Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines still has the same great service as it had 25 years ago when Dwarf Mom last went to Oahu with family. From check-in to in-flight service, it’s very family friendly. The check-in process from our mainland airport was welcoming. I didn’t feel that they were rushing to help the next passengers. With a family of 4, we’re often balancing holding our carry-on backpacks and herding children, so I appreciate their patience.

Though it seems trite, one of the coolest things about Hawaiian is that they’re the only major US carrier to still provide full service meals free-of-charge to all their passengers. We can’t carry a lot of things in our carry-on, so providing a hot meal certainly is welcoming to kids who are “starving” on the 6-hour flight. The departing flight to Hawaii provided us with a mid-morning snack of fruit (watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe), crackers, cheese, and a snack size chocolate covered macadamia nut. The flight back to the mainland was a dinner meal of teriyaki chicken, rice, steamed veggies, a salad and a shortbread cookie with a pineapple center. Complementary wine, coffee, and tea was offered too. I remember as a young child being excited that this airline provided rice with a meal. It’s a small gesture, but certainly welcoming to me.
Read More

Disney Aulani Resort and Spa Accessibility Review

We’ve never been on a real family trip, if you exclude all the trips to LPA Regionals/Nationals and family visits. So when it finally came time to pick a location, we wanted to make it count. Dad wanted to go on a cruise due to fond memories from childhood while Mom thought a cruise would be snooze-ville. We tried looking at a Disney cruise as a compromise, but they are extremely expensive, especially during typical school breaks. Thankfully, we found an ideal compromise at the Disney Aulani Resort in Oahu. It has some Disney flair with Hawaiian elegance in a beautiful location and seemed like lots of fun. We had a blast and want to share some tips regarding accessibility.

Kid's Meal Dessert at Ama Ama Restaurant

Kid’s Meal Dessert at Ama Ama Restaurant

Read More

Wolf of Wall Street

Dwarf Tossing in the Movies

The Wolf of Wall Street (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)

Since the release of Wolf of Wall Street on Christmas Day 2013, a lot of exasperation has been expressed over its opening scene. In the movie, a room full of boisterous stockbrokers is shown taking turns throwing two dwarfs wearing helmets at a large dartboard. The main character (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) offers a $25,000 reward to the first “cock-sucker to nail a bullseye”. Protests were made to Paramount before the film was released, imploring them to remove the scene in question. The Little People of America released a statement and there were efforts to contact Leonardo di Caprio personally. Now that the movie is an Oscar candidate for Best Picture, the controversy has brewed up again. The arguments are basically that a film showing a vile activity such as dwarf tossing shouldn’t be considered for an Academy Award.

Read More

Classroom Setup Check off List

When you read our son’s list of grade school adaptive equipment, it’s like reading a rider list for a rock star.  Well, he is a rock star in his own right, but this equipment helped him safely maneuver around campus.  He has had some of this equipment since he was 2 years old in the Early Intervention program.  Over 6 years later, I’d say that this equipment was worth all the struggle to get it.  We had several physical therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, and adaptive equipment specialists help us start collecting these pieces.  In the end, it was the special education department’s staff who worked with physical health and impairments that assessed his needs and got the equipment.  They simply assessed his needs by watching him maneuver around campus and the classroom. From there, they made a list of equipment and measurements for any adaptations. He was assessed and monitored as he got older for adjustments. It was very cool to see some of the equipment leave.  And once he got past kindergarten, it got better.

Read More

Midget Jokes

PSA (Public Service Announcement): Midget is considered an offensive term. We prefer to be called by our name. And more appropriately, we prefer to be called a person with dwarfism or some prefer Little Person (LP).

National Public Radio’s (NPR) World Have Your Say (#WHYS) asked: Have you been offended by a joke?

Well, yeah, I’m a dwarf and a parent of a dwarf. Midget jokes have been the “guaranteed punchline” forever. Why shouldn’t you hire a midget chef? The steaks are too tall. Google’s first auto-suggest response to a search on “Midget” is “Midget Jokes”. Groan. That means it’s a very popular. Again, we are the one disability community that is considered free game.

Talking this over with Dwarf Dad, he reminded me of the freedom of speech. It’s one of the rights as Americans that separate us from most countries. Look, I’m not protesting against my country for allowing the midget jokes. I just want to stop hearing blasts about our size and abilities coupled with offensive, Rated R sex jokes.

Don’t get me wrong. I used to love Chris Rock, Carlos Mencia, and Rex Navarrete. I snicker at the Filipino jokes told by a Filipino even more, probably because I can relate. The thick Filipino accent coupled with shots at our quirky culture is too rich to not chuckle at. But then it gets old. It gets really, really old. And before long, I’m looking at the time and I’m completely bored.

Being a comedian is an honest living that requires talent unlike dwarf tossing. You’ve gotta keep writing new material because before long your shtick making fun of people with differences isn’t so original or hilarious. So, don’t worry Brad Williams. I’m not going to protest outside the next comedy club you’re performing at. I’ve got bigger fish to fry without worrying about these types of dumb jokes. I’d rather not have jokes about my son and our family exist, but I bet President Obama feels the same way about his family. Just hope all you comedians can come up with better comedy material beyond midget jokes.