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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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

Today we must balance the tears of sorrow with the tears of joy. Mix the bitter with the sweet in death & life. Jackie as a figure in history was a rock in the water, creating concentric circles & ripples of new possibility. He was medicine. He was immunized by God from catching the diseases that he fought. The Lord’s arms of protection enabled him to go through dangers seen & unseen, & he had the capacity to wear glory with grace. Jackie’s body was a temple of God. An instrument of peace. We would watch him disappear into nothingness & stand back as spectators, & watch the suffering from afar. The mercy of God intercepted this process Tuesday & permitted him to steal away home, where referees are out of place, & only the supreme judge of the universe speaks.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, eulogy for Jackie Robinson.  

This was today’s devotional in “The President’s Devotions.”  This was sent to Pres. Obama on the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s breaking into baseball’s major league.

Tagged: 42Jackie RobinsonBaseball

Recognizing April 2014 as Fair Housing Month

Recognizing April 2014 as Fair Housing Month

Woman in Wheelchair In the Kitchen 1

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) declares April as Fair Housing Month.  Fair Housing Month is HUD’s way of commemorating the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which was enacted shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discriminationbased on race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, and…

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Tagged: AccessibilityDisabilityDisability RightsDisabledDiscriminationFair Housing ActFair Housing MonthHomeownersHousingHousing and Urban DevelopmentHUDLGBTVilissa Thompson

I’m a proud disabled womanist!

I’m a proud disabled womanist!

Tagged: womanistalice walkerquote


So, I’m trying my hand at cooking. Made chicken tacos, & cooked the chicken & salsa in the slow cooker I received for Christmas.

This is the Chef BoyArVee chronicles. You’ll see more of my cooking adventures on here. Disabled women do cook!

My fellow disabled divas… do you have any yummy dishes or sides I could make in my slow cooker? Share them with me! ~ Vilissa

Wheelchair Yoga! →




(blog by Tiffiny Carlson)

Wheelchair Yoga: Easy Beginners Poses

Around seven years ago I discovered adapted yoga. Classes were being offered at my local disability rehab facility, and as a dancer before my injury, I was enthralled. Oh yeah. I wanted to get my yoga on. And when I was…

I have CP and always wondered if I could practice yoga because of my spasticity. Despite of the fact that I don’t use a wheelchair, I find this wheelchair yoga post useful for answering my question.

Definitely plan to try this!

Source: wheelstrong


Thought I would share a “throwback Thursday” picture.  This was taken the weekend before my 27th birthday in 2012.  This is my old wheelchair (got my new one right after my birthday last year).  I rock the candy blue because I’m a FINER woman of Zeta Phi Beta.  :)
There aren’t a lot of WoC in wheelchairs pictures on Tumblr, so I wanted to share mine.  I’m Black, disabled, & proud! ~ Vilissa
P.S. Social workers are some sexy mofos… you didn’t know?  ;)
P.P.S.  If you haven’t voted for me as the Local Hero for the NMEDA contest to win a free wheelchair van… go vote!


Thought I would share a “throwback Thursday” picture.  This was taken the weekend before my 27th birthday in 2012.  This is my old wheelchair (got my new one right after my birthday last year).  I rock the candy blue because I’m a FINER woman of Zeta Phi Beta.  :)

There aren’t a lot of WoC in wheelchairs pictures on Tumblr, so I wanted to share mine.  I’m Black, disabled, & proud! ~ Vilissa

P.S. Social workers are some sexy mofos… you didn’t know?  ;)

P.P.S.  If you haven’t voted for me as the Local Hero for the NMEDA contest to win a free wheelchair van… go vote!

Go on over & follow the new RYV! side blog, Rock & Rolling Diva! #Disability →


So, I decided to create a side blog where I will share my personal account of being a woman of color with a disability, as well as reblog empowering stories & images of other women with disabilities.

I’m proud to be disabled, & I want other women with disabilities, esp. those of color, to be…

I’ve entered into the 2014 National Mobility Awareness Month Local Hero Contest!

I’ve entered into the 2014 National Mobility Awareness Month Local Hero Contest!

