PODCAST with Kevin Lowe

I was the guest on a super cool podcast with the most amazing gentleman named Kevin Lowe.

Kevin has an incredible story in his own right and he certainly makes the most of life with his incredibly quirky, and hilarious sense of humor.

Kevin too, shares a disability with me, but his is in the realm of sight. He is blind and has navigated his life so eloquently, with grace, and a ton of humor.

We had such a fabulous time during this podcast that I felt like I was chatting with an old friend who I had known for years!I would love for you to check out his podcast and start listening to him!

Balancing Disability Advocacy & A Professional Career

I’m super honored to be a contributing writer to the CHRISTOPHER & DANA REEVE FOUNDATION.

When you believe in something larger than yourself, it’s quite extraordinary what you are able to accomplish. After becoming a complete C6 quadriplegic in 2010, it took me quite a few years and multiple long stents in the hospital to come to the realization that I simply had to find a coping mechanism for living an entirely new life in a very different body.

Read the rest …

Balancing disability advocacy & a professional career – Reeve Foundation

A Life Through the Lens of Dark Humor

The absurdity of spinal cord injury with respect to the fact that being paralyzed is oftentimes the least of your challenges as compared to the endless secondary medical complications, caregiving challenges, financial burdens, to name a few, can turn a perfectly sane individual into one who is tinkering on the edge of insanity.  The question remains is how do so many of us with these life altering changes cope with, what can only be described at times, as a revolving circus carnival of animals? 

We each develop and build upon our own coping mechanisms as the year’s progress and as we become a little bit older and wiser in spinal cord injury years.  For me, dark humor is, bar none, my number one savior to get me through most days.

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How Expensive is it to be a Quadriplegic? A Grim Reality

Becoming a quadriplegic and being paralyzed from the chest down may appear to be the most challenging life altering event many may ever go through in their life.  However, leaving aside the endless secondary complications that can arise from living a life with paralysis such as pressure sores, nerve pain, respiratory issues, osteoporosis, infections, bowel obstructions, bladder incontinence, to name a few, can, often times, pale in comparison to the financial burdens associated with living a life with paralysis.  The financial hardships associated with any type of disability, one could argue, is more debilitating than the disability itself!

For the purposes of this article I’m going to be discussing some of the financial challenges and realities of living a life as a quadriplegic as opposed to a paraplegic.  In general, a quadriplegic needs round-the-clock care to help with basic functions such as going to the bathroom, eating, dressing, etc.  While every injury is different and there are certainly some quadriplegics who I know who live independently, I will tell you about my life in particular. 

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Spectrum Local TV News Story – Disability Advocate Draws Attention to Lack of Inclusive Policies

I’m super excited & honored to have been featured in a news story by Spectrum News on disability inclusion in light of recent events with the paralympian who was unable to bring her caregiver, her mother, to Tokyo.

As I always say, Disability Doesn’t Discriminate — anyone can join the club for any reason and creating a globally inclusive environment whether that be in the paralympics, employment world, your community, the government, etc. should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind!

https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/triangle-sandhills/news/2021/08/24/disability-advocate-draws-attention-to-lack-of-inclusive-policies

Rebel Love Podcast Now Live

Love, Sex & Orgasms …Yup, I went there live on Rebel Love Podcast!It was a blast speak with Talia on so many subjects and shedding light on disability and sexuality.

Naturally this is a topic near and dear to my heart since my website has a tagline on this very topic!I don’t know if many of you know this, but my entire advocacy mission in life started 6 years ago because of a dating experiment I would write about on my Facebook page.

This is actually how the QUIRKY QUAD Diaries was founded… Simply trying to show women with disabilities that a love life is absolutely possible even in a wheelchair 🙂

Also, to be completely honest it was super fun to write about sex at a time when I was dealing with major life changing surgeries!

EP39: Life As A Quadriplegic After A Shallow Water Diving Accident: Ali’s Story

Be Your Own Advocate & Fight For Your Life

It was such an honor to be a guest on Karen Roy’s Life Possible with a Disability Podcast. Karen Roy is a good friend and fellow Disability Advocate in the community. We talked on a range of subjects from love, life, adversity, and fighting for medically necessary equipment in the health insurance world, and what that entails.

