it all starts with a nice letter

This past weekend I was charged up by what I felt was a MISSION.

So, I wrote a letter and made some phone calls.  In the near future I’m going to ask you all to take a minute and a stamp and get involved.

I wrote this to APPLE today:  (This letter SUCKED to write!!)(I don’t do long letters.)(See how tightly my panties are bunched?)

November 16 of last year I probably wouldn’t have written this letter.  Last year I would have written it with two working hands.  And legs.  Not from a wheelchair.
Last week I was talking with some parents of handicapped kids who were lucky enough to afford an IPad for their kids. How much it was a learning tool, it taught and it gave words to the voiceless, as well as let people in wheelchairs play with their children again.
But, we also talked about the family members, the parents, the handicapped people themselves that mourned how the cost is prohibitive.
These aren’t people trying out a new toy for the first time.  This is a little boy making friends because he’s able to say his name.  It’s a teenage girl than had hearing problems feeling normal because she could download a movie and listen at a volume that didn’t hurt.  It was a mom, using the the Kindle app to hold her child in her arm and read her a story again….in a large font, with one hand.
Apple offers a great discount so students who are working to get their education can afford to get technology. I think that’s great. I always have.
I’m sad to say it took having strokes and having my life changed to see there’s a need for a handicap discount.  These are people who have to spend their money on medication, on treatments, therapy, doctors, special toys, clothing, house adjustments, accessibility, equipment, care givers….they look forward to a lifetime of these costs.
I took many issues to the media.  I was lucky enough to be on the Oprah Winfrey show, the Today Show, in Redbook, numerous newspapers as a blogger.
I never had a reason as important as this.

Thank You,

We’ll see if they respond a hefty discount. I hope so.

I can hope, right?

It’s easy to whine loud enough, stamp my feet on Apple’s doorstep and get the IPad discounted, or even free, for me.

It’s harder to get it discounted for EVERYONE who needs it.

When have I ever picked the easy way?

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44 Responses to it all starts with a nice letter

  1. heather September 29, 2010 at 6:00 PM #

    i’ve been a lurker for a long time, but this is the first time i’ve been compelled to comment. you are TOTALLY right. i am an early childhood special education teacher for children in the inner city with incredibly low income levels and significant special needs. apple’s groundbreaking technology is such an incredible tool for ALL, particularly those with special needs or handicapping conditions. i bought an ipad on my measly teacher salary (actually with money i got from a teaching award that wasn’t supposed to be used for my kiddos) and have been astounded with the results. i would love to tell all of the parents to RUN out and grab one, but it is far more important for them to have food on the table. unfortunately, their little ones are then left without a voice, without an outlet to the world. it breaks my heart and frustrated the heck out of me! i would be thrilled to send out a letter to steve jobs and his cronies to back you up, lady!

    btw…i have always thought you were incredible, this just confirmed it!!!

  2. LisaUnfiltered September 29, 2010 at 12:16 PM #

    NOW! For the comment about the post (not just to the hater):

    Up until 2 years ago, I worked in the health care field for over 10 years. From prescriptions to equipment to surgery, I have seen firsthand how difficult it is for the average person (even with insurance) to afford what is necessary to them. I, myself, have had the grace to not have to struggle with health issues for myself or my husband or children. My mom had brain cancer, but she was blessed with amazing insurance and benefits through her last employer before she became disabled. I cannot imagine what it’s like and frankly I don’t know if I could deal with as much strength and dignity as so many I’ve seen.

    Thanks for advocating. We should all take a more active role.

    LisaUnfiltered´s last post…The one for my friend Anna

  3. MommyGeekology September 29, 2010 at 9:38 AM #

    I am so ashamed that I never considered this. I feel like a total asshole! I hope that’s how Apple feels, too. Seriously. I hope they sit down and say, “Shit. She’s right.”

    Totally amazing.

    MommyGeekology´s last post…Relaxation

  4. mapsgirl September 29, 2010 at 7:54 AM #

    That is the best idea!!

    And as for the troll… poo on you. S/he obviously doesn’t get it. Bloggers, especially awesome ones like you, have a special place in this world to get messages out and gather the troops.

    This message needs to get out to all tech companies…not just Apple. I wonder what Mr. Gates would say? Maybe we could put a challenge out and see if Mr. Gates or Mr. Jobs steps up first??

    mapsgirl´s last post…its worth the drive to burlington!

    • Lucretia Pruitt September 29, 2010 at 7:12 PM #

      I love this. Now we just have to figure out how to get it noticed.

