Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blog Award And More...

I am the stunned and happy recipient of a Blog Award courtesy of Wheelie Catholic, who in my estimation, writes prolifically and far better than I on myriad issues of concern to those of us with disabilities. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Wheelie. I will give some thought to those I want to pass the award to as well, placing their names in a future posting.

Life At Full Tilt has been interesting. In the last several days, I've had an unexpected conversation with my new family physician, who prescribed a compounded ointment containing medication for the tendinitis plaguing my wrists. Dr. feels that I should begin looking ahead and trying to plan for the day when I might need to reduce or quit working, look into some services I may be eligible for that provide in-home assistance and seek information from Vocational Rehabilitation in my state so that I can work effectively until that point is reached.
Given the state of my knee, my age and the corresponding changes in my mobility, these are relatively good and thoughtful suggestions from an MD who has a special interest in serving those with disabilities and in teaching med students to do the same.
Dr. doesn't realise that I have been plagued by long bouts of unemployment punctuated by either underemployment or grad school, and that my previous experiences with VR about fifteen years ago never culminated in a job I did not find myself, with which I remained underemployed for my education and skills, though I was able to pay bills if I lived frugally. From others I know, these experiences are all too common. My previous VR counselor informed me that there was nothing that could be done for me from an educational perspective because I was already a college graduate with a masters degree. Having since attained an MLS, I am almost sure the answer will be the same, but I will make and keep an appointment anyway in case any other suggestions arise.
Seventy percent of persons with disabilities remain unemployed, with underemployment problematic for individuals as well. Broken down by gender, the statistics are even more alarming, with seventy percent of disabled men and ninety percent of disabled women wanting to work but unable to find a job. All things considered, I have been relatively fortunate. Having degrees has opened doors that would have otherwise been closed to me entirely, but there is still much to be done to improve the employment situation for persons with disabilities, a subject of future posts here.
In my case, I've worked in a variety of jobs, written articles, essays and a book, acquired other skills and focused my time in the most recent graduate endeavor on the efforts of libraries, primarily public and university, to provide services for persons with disabilities and the education of the librarians serving them. Additionally, I am completing a special collection project for a specialised library, functioning as the project archivist, something unanticipated and which I hope yields a paid position somewhere once the project is completed. My progress in this area has been hampered by ongoing medical issues, consequently I remain concerned over the employment issue. I am also on the fence about going on for a doctorate at this point.
The home front has calmed a bit as my cats are adjusting to medication and the fact that a portion of the apartment is off limits to them all the time now. This is allowing me to catch up on much-needed sleep and helping tremendously with my energy and outlook.


  1. A friend of mine just had a similar experience with VR. After over a dozen years of experience in her profession, they suggested she take jobs in call centers, for example. They seemed to lack training to help her because she already had college and experience and, even considering how high unemployment is now, their efforts did not seem in synch with her needs at all. She got a job- but it was through her own efforts.

  2. Hi Wheelie! I hope they can come up with something, but you're right. I think doctors and others who make these suggestions really like to feel that they are doing some good but because they've never used the services or agencies, do not realise that there are often severe limitations which in the end do not help at all.

  3. That's a good point, Full Tilt, that those who make suggestions about using services or who provide services, too, are not generally people who have ever needed services. They have no real idea of the inadequacy and poor planning of most services.

    And, yeah, the underemployment. Strange, isn't it, how an advanced degree doesn't fit us for a job in our fields, but does fit us for a life of entry-level wages at dead-end jobs.

  4. Yanub,

    I am to the point of screaming because I need a paycheck and there is nothing out there...

    It's back to "Anyjobforthemoney" desperation---this time from a chair. This will not be easy...