To me, accessibility feels like an afterthought in Pittsburgh development

Having spinal muscular atrophy means that I’ve never been able to walk. I’ve used a wheelchair since I was about 3 years old. I rely on help from others for many parts of my day — bathing, getting dressed, making my meals and just generally getting around.
I still try to be independent however I can. Growing up, I went to public school and took classes with my peers. I lived in the dorms with the rest of the students in college. I work as a research coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh and am pursuing my master’s degree in public health.

Ableism at the dinner table: How I learned to ignore glares and let my arms ‘dance’

My arms were constantly in motion, as if I were conducting a never-ending orchestra. Sometimes the movements were fluid, smooth even, but other times my right arm looked as though it were climbing an invisible jungle gym, my muscles contracting and tensing in uncomfortable positions. It was the tangible evidence of years of internalized ableism and shame.