A CRUSHING DEFEAT – BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD – CREATING A RIPPLE EFFECT

You work so hard for so long on a specific project only to have it practically blow up in your face.  I’ve been working with Blue Cross and Blue Shield policy directors for the last six months and I recently received beautiful “BS” letter as they say stating that my efforts to have adaptive exercise equipment reviewed under medical necessity was not going to be an option.

I have tried to play nice, it did not work, and that’s okay.  I’ve simultaneously been working on legislation on multiple fronts to be introduced over the next few months and few years from different angles.  I always try the path of least resistance first, this does not always work out, but it does not deter me either.

If you’ve been following my health insurance battles you will want to take a close read of this one because my entire disability advocacy career started out with health insurance equity.  It is naturally a passion project near and dear to my heart and one which I will continue to fight for on so many fronts.  What will ultimately end up happening is having to create a coalition of seriously smart lawyers, doctors, advocates, etc. in years to come.  This mission is going to be measured in many years, not months.

Fortunately, my spinal cord injury has taught me the definition of extreme patience.  For this I am thankful!

I may Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the mountain only for it to come crashing down on me.  However, I will start rolling the boulder back up the mountain in real time!  I will break the cycle eventually in the name of HEALTH EQUITY, and not just Health Equality.

Check out the Article on Push Living Magazine:

A CRUSHING DEFEAT – BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD – CREATING A RIPPLE EFFECT

Caregiving & Sexuality

Very cool podcast I was part of that offers a very unique perspective on how many of us with disabilities approach the conversations with our caregivers when we want to be intimate with a new person in our life, and how we handle those conversations.

Probably not something you think much about, but it’s an important topic that constantly gets pushed aside and is left unrecognized!

I personally have had a lot of really interesting experiences and conversations when I was engaged in the dating part of my life prior to getting married. Some wild conversations for sure 😉

#disabilitylife #relationships #disability #sexuality #disabilityinclusion #caregiversupport #caregiver #caregiving #disabilitysexuality #openconcept #disabilitylife #perspectiveiseverything #perspectiveshift

YouTube Channel Live – “Shower Talk with Ali”

YOUTUBE CHANNEL LINK: https://www.youtube.com/c/QuirkyQuad_Ali

This has been a project near and dear to my heart that I have been working on for the better part of a year, but projects have just been popping up left and there never really seemed to be a right time to take the leap. So, I decided weeks ago to just dive right in as they say (figuratively of course because I already took the physical dive 12 years ago;) – and, I certainly don’t have any desire to do that again!

I am incredibly humbled, honored, and proud to announce the launch of my new YouTube channel called

“Shower Talk with Ali – Where No Topic is Limit”

To complement my website and my writing I appreciate many people love to watch videos. In light of this, I’ve created this YouTube channel with the sole focus of approaching and normalizing uncomfortable topics in my life and the disability world so that folks from all walks of life can understand what many of us go through on a daily basis. This is not a channel just about inspiration, but really diving into understanding some of what many of us with disabilities live through each and every moment of our lives.

In the spirit of who I am I have approach many topics through the lens of dark humor, determination, and sheer grit at times. No matter what situation I may me dealing with in life I always seem to find the comedy behind every experience my life.

I do hope you enjoy, follow my channel, like, subscribe, and comment so that I might be able to make videos on what you are all interested in! This channel is by no means just for people with disabilities, but for EVERYONE may just be curious and loves to learn about topics that are very unfamiliar in your own life.

Introduction to My YouTube Channel:

Sabrina’s Adaptive Beach Days – Turning Dreams into Action

Thank you Christopher Reeve Foundation for allowing me to be a guest blogger for your incredible organization again!

In this article I feature one of my dear friends Sabrina Cohen who is simply taking over the world in Florida in creating an adaptive beach program and so much more for individuals with disabilities!

https://www.christopherreeve.org/blog/life-after-paralysis/sabrinas-adaptive-beach-days-turning-dreams-into-action

A Personal Story of Equality, Equity, and Chinese Shootings!

I am incredibly honored to have Billion Strong, an identity and empowerment organization designed to bring millions of voices of persons with disabilities together. I met Debra Ruh, Founder and Executive Chair of Billion Strong and CEO of Ruh Global IMPACT in the last year. She is a light in so many people’s lives, is incredibly bright, smart, and cares intensely about giving voice to people with disabilities around the world.

