Calling Bullshit on How Society Views Mobility Aids: My Interview with Ardra Shephard

When the opportunity arose to have Ardra Shephard, the queen of looking glam with mobility aids, as a guest on the The MS Gym Podcast, I was “Oh my God, I’m gonna pee my pants!” excited . She’s an absolute superstar in the MS space. From her award-winning blog, Tripping on Air, that chronicles her life with MS, to her engaging Instagram presence, to the recent WebMD documentary featuring her, Ardra is calling bullshit on how society views differently-abled individuals and their mobility aids. Her content is overflowing with upfront, often comically deadpan observations about living with MS.

Mobility devices, and learning how to live with them with confidence, grace and style for days is her jam. In this episode, Ardra shares with us how she threw her vanity to the wind and said “Screw it! If there’s nobody else out there representing what I want to accomplish with MS, and while using a mobility device, I’m going to be that person.” And that’s exactly what she’s done.

Link to Ardra’s Episode

Click image to access interview

EPISODE NOTES

– Why a  blog?

– When an invisible disease becomes visible

– Clearing the air by writing

– Looking for a role model that didn’t exist

– The evolution of an Instagram feed

– Deciding to be the example

– Where are the people like me?

– The lack of resources on mobility device use

– Naming her device

– The guy with the fedora

– I can still be a badass with a mobility device

– You can’t control what others think about disability

– Not everyone’s an asshole

– MS DOES have you

– Giving yourself permission to say “This sucks!”

– The dictator that lives in your body

– When people forget you have MS

– Fixing the disabled = “less than” mentality

– When disability is marginalized

– #babeswithmobilityaids

– Don’t feel sorry for me

– Dreaming about walking

– Disability is expensive

– Comparing mobility devices

– A shift toward better design

– How your presence makes others feel

– Insensitive things people say

– Opting to live beyond the safety of your home

– Living a life less lived because you opted not use a mobility aid

– Social media for representation & information

– The Selma Blair effect

– Being an influencer can be a good thing

– 2020 is the year of clarity

– What Ardra’s working on

– A television show based on Ardra’s blog

LINKS:

Ardra’s Website

Ardra’s WebMD Documentary¬†

Ardra in Momentum Magazine

Ardra’s Stylin’ Devices

(click image for info)
(click image for info)

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