      I mean, there’s no reason that all of the “charitable” acts of the tech gazillionaires shouldn’t extend to helping those for whom their technology would make a *life changing difference* have access to their gadgets.

      Students shouldn’t get a discount that would better be served going to someone whose day-to-day quality of life would be impacted so severely.

  5. lori September 29, 2010 at 4:18 AM #

    Thank you for going to battle for those who could use this discount! P.S. You were on Oprah Winfrey? I didn’t read your blog back then.

  6. Coal Miner's Granddaughter September 28, 2010 at 9:52 PM #

    I think this is a great idea, Anissa, and I hope Apple listens and responds with an appropriate discount.

    And the haters? Can frak off.

    Coal Miner’s Granddaughter´s last post…Running Cheaper Than Therapy

  7. Kristine - Mommy Needs Therapy September 28, 2010 at 9:47 PM #

    Just let us know what you need us to do! I’m already in fired up mode about issues with my son’s principal, so I can just add this to my list!

    Kristine – Mommy Needs Therapy´s last post…Thank you Maam- may I have another

  8. Susie September 28, 2010 at 9:16 PM #

    Oops, I forgot my message to Anissa! Now go get tomorrow…with the grace and grit you always show. We’re all rooting for you, even from 3,000 miles away.

  9. Susie September 28, 2010 at 9:11 PM #

    To “fed up with begging”. I could shake my head and rant against your words to Anissa, but instead I’ll leave this quote. I doubt it will do anything for you since your heart seems to be made of stone, but I leave it for others to gain inspiration its simple message.

    “Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and the wrong. Sometimes in life you will have been all of these.” -Bob Goodard

  10. Dawn Tucker September 28, 2010 at 8:40 PM #

    You know I actually turned off my computer to go to bed tonight but I’ve turned it back on again as I just had to say something about the ‘hater’ comment below. Then again loads of people have now had their say so I guess the ‘troll’ has already provoked the reaction they were hoping for.

    Most of us have ‘known’ Anissa either personally or thro the web for quite some time. Me? I’ve just followed her story for the past 3 years and don’t expect we’ll ever meet as we’ve got the Atlantic Ocean between us. But I don’t think any of us would even recognise the scammer, begger, freeloader you describe. WHAT? Nissa has come through everything thrown at her with grace and poise and a great deal of empthy for others in similar situations. Not words we could ever use about yourself. If it wasn’t so unreal I’d say there was a lot of jealousy coming through your comment. What are you so jealous of? The free camera clamp or the free wheelchair? Think about it – then either have the guts to apologise or go and crawl back into your hole.

    If you’re so offended by what Nissa writes then just turn off and don’t read it – that way the rest of us don’t have to be offended by what total cretins like you have to say about it.

    Nissa, You carry on girl. You’re a great advocate and always have been – and in your heart you already know that. It must be difficult when someone tries to take a chink out of your armour – especially when your armour’s not that strong at the moment. Just take no notice. We all know you for the awesome human being you really are. Oh, and lets not forget the funny and snarky one too!

  11. Naomi Jesson September 28, 2010 at 8:32 PM #

    I think they should create a discount and call it an Accessibility Discount. It is truly insane what they charge for all equipment i.e. wheelchairs, walkers, even adapted cutlery. I don’t normally say this but “YOU GO GIRL!”.

  12. PrincessJenn September 28, 2010 at 7:58 PM #

    As the mother of child who is special needs, I think this is a great idea. There are so many pieces of technology out there that would help enrich her life, but we don’t buy because the cost is prohibitive.

    But there’s only one problem I can foresee. Who decides who is handicapped enough to get the discount? What qualification do they have to meet to qualify for something like this?

    My daughter walks, talks, and looks pretty much like every normal 3yr old. Yet she’s classified as having a disability by our government (Canada FTW), we qualify for aide money for her, she has a list of therapists, specialists, and medical professionals that look after her that is as long as my arm. But if you were to meet her you’d probably never know any of this unless I told you. So, would she qualify for this mythical discount if it ever came to pass?

    PrincessJenn´s last post…If you want the password…

    • Anissa Mayhew September 28, 2010 at 11:33 PM #

      See, my hope would be that a medical release would be required. Even if they don’t LOOK it, their doctors understand the need. So if they need therapy and medical monitoring, they would get the paperwork necessary.

      • PrincessJenn September 29, 2010 at 2:24 PM #

        Hmmmm…that might just work. I think at the very least it would be worth a try. If they can have discounts for schools and students, why not disabilities?
        Now all we have to do is get companies on board.

