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May 31, 2024 3 min read

A New Direction for the Future of Oula

Hello my beautiful and amazing Oula community! My name is Rochelle Laumer and I am a new contributor to the Oula newsletter.

I have a disability that is the result of having a brain tumor when I was 18 months old. Oula has given me my voice back and a purpose to help other individuals with disabilities find their inner strength.I have been a champion, a voice and a fierce advocate for the disability community for a long time. Since I was in college I have tried to shed light on the realities of living with a disability on a daily basis and I have always tried to include my community in everything I do. I have been particularly excited to bring Oula to my community. 

Being purposeful about making space in Oula for the disability community can give the Oula community a different perspective and understanding, and would make Oula more diverse. Most importantly, it gives people with disabilities a safe space to be themselves without worry from the outside world's expectations. 

I’m thankful that Oula has been a place where I can express myself in new ways. Oula gives a safe space for people with disabilities because it’s a space where they don’t have to act or be a certain way, they can just be their true selves, no matter how flawed or “weird” they think they are in the outside world because of what they have been told in the past. My experience is that Oula is very accepting of everyone just as they are and it’s very freeing and a breath of fresh air to have a break and step away from the pressures of the outside world if only for just an hour.

There are a few ways I am working to engage the disability community with Oula, and I’m sharing them here and inviting you to also take these on!

  1. I am reaching out to locations that people with disabilities frequent. In my town, that includes MCIL (Metropolitan Center for Independent Living). I am putting up flyers so people will have access to more info. 
  2. Another idea is hosting pop up classes at disability events such as disability pride day and other disability day events in the community. 
  3. Lastly, I am working to come up with classes that are more inclusive and can accommodate different disabilities. One way this could be achieved is by doing the moves with low impact or by using a chair. Another way this could be achieved is by having a private conversation to see what options are the most comfortable for them and what they would need to be successful in the class.

I appreciate all the opportunities and experiences Oula has offered me so that I can continue to be a voice for Oula and people with disabilities. If any of you reading this ever want to connect feel free to reach out, I love and accept all ideas or suggestions about combining Oula and disability together. I just love meeting new people and putting faces to the names of you that I have already had the pleasure of meeting on Facebook or Instagram. I am also a member of Oula’s Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) committee so would love to bring your ideas to the committee or tell you more about the committee!

Instagram: @roswaggy21 

Facebook: Rochelle Laumer 

Snapchat: rlaumer21

In Oula love, enthusiasm,and passion

Rochelle Laumer

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