My TED Talk: ‘Blitzing the fashion industry’

As an inaugural member of the TED Residency program, I am thrilled to express TED’s commitment to elevating the disabled voice. If you have an big idea and are interested in becoming a TED Resident, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Continue Reading →

Inspiration Ain’t Free

In Fact, It May Just Have Cost Us The Election

For the first time in history, thanks in part to #CripTheVote and an empowered community, disability made its way into the election. We were included by Hillary’s campaign and mocked by Trump’s. But 48 hours have passed and if you read Harry Reid’s statement on ‘The Election of Donald Trump’, you’ll realize disability is already long forgotten. Continue Reading →

Women vs. Hysteria No More…

I am supporting Jennifer Brea’s ‘Canary in a Coal Mine’ documentary.

I hope you will too.

I don’t have a best day of my life (there are many). But I sure as hell have a worst day. And it’s not the day I acquired my illness. The worst day of my life happened 265 days later. At the Cleveland Clinic. In the office of a renowned Neurologist. A distinguished man who carried himself like my dad. The entire day felt like a trick. I had gone home to the Cleveland area for the holidays. My parents and I thought a visit to this doctor couldn’t hurt. We could not have been more wrong. It hurt the worst. He told me directly that I was faking my illness. And for a moment, perhaps because he looked like my dad, my parents believed him. I tried to believe him too. Continue Reading →

Four Years Ago Today, I Fell Out of Bed.

Today is the four year anniversary of when my chronic illness began. And to celebrate, I am going to respond to this letter:

“Hi Liz,

Bijan Mawji and I are Facebook friends on a group for Entrepreneurs with Chronic Illnesses/Disabilities. I wrote him because as my health worsens, I need to transition out of my current careers (acting and teaching acting) and find something a little less punishing. He sent me your link and suggested I write you.

Continue Reading →

On Loss & Resilience Through Design

My life no longer looks like it did just a few short months ago. My partner of a decade and I are separating. We were trying for a baby. That dream has been recategorized into the ‘hopefully someday’ bin. My home, no longer mine. I now live a few blocks away. But it’s not just this separation. My security blanket is moving not only to a new town, but to a new country. My insurance situation has taken my beloved neurologist from me, I simply cannot afford the deductible. And moreover, I cannot see my psychologist as I had previously been able to. At a time when I need her more than ever. Things feel dire. And when things feel dire, my body begins to fail me. What I thought was a cavity is actually an infection that requires surgery. I threw my back out. Dropped my computer on my foot. And little things that I previously would have brushed off feel very big. Life is not easy for Liz right now. Continue Reading →

How You Can Heed Stevie Wonder’s Advice and Learn Braille Today

“We need to make every single thing accessible to every person with a disability” Stevie Wonder

There are many ways to make the world more accessible. I preach nearly all of them. But tonight I was sitting on my couch, watching the Grammy’s while across from me sat a pile of children’s books. Written in braille. Continue Reading →

BREAKING NEWS: There’s A Gold Wheelchair On The Cover of Interview Magazine!

It only took 82 years, but Everest and Jennings, the designers of the first (and only) collapsable wheelchair, have finally managed to grace the cover of a prominent fashion magazine.

Interview Magazine features conversations between some of the most creative minds from the worlds of fashion, art and entertainment. This month’s cover features a beautiful gold Everest and Jennings wheelchair, ridden by an unidentifiable human like creature. Continue Reading →

INTRODUCING: The Inclusive Design & Fashion Collective!!

Chapter 1: My Story

I started this blog back in 2013. You may already know my story and how I awoke one Sunday, falling out of bed and into the hospital. That was the day I discovered that my ugly hospital gifted cane was called an “assistive device”. That term was new to me. Also new to me? My inability to find a cane that felt like ‘me’ even though I was able to find the perfect pair of eyeglasses. This lack of choice and lack of thoughtful design means many people don’t use the products they need because they are stigmatizing. Falls lead to more preventable deaths than you may know

I’m a young, fashion conscious New Yorker who has accomplished many things while being disabled (many of my accomplishments are because I’m disabled). And it seems so obvious that I should want a beautiful and functional cane that reflects my personality and aesthetic. Quickly after starting my blog, I decided I would do everything I could to de-stigmatize assistive devices. I wanted the fashion world to include me and my disabled peers. Early on, I chose to focus on my favorite store, J. Crew. I have spent the last three years asking them to sell a beautiful cane because they often feature and sell eyeglasses. J. Crew has been nothing but unresponsive to my idea. But amazingly, I have found people who are incredibly responsive, because they themselves are also trying to de-stigmatize the products and fashions people with disabilities request and require.

