How COVID-19 Made Acting Lessons Accessible to Me

Laveta Brigham

Young woman wearing headphones taking online class.
Young woman wearing headphones taking online class.

As an actress with cerebral palsy, I have two needs: Acting lessons for training and transportation to take me there. I have recently moved to Frederick, MD. Back when I lived in Burtonsville, I was much closer to Washington, D.C., the place to study acting in this heart of America. But it doesn’t mean Uber trips were cheap. I began my training at The Theatre Lab last summer. My “Intro to Acting” class was an early Saturday morning class. I could take an $18 Uber ride to Silver Spring and take an easy Metro ride there. Rinse and repeat for the ride home. One of the various reasons was why I took a morning class is because Uber rides are much cheaper in the morning than the evening.

As most acting studios go, most of The Theatre Lab’s classes take place at night

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How the pandemic is highlighting a need for ‘affordable, accessible’ options

Laveta Brigham

From temperature checks to shifts in teacher-child ratios, the coronavirus pandemic has ushered in new protocols for childcare providers. (Getty Images stock photo)
From temperature checks to shifts in teacher-child ratios, the coronavirus pandemic has ushered in new protocols for childcare providers. (Getty Images stock photo)

One of the biggest disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic was a lack of adequate childcare, with schools closing, daycare centers being shut down or available only to the children of essential workers and parents working to keep their little ones safe and free from those outside the family unit, including babysitters. While some have managed to juggle their work with home-schooling and diaper-changing, others turned to family members for assistance or hired sitters and nannies who could commit to social distancing and safe practices outside the home.

Now, as states reopen and daycares resume business — albeit with strict new regulations regarding temperature checks, quarantine protocol for sick staffers and disinfection of shared spaces — many families are now easing back into the childcare arrangements they

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Why Poetry Books Often Aren’t Accessible to People With Disabilities

Laveta Brigham

A poem comes to my inbox or my podcast feed. Its images give me access to an unfamiliar experience. Its rhythm grips me. Words are the instruments that give sound to its message. The poet has a lesson to teach me, and a lesson isn’t often learned on the first try. I need to read more, so I type the poet’s name into a search bar and discover she’s published a collection. I go to Amazon to download a sample of its contents. There I find a metaphorically locked door. I knock, but the poet doesn’t answer. Chances are, she will never answer — because the collection isn’t available as an e-book, and I read only e-books and online material.

As I’ve written before in essays for The Mighty, I haven’t shunned the traditionally printed word out of mere inconvenience, though I don’t hold it against those who have. In

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