Vote 4 V graphic

I have entered into NMEDA’s 2014 National Mobility Awareness Month Local Hero contest!  This is the third year that NMEDA has hosted this event.  I discovered the contest on Tumblr a few weeks ago from a follower who also entered into the contest.

The National Mobility Awareness Month Local Hero contest allows wheelchair users to discuss how acquiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle would…

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Tagged: ContestDisabilityLocal Hero ContestMobilityModified VehicleNational Mobility Awareness MonthNMEDAVanVilissa ThompsonVote for VilissaWheelchairWheelchair UserWheelchair VanZeta Phi Beta


Happy Birthday Maya Angelou!

April 4, 1928

Maya Angelou’s chronology of autobiographies…

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

a coming-of-age-story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. The book begins when three-year-old Maya and her older brother are sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother and ends when Maya becomes a mother at the age of 16. In the course of Caged Bird, Maya transforms from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice.

Gather Together in My Name

the second book in Angelou’s series of seven autobiographies…begins immediately following the events described in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and follows Angelou, called Rita, from the ages of 17 to 19. Written three years after Caged Bird, the book “depicts a single mother’s slide down the social ladder into poverty and crime.” The title of the book is taken from the Bible, but it also conveys how one Black female survived in the white-dominated society of post-war America, and speaks for all Black females.

Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas

the third book…Set between 1949 and 1955, the book spans Angelou’s early twenties. In this volume, Angelou describes her struggles to support her young son, form meaningful relationships, and forge a successful career in the entertainment world. The work’s 1976 publication was the first time an African-American woman had expanded her life story into a third volume.

The Heart of a Woman

the fourth installment…recounts events in Angelou’s life between 1957 and 1962 and follows her travels to California, New York City, Cairo, and Ghana as she raises her teenage son, becomes a published author, becomes active in the US civil rights movement, and becomes romantically involved with a South African freedom fighter. One of the most important themes of The Heart of a Woman is motherhood, as Angelou continues to raise her teenage son. The book ends with Angelou’s son leaving for college and Angelou looking forward to newfound independence and freedom.

All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

is the fifth book…Set between 1962 and 1965, the book begins when Angelou is thirty-three years old, and recounts the years she lived in Accra, Ghana. The book begins where Angelou’s previous book, TheHeart of a Woman, ends, with the traumatic car accident involving her son Guy, and ends as Angelou returns to America. The title of the book comes from a Negro spiritual.

 A Song Flung Up to Heaven

the sixth book…Set between 1965 and 1968, it begins where Angelou’s previous book All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes ends, with Angelou’s trip from Accra, Ghana, where she had lived for the past four years, back to the United States. Two “calamitous events” frame the beginning and end of the book—the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Angelou describes how she dealt with these events and the sweeping changes in both the country and in her personal life, and how she coped with her return home. The book ends with Angelou at “the threshold of her literary career,” writing the opening lines to her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Mom & Me & Mom

the seventh book…published shortly before Mother’s Day and Angelou’s 85th birthday. It focuses, for the first time in her books, on Angelou’s relationship with her mother, Vivian Baxter. The book explains Baxter’s behavior, especially Baxter’s abandonment of Angelou and Angelou’s older brother when they were young children, and fill in “what are possibly the final blanks in Angelou’s eventful life.” The book also chronicles Angelou’s reunion and reconciliation with Baxter. Angelou was well-respected as a poet and writer, and was one of the first African American female writers to openly discuss her life through the autobiography.


Happy 86th Birthday to one of my favorite poet & author, Dr. Maya Angelou! ~ V 

Is It Ok To Lie to Children?

Today’s writing prompt:  If you have children, what lies have you told your own children?  Do you think it’s okay as an adult to lie to someone else’s child?

I think that the only lies that are acceptable for adults to tell children are those that surround special Holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, or special events like the Tooth Fairy when one loses a tooth.  Believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy were fond memories from my childhood.  These imaginary figures played on my creativity, and it allowed me to hold onto my innocence for as long as I could.  Now that I’m an adult, it’s fun to see children get so excited about these figures, and it puts a smile on my face.  The joy and excitement they exhibit is contagious, & makes the holidays or moment more special.  

Tagged: NoBloPoMoLying To KidsEaster BunnySanta ClausTooth FairyWriting Prompt