Frill-Ability's Purpose and The Importance of Advocacy

On November 13th, I was honoured to receive an invitation to the Tech Awards Gala, an awards ceremony where laureates were recognized who showed in an extraordinary way that with a good idea, hard work, and an entrepreneurial spirit, you can greatly benefit society. Here are a few highlights from the event. (See what I wore here.)

I am more inspired than ever to make Frill-Ability a resource for the disabled community and a voice  for individuals with disabilities. As this website was recently constructed, you might wonder just what I'm doing here and furthermore have a hard time taking me seriously. What's with all of the cutesy stuff, anyway?

First, I have been reaching out to companies that have products that I believe can make our lives easier, have the potential to do so, or spread messages of awareness. As I create connections, I will review products so that you can become aware of some of the most effective tools in the current market. These products and tools may be in the range of assistive devices, general educational tools to empower minds of all ages, fashion that is kind to our body or spreads a special message, or wearable tech that helps us monitor our health while being stylish and having fun.

Secondly, I want to share your story. The only way to become more aware is by educating and learning. Let's do this together. Tell me your uncommon journey, how you would like others to see your disability, and most importantly how you make good with your ability every day. You can do this by emailing me, and you might be featured on our Google Plus page or even here on the main blog. The G+ page will serve as our main hub and community to learn about each other, for you to be in the know about blog and business updates, and where give-aways begin! It’s just been put up there, so please help give it some love! The only rules are that your thoughts are well-written, contain no offensive language or content, that your text contain no more than 500 words. One picture (which may be a collage) and/or one embedded video, following the same rules, are also allowed and encouraged.

Besides sharing my life with you, as you probably already know, I have been making simple, cute accessories inspired by Japanese fashion, anime, and kawaii culture that bring joy and you can use in a variety of ways, including on your assistive devices. I am moving out of state early next month and finishing perfecting my method, so expect my shop to open late December or early January, at the very latest, unless there are unpredictable difficulties.

Frills and cute things have been  important parts of my life for many years. They help me delight and take life less seriously, but that does not mean that I should be taken any less seriously as a professional. I see the fashion I wear (Lolita Fashion, mahou kei, and various combinations of things,) and the styles of art as a pure form of emotion, untainted and innocent. They allow for a wide range of expression, and if you are not familiar with them, you would be pleasantly surprised to learn more. I suggest the following, the first three being satires, (yet still informational,) and the last explaining the origin of the name of Lolita Fashion by Deerstalker Pictures as a starting point. [1][2][3][4]

Lastly, I want to bring my skill as an educator to you in a special way, but for now, that is a secret! My B.S. is in Natural Science with minors in Chemistry and Mathematics, I have some graduate level Library Information Science experience, and I have spent most of my professional life in education, formally and informally, in academia, the library, and museums. This is my greatest passion, showing people that something they thought previously they were not capable of doing, they are and more. I am particularly focused on the STEAM movement and a design challenge learning atmosphere. Please stay tuned! If all works out, it will be wonderful!

I'll also be attending events relevant to the disabled community (as much as I can) and covering them for Frill-Ability, so you can be informed about all of the inspiring speakers, exciting products, and upcoming projects that you might not have been aware of otherwise. My first will be the Abilities Expo in San Jose which I introduce in the following video:

In the last two days, after years of feeling underestimated, discriminated against, and ignored by a variety of individuals, someone who I admire and respect beyond description put their faith in me. More than that, they took time to listen and treated me as an equal. Disturbingly, when some people saw this, they were surprised and wondered how in the world I could accomplish that. However, there was a certain satisfaction in that alone, that such a person as myself could do such a thing, because maybe they, that group that finds us lesser, will finally start to notice.

There is a certain type of human that no matter how educated/experienced/talented/kind/productive/A+ human you are, if you do not fit into a certain category (especially if you start to receive praise from other sources) they will find any reason to reject or ignore your existence.That is something about which I would like to speak in detail at another time, however, for me, that is one of the worst parts of being a person with disabilities, and the last thing I need in my day.

We need disability advocacy because they are the type of person who finds a legal way to leave your workplace inaccessible.We need advocacy because they are the people who stare and ask “What’s wrong with you? You don’t look sick.” We need advocacy because they are the people who take away our voice and insist we cannot do anything for ourselves after insisting time and time again that we can. Those types of negative attitudes are what I am dedicated to combating, and I promise to do my best to make good with the ability that I have so that I can serve you with every gram of it.

I look forward to working together with you to create a more accessible, happy landscape for all us.


ElleJay Volpe

Make Good with Your Ability Today