Debra invited me to be Secretary of the Board for Billion Strong and it is my distinct honor to serve this incredible global organization advancing disability initiatives.

There is a BIG difference between Equality and Equity, and while they are really important for those of us with disabilities because one size does not fit all in many aspects of our lives, it’s also important to appreciate the progress we’ve made in first world countries on this front. It’s imperative we continue to push for systemic change, but while we do so we need to stop and think critically about the unbelievable sacrifices the generations before us put forward in order to allow many of us to have the freedom to continue to fight for change!

ENJOY!

https://www.billion-strong.org/2022/01/31/a-personal-story-of-equality-equity-and-chinese-shootings/

“Let’s Talk” Huawei Tech Accessibility Global Chat

Last week I was invited to be a panelist for the multinational corporation @huaweiUSA for a live stream discussion called:

“Let’s Talk”

YOUTUBE: https://lnkd.in/ems-HR5Y

TWITTER: https://lnkd.in/eygcXfc6

I was surrounded by some amazing Disability Advocates in the community and great friends. We discussed the concept of technological accessibility and a lot of the issues facing many of us with a range of disabilities.

It was such an honor and a really big discussion for me to be a part of.

It’s so important for each of us with disabilities to get our voices out there and offer different perspectives to push corporations to change the way they think about creating their products, and how they affect our global community at large!

Self-Care, Nudism & Balance

“In law enforcement, a lot of what I saw broke my heart.  I’d come home and take my clothes off and just shed the world away,” he (Dwayne) recounts … And while Dwayne’s non-textile appearance this Saturday afternoon might shock some, the reason behind it will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with a common 21st century prescription: self-care.”

Billy Warden, a communication strategist, marking executive, TEDx, TV producer, journalist, fiction writer, to name a few of his many accomplishments, authored the article “A New Attitude: Inside look at the Triangles Naturist community(excerpt above) in The Walter Magazine.

I had the distinct pleasure to dine with Billy and a gaggle of other movers and shakers in the Raleigh, North Carolina Triangle area this past week.  There were so many influential, inspiring, and well accomplished professionals engaging in fruitful banter.

How did I get invited to such a dinner?  I had met each of these people individually over the last several months and, coincidentally, many of them were already well acquainted with each other as many of them ran in the same social, and political circles over the last several decades. 

So, in a very “Ali” fashion I decided to be pleasantly persistent and arrange a dinner with new friends, old and reconnected ones. 

Continue reading

CBS Live Interview – Healthcare Policy Change

I am truly beyond humbled and incredibly honored that CBC17 News crew in Raleigh came out to my home to do a story on Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina 2022 and the efforts many of us are making in trying to reform healthcare policy within the insurance system.

“Self Advocacy” is the single driving mission I have in my life to help others with disabilities not only survive in their life, but thrive through aiding them in getting the medically necessary equipment and services they need in their own lives!

This will always be a long-term advocacy project of mine and I will not stop until we see systemic change, but in the meantime, we need to navigate the broken system we presented with, which takes a village of disability advocates standing up for the masses!

Without Further Ado:

My Journey of Being Crowned Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina 2022

The culmination of my life’s work thus far to being crowned Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina 2022 in November 2021 is one of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, determination, support, and unrelenting determination …

… People frequently question how I have arrived to where I am today to be a professional, disability advocate, mentor, and a ferociously “Pleasantly Persistent” woman with the motto: “NO is just a starting negotiation point.”

…. Through all of this I was approached to apply to run for Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina in November, 2021. I met some incredible ladies who are now lifelong friends and I had such an amazing weekend. My specific platform for the competition was health insurance advocacy for medically necessary durable medical equipment …

… Don’t get me wrong, it’s an honor to have won this competition and I will compete in July 2022 for Nationals, but it really was and is the collaboration between individuals with disabilities that sparks my pure joy! …

…. Here is one quote I live by “Luck is the Residue of Design” – if you design your life in such a way to constantly have opportunities presented to you even if other opportunities fail, you have a higher probability of “Lucky” things happening for you.

With that, wish me luck at Nationals, but the work will not stop over the next eight months.  I have so many big plans, many of which I’m sure will lead me down unfamiliar roads, but I’m making sure I have plans A-Z in place at every turn to course correct in my own life. This is the key to lasting change and success …

Read the rest on Push Living Magazine: