Laura Sabadini

Woman with short hair, black shirt and hoodie, facing the camera and smiling subtly.

Many of us have things in life that make activism challenging. My main challenge is an unpredictable, extremely unforgiving body. I have a genetic condition (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) affecting a connective tissue called collagen. It results in frequent injuries and pain and comes with “co-morbidities” like autonomic dysfunction. This life-long illness has progressed in severity as I’ve aged.

My health got worse in my late 20s. I tried to balance my then-undiagnosed illness with “important things” like getting divorced, going to school, and working. After being denied accommodations at grad school, I left moved back to the south shore of Boston, and worked in college Disability Services. I fought (hard) for and won accommodations at work which helped for a while, but weren’t consistent or always effective. My health continued to decline. I had to stop working because my health and healthcare required full time attention.

For too many recent years, I was disengaged – not just because of my body but also, in part, because I had internalized messages that if you can’t go to a rally or march, or make an in-person meeting, then you aren’t committed (e.g. “slacktivism”). I won’t let that stop me now. My country has deteriorated. The far right has gained too much power. I can’t hope others will fight this battle for me. One size won’t fit the variety of responses we need to mount a sustained, effective resistance to what’s happening in our country. Disabled people must seek and demand inclusion – in person marches and rallies are good, but there’s other work to be done too. I’ll do what I can, how I can, when I can. I’ll engage locally, with physical presence the rare times that’s possible. I’ll work to make sure we have the resources we need to work and resist together.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Laura- I too have EDS and POTS and have had trouble navigating accommodations in grad school, in an MSW program no less. Proud to be marching with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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