Point your browser to www.laurahershey.com/memorial to visit Laura’s memorial page.
Click here to view Laura’s latest blog post —
“Poem: “Adopting a Fourteen-Year-Old in the 21st Century””
Laura Hershey, MFA, is a Colorado-based writer, poet, activist, and consultant. She is a 2010 Lambda Fellow in Poetry. Her poems and essays explore diverse topics including body, nature, community, activism, social justice, and much more. She is the author of Survival Strategies for Going Abroad: A Guide for People with Disabilities, a 2005 book offering stories and advice about international travel, published by Mobility International USA. Over 100 of her articles and essays have been published in journals, anthologies, websites and magazines including Waccamaw Journal, U.S. News & World Report, National Parks, Ms. Magazine, Topic, off our backs, New Mobility, Mouth magazine, DisabilityWorld.org, Disaboom.com, and thenation.com. Her poems have appeared in anthologies including Fire in the Soul: 100 Poems for Human Rights, Bigger Than the Sky: Disabled Women on Parenting, and Pushing the Limits: Disabled Dykes Produce Culture; and in journals such as Wordgathering.com, Bumbershoot, Calyx: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, Gertrude, Shakespeare’s Monkey Review, Trillium Literary Journal, Kaleidoscope, The New Internationalist, Sinister Wisdom, Journal of Progressive Human Services, Slipstream, and at wordgathering.com as well as several other literary journals, anthologies, and websites. In addition to her own blog here, Hershey also writes a blog called Life Support for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s website, and is a regular contributor to Huffington Post Denver. She is currently completing a book of essays about disability, personal assistance, and independence.
Hershey received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and a Bachelors of Arts in History from Colorado College.
In addition to writing, Hershey offers workshops, speeches, readings, and other presentations for a wide range of professional and community organizations. Recent appearances include a workshop session on queer disabled bodies at the 2009 Creating Change conference, a keynote address and poetry reading at the annual meeting of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), and facilitation of a two-day meeting between labor and disability activists.
Hershey is nationally recognized for her activism and advocacy on a wide range of disability rights and social justice issues. She serves on several committees related to health care policy, advises progressive organizations on disability community outreach, and engages in ongoing grassroots activism with groups such as ADAPT, Not Dead Yet, and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition. Hershey has also led or participated in campaigns to remove Social Security work disincentives, to challenge the negative images of the Jerry Lewis Telethon, to increase visibility of LGBTQ people with disabilities, to improve Medicaid home and community-based services, to promote the rights of home care workers, and more. In recognition of her activism, Hershey received the 1998 President’s Award from the President’s on Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.