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Magazines give a voice to writers with disabilities

Both niche and mainstream titles provide outlets for writers to share their lives and their stories.

Magazines give all writers a voice
Magazines give all writers a voice. Photo by savitskaya iryna/Shutterstock

Freelance writer and blogger Melissa Blake was 25 years old and just out of journalism school when she published her first essay about having a disability, in Redbook magazine. In the piece, she wrote about being born with Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, which causes shortened muscles and bones, and described several of the almost 30 surgeries she endured before she graduated from high school. “I was born with clubbed feet and hands, a deformed face with an unusually small mouth and low-set ears, severe scoliosis, and knees that were bent back to almost 90 degrees,” she wrote. 

Blake found it thrilling to see something she wrote available on newsstands, and the feedback from readers – especially those with Freeman-Sheldon syndrome – encouraged her to keep writing. 

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