Karen is a rock star in her own right who has been pushing for equal access to exercise equipment for those with disabilities, is Ms. former Wheelchair America, and now works with a large Durable Medical Equipment Company to push the boundaries for patient access in the health insurance world.

We had a great conversation and I do hope many people are able to take a lesson out of what we talked about in the podcast:

Flowing East and West: The Perfectly Imperfect Journey to a Fulfilled Life all Podcast

I’m super honored to have been a guest on this incredible Podcast with two amazing ladies!

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/flowing-east-and-west-the-perfectly-imperfect-journey/id1546631522

Here’s the intro of what the podcast is all about – FEET FIRST:

“Ali Ingersoll had a somewhat charmed upbringing, attending boarding school abroad, going on amazing adventures and taking advantage of every opportunity that showed up.  Then a life-changing accident happened when Ali took a head-first dive into shallow water.  Feet First not only describes Ali’s plea for anyone jumping into shallow water, but also how she has lived her life, both before and after the accident.  While she is now restricted to a wheelchair, Ali continues to live life to the fullest  – wait until you hear her dating stories (sorry, guys, she is now happily married!) – we were both laughing hysterically.  This in no way means Ali hasn’t had ups and downs – indeed, she speaks very candidly about her challenges and dark days. However, in her toughest moments, she has developed an incredible resilience and a “radical acceptance” that we cannot help being inspired by.

Ali reminded us of this quote which we think perfectly sums up how she lives her life:

Disasters lead to the best stories – Ali Ingersoll

Ali Ingersoll is a day trader, consultant, disability advocate, writer, blogger, editor, and public speaker. She started her advocacy mission after being repeatedly denied medically necessary equipment by insurance companies over the last 10 years since becoming a C6 quadriplegic and full-time wheelchair user after a shallow water diving accident.”

Ali’s passion lies in coaching people with disabilities on how to improve their quality of life by teaching them to self-advocate in order to live a life of independence, dignity, and grace.

Ali has a firm philosophy of paying it forward by giving back to the community through outreach, working together, and building each other up. She believes it’s important to band together as one in order to affect the greatest change on the national stage and in local communities.”

6 Strategies to Navigate Your Insurance Provider’s Approvals Process

As a C6 quadriplegic, I’ve spent the last decade perfecting strategies to improve my odds of success in getting the durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies I need from my health insurance provider. A few key pieces of equipment I have successfully obtained include a specialized shower chair, pressure-relieving mattress, hospital bed, FES bike, and seat elevator for my power wheelchair.

I’m not the only wheelchair user who’s figured out effective strategies for every step of the process, from prior authorization to putting together effective appeals if denied. I interviewed others who use wheelchairs, including two staff members of the United Spinal Resource Center team, to present you with the best strategies for obtaining the medically necessary DMEPOS you need to not only survive but thrive in life.

I interviewed five other advocates around the country to get their take on shared strategies we are all employing to get the medically necessary equipment need to live our best lives.

Read the rest on United Spinal’s New Mobility Magazine

The Rise of Disability Inclusion in the Workplace

Technological, societal, and environmental shifts are reshaping how many companies engage with people, customers, and communities.  This is paving the way for systemic change in how we include underrepresented communities in the employment world.

Over the last several months I’ve been pondering and am now actively pursuing a new professional career in the world of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).  This is not a new emerging field within organizations, but over the last several years it is fast becoming an ever more critical area for organizations, corporations, and stakeholders around the world to focus on.  More specifically, in light of today’s societal changes we need to strive to incorporate a more diverse and equitable culture for women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and the disability community. 

By recognizing the unique challenges faced by leaders with disabilities, organizations can build more comprehensive diversity policies to create an inclusive environment for all employees. Historically, executive level leaders have felt the need to be seen as superhuman in order to survive, a culture that has resulted in displaying one of invincibility and infallibility. This needs to change because once higher level corporate executives realize a disability is not a disadvantage in the corporate culture, the entire corporate structure, from the top down, will make way for real systemic change.

Read the Rest on Push Living Magazine