        And for those who say this is ‘taking advantage of the system’, I don’t think they realize how expensive special needs can be. Medication, therapy, constant back and forth to doctors, hospital stays… all that can cost a lot of money on a continual basis. The other side of this is you also lose a potential income earner (in my case, I have to stay home and care for my daughter. Daycare is not an option, so neither is working). So there’s not a lot left at the end of the month when it comes to buying extras. A small discount can make a big difference.

        PrincessJenn´s last post…If you want the password…

  13. Leah September 28, 2010 at 7:53 PM #

    I’m just a reader so I don’t have alot of words of wisdom or flowery language. What I do want you to know is this: I admire you . . EVERY SINGLE DAY. Keep us updated. I always have stamps.

    • Anissa Mayhew September 28, 2010 at 11:29 PM #

      I don’t do flowery language either. And wisdom? Have you MET me?

  14. Adventures In Babywearing September 28, 2010 at 7:30 PM #

    Anissa, I think this is a GREAT start and could benefit MANY people, obvs not just yourself (whut whut, to the haters!)

    Also, Anissa, ANISSA, your story and your struggles as you tell them HONESTLY and with a pure heart (that will include the bad times and the good, the losses and the gains, the needs and the haves) – all of that is so inspiring to the majority, and the minority that finds no value in your words or your life… um… why are they reading your blog?

    I love you.

    Steph

    Adventures In Babywearing´s last post…Bedtime Stories

  15. domestic extraordinaire September 28, 2010 at 7:16 PM #

    (((hugs))) to you Anissa as this jerk doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about.

    I never even thought of a handicap discount. It is so simple & hopefully Apple and many other companies will take Angie’s lead and offer one as well.

    Kudos to you for getting the ball rolling.

    domestic extraordinaire´s last post…I think my children are trying to kill me

  16. AJ September 28, 2010 at 6:58 PM #

    Anissa,

    You GET to wake up and be you, he HAS to wake up and be him.

    Consider yourself the luckier of the two.

    Sorry someone would be this way. Don’t let him get you down!

  17. Mandy Hornbuckle September 28, 2010 at 6:55 PM #

    Good for you for advocating for all the people in a hard situation! I think you’re awesome. Fantastic and wonderful and awesome.

  18. Julie Presley September 28, 2010 at 6:54 PM #

    Wow. Obviously someone doesn’t know what it’s like to live with any kind of hardship.

    Anyone with half a brain can see how grateful you are for the things that you’ve been blessed with, and dang it… no one gets onto EHM without a lot of pleading and support from friends! You ARE in need, so why shouldn’t your needs be met? Why should you have to go without because you’re in a wheelchair?

    I believe in the term “let your needs be known”, and I think you do that honorably. I also haven’t seen you begging or whining for anything… ever… I mean really. I wrote a blog post about a cockroach climbing on me in the middle of the night b/c, and our mattress sat on the floor. Was I looking for a hand out? Not in the least! A bed frame was the last thing I was thinking about. But someone read it, and felt it put on their heart to purchase a bed for us. It totally blew me away, because honestly, the thought never even occurred to me. I just blogged about and effing cockroach! Boy am I thankful that I did though, because I have a really beautiful bed now!

    All that is just to say…that person is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of line.

  19. Jennifer B September 28, 2010 at 6:51 PM #

    I think it’s great you wrote the letter. I have a child that suffered a stroke at 6 weeks of age. She struggles through physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy three times a week. She isn’t able to communicate and I am DYING for an ipad. Like you I have read blogs, articles, etc. on the great things ipad can do for children/adults with disabilities. Unfortunately, we are never able to afford it. We save money and just when we are almost able to afford it, she gets sick or needs new equipment and our checking account is drained again! Would it sound crazy if I said I have cried because someone else bought an ipad just to use for entertainment and we cant afford one for my daughter? I hope with your letter Apple is able to see that discounts need to be given for situations like many people are facing. Good for you…and good luck!

    • Anissa Mayhew September 28, 2010 at 11:26 PM #

      I wish I could get one for your little girl!! I’ve seen and read how great their products are, now we work to afford them!

  20. Alexandra September 28, 2010 at 6:46 PM #

    Anissa: came over from twitter to see if this was real about the commenter. Incredible. There is so much hate in his comment.

    Without knowing you, or all the story on your life, he says these things.

    I’m so very glad that I am not him, and so full of hate and venom like this.