Continue Reading →

HOLY SHIT. I’m losing my ACA Marketplace Insurance Plan in 30 Days.

I am one of 200,000 New Yorkers who recently discovered my Health Republic plan is going under in 2016. I’ve been scrambling to find a new plan that covers my doctors.

About Me: I am a disability advocate. My advocacy aims to ease the stigma of products used by people with disabilities. I believe a reduction in stigma will save countless lives. I am also a trained Navigator and will be spending a better part of November volunteering for Community Health Advocates helping my fellow New Yorkers understand their marketplace options… yet I cannot seem to navigate my own healthcare situation. I have written frequently about my healthcare experience, mainly as a means to shout from the rooftops that I need help. Continue Reading →

The Aesthetic of Disabled Art

My friend Anthony is a brain cancer survivor. His son Aedan has Down syndrome. They are both artists who just debuted their first art show ‘Difference Frequencies’.

Upworthy picked up my post on them, it’s one of my all time favorite posts. I hope you will click RIGHT HERE so you can check out the story.

And to Aedan and Anthony, thank you for the honor. You two are changing the construction of disability through your incredible pieces.

My Health Insurance Just Shut Down Operations. I’m Scared.

Do 200,000 New Yorkers deserve “Shut Down Subsidies” as recourse after losing their Health Republic insurance network?

In November of 2013 I wrote about my experience navigating the New York State Marketplace. The process was too complicated but I was so excited when I finally settled on a plan. I believed I had done my research and asked the right questions. And I had. But it hasn’t been easy. Continue Reading →

Thank You Hillary Clinton!

On the 25th anniversary of the ADA, Hillary Clinton loaned her Twitter account to the mother of a disabled boy. Realizing how amazing this idea was, I reached out to Medium, asking if I could continue the conversation by sharing more #DisabilityStories through their Twitter account. I was shocked when Medium said yes. I spent an amazing day sharing #DisabilityStories to a massive audience. And then, to my utter amazement, Hillary Clinton tweeted about the experience.

To read the post that Hillary tweeted, check it out on Medium.

Thank You Hillary Clinton!

Continue Reading →

I Got Punk’d By Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park is one of the best restaurants in the world. Their tasting menu was a bucket list dream for the three other members of my party. For me, it felt like church: something to dress up for and sit through while the adults around me worshipped, amen’d and told me to sit still. I am 33 years old and I eat like a child. I wasn’t initially invited, but when we realized they offered a vegetarian option, I got the fourth seat. You see, we were celebrating my partner’s 35th birthday as well as some other milestones for our friend who joined us. I didn’t want to miss out on this important celebration. Continue Reading →

One Year Later: Health Republic ACA Insurance Has Failed Me.

My name is Liz Jackson. I’m a 33 year old New Yorker. I have a chronic neuromuscular condition. And I have doctors. Lots of doctors. Who need to be paid. I am writing this post because I don’t know what to do to ensure my doctors will get paid. The issue is my health insurance. I selected Health Republic from the New York State marketplace. And they haven’t been living up to their end of the bargain. This post is a plea for help. Do you have resources? Do you have advice? Are you the Attorney General? My doctors have sacrificed so much for me. They need to be paid. And they deserve to know why they haven’t been.

Other things you may want to know. I’m smart. I’m resilient. I am well educated. I am persistent.  Seriously, I am PERSISTENT. I’m a vocal supporter of the Affordable Care Act. And a year ago, I wrote an enthusiastic and optimistic post titled 15 Days On The Obamacare Marketplace. Since then, I have failed to successfully navigate the Health Republic NY Silver plan I selected.

So if I, an intelligent 33 year old, educated adult with time and access cannot navigate the Affordable Care Act health insurance… who can?  Continue Reading →