Through her work as an advocate, teacher, and writer, NH-ME LEND faculty member, Kathy Bates has influenced how today’s world views and supports people with disabilities. In her blog “From Where I Sit”,  Kathy reflects on her own life experience as a person with a disability, as well as a broad range of related topics that shed light on current social and systems issues.

In her latest blog post, Kathy tackles the use of the word “special” in regard to disability. Kathy notes: “All of these euphemisms (which must have been created by people who don’t live with disabilities) attempt to cleverly avoid saying the word “disability.”  But why should I be embarrassed about my disability? It is a part of who I am, and I am willing to own that. I am not saying that people aren’t “special,” because, of course, we all have someone special in our lives (or at least I hope we do). I just don’t think that it has anything to do with our disabilities. It has to do with our relationships and the connections we share with one another.”

Kathy often includes the voice of other individuals who experience disability in her blog as a way to keep her perspective fresh and to open the door to learning something new.   She acknowledges that the way the world appears changes depending on whose eyes are looking at it.  “It’s not just my perspective that matters. I like to give my perspective. But opinions? Everybody’s got them.” Visit Kathy’s blog to read 10 Things I Would Tell You About Disability (with a Little Help from My Friends).  

One of Kathy’s favorite interests is following and writing about how the representation of people with disabilities has evolved in the media and entertainment world.  When writing about more serious topics like legislation, government programs and voting, Kathy invests time in completing the necessary research before formulating and sharing her personal perspective.

a caricature of Kathy Bates, a woman with blond hair in a wheel chair answering emails with a light bulb above her head

Recently, “Ask Kathy”, a Q&A column, was launched alongside her blog as a way for Kathy to connect and respond to questions posed by her readers.  She wants to know “What’s on your Mind?” and is waiting to answer your questions on topics like disability rights, language, pride, identity and more.