    Why people don’t just click out if they disagree with something, instead of filling the space with so much hate, I will never understand.

    Sorry this comment is here.

  21. Mike P. September 28, 2010 at 6:38 PM #

    Dear “fed up with the begging”, what the hell quote was that you put on your comment? I’m not going to bother to explain it to you… I’m sure you can read should you choose to. Obviously, you have chosen not to. You caught the F1X2N3 virus, didn’t you? That’s the virus spread by FOX news that causes people to make insane claims backed up by shredded quotes, amongst other symptoms.

    As a handicapped person who is still able to make a living as much as I used to prior to getting sick, and one who incurs relatively few costs as a result, I feel quite fortunate that I do not have to worry about paying for care, wheel chair accessibility, child care beyond the norm, specialized health care, etc.

    I have experienced just the tiniest bit of issues when my healthcare insurance company retroactively denied my physical therapy claims. Yep. They approved, paid, and then denied the claim because after the fact. They felt I had not proved enough need. I was working full time at that point – maybe I should have stayed home. Anyhow, they did it twice. The first for several thousand, but we got it cleared pretty fast. About a year later, they did it again for a few hundred. I drug it out for a year, but eventually I won.

    So, there are many problems people face. If Apple can afford to donate iPads, I don’t see why we shouldn’t ask.

    And as for Anissa “working the system” … well, you are a mess “fed up with the begging”.

    Mike

    Mike P.´s last post…It Gets Better!

  22. fed up with the begging September 28, 2010 at 6:06 PM #

    “and get the IPad discounted, or even free, for me” aw christ, AGAIN?

    Free washers, free dryers, use of cars, hotel rooms, people giving you camera clamps for your wheelchair when you whine. Ya’know, you are NOT the only handicapible person around but I don’t see as many scamming the system the way that you do. I CRINGE everytime I see you flogging away about how people should do something else on YOUR behalf – “I want my house re-done” “I want to scream Move that bus” – I want, I want, I want. OH, yeah, you are thinking of someone else this time, yeah, right – RIGHT after you get YOUR iPad free.
    It’s not enough that Apple offers student discounts, now that YOU are in a wheelchair, corporations need to offer discounts to the disabled. And once you are out of your wheelchair? Then? you’ll have some other way to scam what you “need” when you don’t have the spare change (the rest of us have to save or do without)

    Yeah, I think the statement on the right side of the page has it right
    SHAMELESS MONEY GRUBBER.

    Teaching those kids a good lesson, huh? Keep it up – good work.

    • Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] September 28, 2010 at 7:03 PM #

      fuck off and eat turds.

      Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last post…Gay cupcakes are SO gay

      • Carol Thompson September 28, 2010 at 7:07 PM #

        WHAT? Why even bother to read a blog if you hate the person? Anissa has done so much for so many people — she’s not saying “Hey, can you give ME some free shit”. She’s advocating for others. Yes, being in a wheelchair allows her to see what it’s like — that’s called EMPATHY, moron. HOLY HELL.

    • Kelly September 28, 2010 at 7:22 PM #

      You obviously have some issues, and I don’t know what they are, but I pity you. Seriously, do you think she went and had strokes on purpose to get free stuff?

      I thank God every day that I can use any old washing machine because I can walk and use both arms. I thank God every day that I don’t need my house re-done, because I can walk on my own and get around. That you would imply that this woman is selfish is pretty sad.

      My uncle went blind young. He was also severely learning disabled. Its tough to be disabled in this country. I think what she’s asking Apple to do is great. I think more people should advocate on behalf of disabled people.

      Anyone can end up disabled at any time. Tomorrow it could be you in the wheelchair. Think about that. And learn to spell, while you’re thinking about it. Because “handicapible” isn’t even close to being a word.

      • Anna September 28, 2010 at 9:22 PM #

        I’m not agreeing with the commenter at all, but many people use handicapible as a word. Like a play on words of handicap-able.

      • Kelly September 29, 2010 at 1:31 PM #

        “Handicap-able” is a play on words. “Handicapible” is used by someone who can’t even spell capable, or figure out how to use hyphens. Which is really funny considering this idiot was writing to tell Anissa that she should take care of herself.

        And I usually never call anyone out on bad spelling, but the rules are different with trolls. If you’re going to be mean, at least spell out your insults correctly.

    • Angella September 28, 2010 at 7:37 PM #

      I usually don’t “feed the trolls” (and trust me, you are a Troll) but unless you have the balls (or the boobs) to leave a comment like this publicly, you should shut your hole.

