Updates and TASH 2019

Looking at my last post date being some time back in April, I’ve been pretty horrible about keeping this updated. But I have a good excuse! Since the last post, I’ve graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health, begun a disability law fellowship with the amazing Coelho Center at Loyola Law in California (FYI.. they’re accepting applications for the next round!), helped start UTA’s BSPH Alumni advisory board, and more recently I was given the opportunity to attend the annual TASH conference in Phoenix, AZ where I was this week.


In case you were wondering just what the heck TASH is exactly, it’s an organization focused on advocacy for individuals with significant disabilities and supportive needs. Often it’s this population in the disability community that faces some of the biggest challenges to obtaining care, education, and work. Basically, TASH pushes for full inclusion of both children and adults with disabilities.

I don’t know about you, but my twitter feed has been vocal on some of the messed up things our current administration has put persons with disabilities through. The ADA, affordable care act, social security/assistance, and insurance companies are pretty hot topics if I open my twitter app and any given moment.

During my time at TASH, I caught up with my good friend Lydia X. Z. Brown of Autistic Hoya fame, and met with many other people whose names after 2 flights and one very strange layover in Yuma, AZ escape me.

six people sitting at a table having dinner, with a shelf behind them holding christmas decorations
Ethiopian with friends from TASH Image is courtesy of Lydia Brown.

But what doesn’t escape me is the wonderful things that organizations like TASH are doing. They are vocal proponents of disabled persons being able to earn a decent wage (more than just $2.50/hr USD), get and education, and lead fulfilling and even independent lives. All things that historically those with disabilities have been, and I’ll be honest here, frankly robbed of.

During the length of the conference, I attended several workshops and breakout sessions talking about access and inclusion. Often these are things that don’t always occur to us that are necessary to navigate the world, and for people with disabilities it often means they’re not included or treated as less than human.


Published by Elayne Otstot (public health girl)

Graduate of the UT Arlington B.S. in Public Health inaugural cohort and member of Loyola Law School's Coelho Center Fellowship. I address public health and health policy issues in an easy to understand format on my blog Public Health Girl.

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