Writing Inspiration: Discovering the Muse in Your City

Most of my recent writing has happened in the city due to travel, teaching, and other time constraints. When I told my students, they struggled to believe that I got the ideas for my essays and fiction from a metropolitan area. They assumed that I — like many writers they had met or read about — spent months at a cabin or retreat typing away in isolation. Read More

Reinventing Yourself: How to Plan for a Reset

As a child, one of my most frustrating moments came when Mario froze mid-jump. Just as I was about to avoid the last fiery ball in the concrete castle to save Princess Peach, the game suspended, and no amount of punishing to the red and black buttons made the action begin again. I shrieked and pleaded with my mother and father that I couldn’t start over. I couldn’t redo the brilliance of my last attempt to defeat the level. After pouting and stomping for a few minutes, I finally pushed the reset button and led Mario to bounce past the next set of obstacles. Read More

Hiring Blind: Taking Adaptive Technology to Job Interviews

It was never tough for me to get a job when I was sighted. Even when I got laid-off from a start-up after the Dot Com bust, I was hired as a bartender, with no experience, at the first club I walked into with my pink slip. As a college student, I worked at a payroll advance company, customer service rep for equestrian products, and even at a pet shop — jobs I had never done before, but somehow managed to convince the decision makers to hire me during a recession. Read More

Traveling with Disabilities and Training the Travel Industry to Adapt

Nothing arouses my senses quite like a new city. In major metropolitan centers, there are a multitude of things that scream out, “Here! Come here. We’ve got something fascinating in store for you.”

A street full of manic traffic informs me it’s a major thoroughfare and I should use it to navigate this new domain.

The smell of coffee whispers, “We can awaken your brain with a delicious cup of brew.”

The distinct scent of certain chemicals gently reminds me I’m due for my bi-weekly haircut. Read More

Jobs for People with Disabilities: How Companies Can Improve Inclusivity

As a recruiting manager staffing for clients such as Google and Apple, I was concerned about three things: experience, unemployment gaps, and the probability of the person becoming a long-term employee.

I interviewed few disabled candidates and rarely considered their job prospects. As a recruiter, I rarely debated if and how they would be able to perform the duties of a position. I soon found a new perspective — one that changed the way I viewed both the role of the recruiter and the place of people with disabilities in the job market. Read More

Love Isn’t Blind: A Blind Man’s Take on How to Find True Love

Let go of that laundry list of dos and don’ts this Valentine’s Day. Finding a meaningful partner is about opening your heart and dropping the superficial standards. Physical appearances usually spark interest, but they shouldn’t be the dominant force when seeking love. If you’re really looking for an epic romance, you must focus on the values most compatible with your lifestyle. Here’s how: Read More

Marketing Strategies for Reaching People with Disabilities

The latest smart phone. A new outfit. A favorite movie. Blind and disabled people want the same products as everyone else — but we’re often overlooked when it comes to advertising. That’s why smart marketers will identify blind people as a viable target market with money to spend. Here’s how to get us engaged: Read More

Lesbian Werewolves

As a fan of Octavia Butler, Mary Shelly, H. G. Wells, Bram Stoker and Ray Bradbury, I sought shelter in science-fiction and gothic novels that made it easier to fantasize outside the hetero world. These authors made it possible for me to write stories that challenged science and society with gay characters. Most of my writings as a teenager were a bit Frankenstein-ish – the story I remembered most is about a guy named R.I.P., made out of the DNA from the three hottest guys at my high school; each letter taken from their first name to make up the gay zombie’s name. Like most of the stories I wrote in adolescence, R.I.P. never made it outside my head. Read More

¡Novelas!

When I became blind one of the groups of people I struggled with the most was not children but the Latino community. They were polite while speaking English at bars, coffee shops, and restaurants, but as soon as I began to speak in Spanish, they would flock to my side to share remedies that could possibly get me my sight back. Some involved prayer while other antidotes were radical dietary regimens such as drinking horse radish tea for one year or eating five carrots everyday. Read More