      She SAID (because it appears that not only can you not SPELL, you cannot READ):

      “It’s easy to whine loud enough, stamp my feet on Apple’s doorstep and get the IPad discounted, or even free, for me.

      It’s harder to get it discounted for EVERYONE who needs it.”

      She knows that she’s been able to get a lot of cool stuff. She’s worked hard for it over the years, in case you are new here.

      She wants to use her reputation and connections to help others.

      Also – people often stand up for a cause once it’s hit them personally, as is what Anissa is doing.

      So…I’m guessing that you’re going to start fighting for the “illiterate and bitter” crowd?

      Angella´s last post…More Time

    • Lori Smart September 29, 2010 at 9:20 AM #

      I religiously read everything Anissa posts, but rarely comment. I just want to say one thing in response to this rude message – Anissa deserves the mooon. Seriously, she does. She is an advocate for ANYONE who needs help. If she wants to scream “move that bus,” then by all rights she should have that opportunity. I will be one of the thousands chanting it along with her, even if it is virtually, if that happens. If she wants a free ipad and in getting one also is able to help Apple put some new policies/discounts in place for others in need, I truly hope they GIVE HER ONE. Why? Because she is the most awesome person ever. End of story.

    • LisaUnfiltered September 29, 2010 at 12:01 PM #

      This is probably futile, because you probably have the emotional maturity of someone who leaves a flaming sack of dog shit and runs the other way… in other words, you are spineless and cannot manage to even leave your name. So disgusting. You probably won’t even come back to see if someone replies, so it’s probably pointless to even say this.

      You’re just a bitter, sad person who doesn’t believe in man helping his fellow man because you’re mean and no one wants to help you. You probably don’t help feed the homeless or even bother to help the elderly lady cross the street. Hell, when your kids have problems with their homework, you probably even say “Stop your whining and figure it out.” Poor you.

      LisaUnfiltered´s last post…The one for my friend Anna

  23. Kathy September 28, 2010 at 5:51 PM #

    You could try sending it to Steve Jobs. Occasionally he answers emails. He got a new liver recently, maybe he might be more…empathetic? Just a thought.

    • Anissa Mayhew September 28, 2010 at 11:22 PM #

      Even though they have GREAT technology, I did email the big guy! *crosses fingers*

  24. Danielle [Left of Lost] September 28, 2010 at 5:33 PM #

    I agree 100%! I will write a letter too, just say the word!

  25. Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] September 28, 2010 at 5:29 PM #

    As a company owner who DOES offer discounts for Special Needs families, I WHOLE-HEARTEDLY agree that Apple should as well. Hell, EVERY company should.

    Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last post…Gay cupcakes are SO gay

  26. Heather September 28, 2010 at 5:26 PM #

    This is awesome. I know when I was looking for computers for NICUs I found this information on Apple:

    http://www.apple.com/accessibility/
    http://www.apple.com/education/special-education/

    They’re pretty great, it’s all about talking to the right people!

    Heather´s last post…The Pedophile

    • Brittany September 28, 2010 at 10:26 PM #

      I agree, Heather, a quick google search brought up a lot great things that Apple does for the disabled.

      While I do not doubt that what you want would be helpful, maybe it’s fighting the wrong person.

      Why not advocate for better resources, private and governmental, to help the handicap have free/discounted access to this type of technology? It seems like that route would be more beneficial for a greater number of individuals long term.

      And as Princess Jen stated, it would be hard for a company to set and enforce qualifications for this type of discount, so creating or working with an agency that has the bureaucracy to set something great like this up, and handle the red tape, would probably be the best approach.

      I’m guessing.

      Brittany´s last post…Hot Tub

      • Anissa Mayhew September 28, 2010 at 11:21 PM #

        The only thing is…Apple does AMAZING work for disabled/handicapped. If you can afford it. Going with the idea of a government agency can take a really long time and so much of that red tape that you’d just give up.

        As with student discounts, it would be no more difficult to prove the validity of claims than getting a doctor’s letter of medical need and how the product would help. More often than not, you’re a student for set number of years. You’re handicapped for life.

  27. Jenny September 28, 2010 at 5:20 PM #

    It is great that you took the initiative and wrote the letter. Your voice is being heard by many and it is great that you keep speaking out. If more people write hopefully they will respond with a discount.

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    [...] be referred to as INSPIRATIONAL, she truly is, goes to the incomparable Anissa Mayhew for her post It All Starts with a Nice Letter. Anissa makes me want to make a difference in the world and I am trying to find a way to do just [...]

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