Archive for September, 2016

Brew Review and Disability Awareness


Hi guys,

It was in the month of October that my life changed forever. October 7th, to be exact, is the day I went from an able bodied to a disable bodied twenty-year-old woman. What a doozy of a ride that has been thus far!

Now, October is also disability awareness month, whose theme this year is # inclusionworks. According to the United States Department of Labor website the goal is, “to develop and influence policies and practices to increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for those with disabilities”. Speaking as someone who is looking for employment, I’d say I have a vested interest in the success of the campaign.

After graduating college and as I search for employment, the reality of my limited work experience sank in quickly. To learn and gain experience, in the spring, I offered my services to Creative Living management. A few weeks later ‘Marly’s Musings’ was born (big smile).

Another exciting opportunity to arise is becoming a committee member for the upcoming Brew Review fundraiser. The Creative Living Brew Review event also happens to occur in October where residents, sponsors, donors, family, friends, coworkers, etc… come together in order to support my community and our independent living status. So now I’m going to shamelessly bolster about this event because:

  1. What better way to give back this October, in honor of Disability Awareness Month, than to help fundraise in support of the RA program?  The RA program that helps the disabled residents of Creative Living maintain a life style that aids them to be productive members of society (though I may not be employed yet, MANY of my neighbors are).
  2. Did I mention that this is a beer tasting event? This year, we are featuring local breweries such as Barley’s, CBC, Four String, Heidelberg Distributing, North High, Land- Grant just to name a few. There will be yummy appetizers and deserts and lots of new people to connect with.

I feel like we just killed two birds with one stone by attending this event, don’t you think? I told you I was going to be shameless! (he-he)

All joking aside, The Brew Review is a great event that is for an amazing cause and I encourage everyone to click on the link below and checkout the event page

Now, the reason why I started off by telling you October is the month of my car accident is because it was a dreaded month that holds some of the worst memories of my life.  It’s ironic, for me at least, that it happens to be National Disability Awareness Month too. Even more so considering the theme this year is employment and I am looking for exactly that.  Maybe I am overthinking things but, like I’ve stated before, it feels like my journey is being guided into the disability advocacy field. Considering the fact that I am promoting our annual Creative Living Brew Review event, I’d say I’m slowly but surely beginning to take over the reigns in that department (big smile).

With that being said, I again encourage you to check out the Creative Living Brew Review page in honor of October being National Disability Awareness Month and I hope to see some of you this October 14th at the Grange Insurance Haaf Hall.

Be safe!

Marly S.

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What a Wonderful Courtyard!

Hi guys,

Creative Living has two locations and I happen to live at our first location on Perry St.  The compound is somewhat enclosed and most of the apartments overlook the courtyard.

We have a beautiful water fountain donated by the family of former resident, Daniel  

Close, may he rest in peace.

We also have a community grill and a large picnic table that, as you can see, had seen better days. Fun little fact I’ve recently learned, this picnic table was an eagle scout project aimed to be accessible for wheelchairs.



So, having nothing to do but job search I found myself a summer project. I spent 5 days scraping the paint and sanding the wood, 1 day of staining and 1 day of applying the polyurethane.

 What do you guys think of the end result? 


I’d like to send out a big thank you to Debbie Holloway for not only buying me a paint scraper but also keeping me company and motivated as I worked.  Thank you to our resident dancing queen, Kristin and her aid Justin for lending me a hand. Thank you to our Executive Director Marilyn Frank and R.A. Manager Dave Pratt for purchasing most of the supplies as well as allowing me to tackle this project.

It was a lot of fun!

Until next time,

Be safe,

Marly S.

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Marly invites you to The Big Table


Hey guys,

So I wanted to wait until after the big table meeting to write and post my blog.

The Big Table was a citywide event organized by the Columbus Foundation. Joining our discussion was Dana Charlton, Exec. Dir. from the Ohio Self Determination Assoc.; Derek Mortland, ADA & Community Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Disability Empowerment, Lisa Courtice, Exec. VP, The Columbus Foundation, Mark Tasse, Exec. Dir., Nisonger Center, Marcy Samuel from the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Adam Helbling, CL resident and Group Leader, Marly Saade, Joy Bechtol, Rana Yonker & Lora Stilke, CL residents, Marilyn Frank, CL Exec. Dir. and Margherita Finelli, CL Marketing Dir. 

Our topic for the event was “Disability Awareness and Accessibility in Columbus” and discourse could not have been more positive and productive. We spoke of inaccessible public restrooms, transportation and parking difficulties, job placement discrimination as well as ways we could combat these social issues.

How to bridge the gap in understanding the quality of life between those living with a disability and those who are not disabled is a HUGE topic within our community. One idea discussed was to organize an event where key players in our community join us on manual wheelchairs and spend the day in one. Understand that, disabled life means, YOU ARE DISABLED FOR LIFE. However, I do believe that with education, exposure, awareness, and respecting the experiences of those with deviant bodies and minds we can begin to move in the right direction.


Too many people have felt dehumanized and devalued for reasons outside of their control. For change to happen, the able bodied community needs to work with us. For my part, I know on a personal level, I need to learn to toughen up. My journey has gradually been directed towards disability advocacy and that is scary. I have always felt judged, like I never quite belong anywhere. Putting myself out there like this is terrifying, but if I ask the able bodied community to work with me, then, I need to be willing to work with them. I am the one living with a deviant body and it is my job to normalize it.

The Big Table was definitely a wonderful experience for me. I met people who have been working within the fields of physical or intellectual advocacy for many years and I am excited to build a professional relationship with them and learn from them.  

I have also decided to invite our readers to continue the discussion with us. If anyone has comments, questions, concerns, and/or ideas…regarding our topic, please feel free to add your input in the comment box.  Though the Big Table is over, that doesn’t mean we cannot continue on with what it helped us start.

I can’t wait to hear what you all come up with!

Until next time, be safe! 

Marly S.

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