair

Ten YA novels featuring disabled women of color as protagonists:

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Dangerous by Shannon Hale
The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Shattering by Karen Healey
Pinned by Sharon G. Flake
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

So far, we’ve only reviewed Dangerous at Disability in Kidlit; we’re unfortunately unable to vouch for the others. Hopefully this list will still prove useful to some, though—and if you’ve read any of these, please pitch in with your thoughts!

I’m so stoked that Disability In Kidlit responded by creating this phenom list!  Thank you so much!  And thanks for the shout-out about this ask! ~ Vilissa  

Source: disabilityinkidlit

The Importance of Practicing Self-Care as a Disabled Person

The Importance of Practicing Self-Care as a Disabled Person

Self Care Quote 1

What exactly is self-care, you might ask?  Self-care is the active participation in enhancing the quality of your physical, mental, and emotional health.  Some people erroneously believe that nurturing the self is for those who are weak, fragile, or are slackers.  Self-care is something that everyone should practice regularly, and make time for.  Self-care is unique to each person because there…

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Tagged: DisabilityDisabled PersonHealthMild DepressionSelf-CareSelf-Care ChallengeVilissa Thompson


DIY Crayon Wall Art: Crayons are cheap and can easily be made into cool office art.  Click the links below to view directions on how to create each of the pictured pieces (numbered from left to right, top to bottom).

  1. Crayon Monogram
  2. Melted Crayon Rainbow
  3. Crayon Letters
  4. Melted Crayon Heart
  5. Crayon Sunburst
  6. Melted Crayon Word Art
  7. Crayon Splatter Art
  8. Melted Crayon Heart with Quote
  9. Melted Crayon Flowers
  10. More Ideas

Ways You Can Contribute to the Ramp Your Voice! Disability Movement

Ways You Can Contribute to the Ramp Your Voice! Disability Movement

Contribute 1

WINNSBORO, SC (July 29, 2014)  As the anniversary month for Ramp Your Voice! winds down, I wanted to inform my readers and supporters on how you can contribute to the empowering disability movement this organization is spearheading.

Share Your disABILITY Story to be Featured on the Ramp Your Voice! Blog:

I am searching for disabled women, particularly those of color, to interview for the blog.…

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Tagged: AdvocacyAdvocateConsultationConsultingContributeContribute to the CauseDisabilityDisabled WomenDonationsInterviewsLife CoachingMake a DonationMotivational SpeakingPresentationsPress ReleaseRamp Your Voice!ServicesSocial WorkerSupportersTrainingVilissa Thompson