Category Archives: Environmental Sensitivities

Sharing My Truth

Jacqueline originally shared her public speaking experience at a noncompetitive StorySlam with the theme ‘Misunderstood’ in a fb group, and very graciously accepted my invitation to share her story here with you.

 

Guest Post by Jacqueline Rice

Photo of me sharing my truth @ Ex Fabula (from stories), the MKE storytelling organization.   Photo from Ex Fabula

 

Here’s the excerpt from the blog entry from their website:

Invisible Stories

“Not all stories have a resolve, but instead bring a call to action. Like Teller Jacqueline, who shared her invisible disability with the crowd. Due to carbon monoxide poisoning Jacqueline was forced to alter her lifestyle in dramatic ways. Her exposure to carbon monoxide caused her to be intolerant to chemicals such as perfumes and sprays. Because of this, Jacqueline can’t be in many public spaces. Thank you, Jacqueline, for using your voice and story to advocate for many others with invisible disabilities.”

How it felt for me at the mic in front of 200+ people: Continue reading

There Is No Right to Wear Fragranced Products

“there is no right to wear fragranced products”

Accommodation for Environmental Sensitivities: Legal Perspective
2007 Canadian Human Rights Commission

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Acts of Festive Kindness

Christmas, Birthdays, and Other Holidays with MCS/ES

For most people, these special occasions are times of joy and celebration in the company of friends and loved ones, but for people with invisible disabilities and chronic illnesses like MCS/ES, they can be sad reminders of the lives that we no longer have  access to.

We are still seldom  included in the festivities and are usually left alone to fend for ourselves. Unfortunately, since human beings are social beings, not everyone is well equipped to self occupy, and  some people become seriously depressed and even suicidal because of this.

To realize it’s because some friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers prefer to keep using certain products instead of using other products so we can safely be around them and enjoy their company,  makes it even harder for us, knowing they care more about the products they buy than they care about us. It’s a heart breaking thing to have to live with.

 

  Thankfully, not everyone chooses products over people 

 

Before I became too chemically injured to socialize in crowds, I had a wonderful friend who happily made the effort to make her place and parties safe for me!

In 2005  her invites were all sent out with these words:

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Françoise Gourd 1950 – 2017

Shared by Doug Atwood

In June 2017, we lost a friend and active member of our community.


Françoise Gourd

 

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A Universally Recognized Accessibility Symbol for Environmental Sensitivities?

 

We need an easily recognizable accessibility symbol for non-toxic, wireless, VOC, scent, and fragrance-free places that show they are accessible to people with MCS/ES, asthma, COPD, migraines, and others who need healthy environments in order to remain functional and not become physically or cognitively impaired.

These signs would be used only in places that actually enforce the policies.

The standard accessibility signs have white symbols on blue backgrounds like these:


I’ve never seen anything like this to signify healthy wireless, scent, and fragrance-free indoor air, but these are some others I have found or assembled that might give a designer ideas to run with:

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Song: “I’m a prisoner because of fabric softener”

A song by Jonathan Richman

I had never heard of Jonathan Richman before this song about not being able to walk outside at night because of dryer sheets, fabric softener, air “fresheners”,   and having to close doors and windows because of them,  so I looked him up and found he had done a song about cell phones too. Here they are:
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Published: “Invisible Barriers, Invisible Disabilities, Invisible People”

My article “Invisible Barriers, Invisible Disabilities, Invisible People”   is now available to read in the

Special Issue on Ecopsychology and Environmental Sensitivities:
Chemical, Electrical, and Beyond

All the articles in the entire special issue will be available for free until Sept. 5  2017, which is unprecedented access!

Please check them out and share as widely as possible!

 

Table of Contents:

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