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HealthWeAreA married couple that are both full-time wheelchair users. AUsA (again)

Jun 2nd 2017 by beckerwp • 30 Questions • 172 Points

I am so honored and thrilled to be invited to join the amazing talents of this year’s National Memorial Day Concert. I will be joining co-hosts Joe Mantegna and Laurence Fishburne with musical guests including Renee Fleming, Scotty McCreery, Christopher Jackson from Broadway’s Hamilton and Jack Everly and the National Symphony Orchestra, to honor everyone who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Tune in on Sunday, May 28th at 8pm EST on PBS (better check your local listings!). Now…. Ask Me Anything!

Proof: https://i.redd.it/33dfpy32ryzy.jpg

Q:

What's sex like?

EDIT: So this is the first thing I get gold for, huh?

A:

Outside of film and music, what big aspirations do you have in your personal life? (i.e, plant a garden, get a pilot's license, etc etc).


Q:

See previous AMA for answer, but basically things still "work" pretty much like normal - sometimes it takes a little blue pill to get things "going" but for the rest of the story, your mom and dad should have told you how that works a long time ago.

A:

I'm really interested in microbiology, and law! The possibilities after graduating from high school are endless.


Q:

Do you think the Predators have what it takes to come back being down 2-0?

A:

What was your thought when you got hit in the head with the flag while performing at the Oscars? (Which you handled amazingly, didn't even stop for a second) Loved Moana, I listen to soundtrack almost everyday.


Q:

Not a doubt - we're going to be on home ice for the next 2 - and our first time at the finals it's going to be INSANE

A:

Ouch :)


Q:

Despite the added security, how do you plan on sneaking in the catfish?

A:

Moana was animated, but do you still ever get recognized in public?


Q:

I could just slip one under my cushion. It would be a little smushy when we got it in.. but it wouldn't be any worse off than the one in Pitt. Getting close enough to toss it would be tough.. but who doesn't mind a little bit of mushed fish goo hitting them in the back of the head? amirite?

A:

YES! The response to our film has been so wonderful and positive, and I'm always surprised and grateful when I am recognized as the voice of Moana. :)


Q:

How often do you grab race?

A:

What was your favorite part about working with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson?


Q:

¯\(ツ)/¯

A:

My favorite part would have to have been during our press tour, he was so kind and sort of a mentor that I could look to for help.


Q:

How do you commute and travel?

A:

What's your favorite meme?


Q:

If I'm by myslef I've Uber'd with no problems. The drivers are always super helpful getting my chair in the trunk and stuff. Usually when we travel we rent a car from Hertz - no issues getting hand controls on a car.

As for airlines, we LOVE Southwest, the planes are always super easy to get to the front row in our regular chairs without the need of a special isle chair

A:

Kermit. Sipping tea. Dishing the tea.


Q:

Hello, and thanks for doing this AMA. :) I'm actually in a class covering accessibility right now, and I'm super interested in the practical aspects of it.

One thing that's been stressed is doorways having a minimum of 32" clearance when the door's open 90º. How realistic is that for someone in a standard chair that's like 30" wide, like how do you manage to get through without pinching your hands or scraping the shit outta your knuckles every single time? Is the preferred 36" something you see as adequate for the majority of people in wheelchairs, and do you think that "the majority of people in wheelchairs" is an appropriate standard for the ADA?

On an average day in which you go out together (e.g. to a restaurant or shopping), how many "design barriers" would you say you run into? Bad curb cuts (here in Chicago, we have the Chicago Curb Cut, in which both the curb cut and the street curve downward, causing people in chairs to bottom out, which can pitch them forward, fucking ridonk), having inadequate space to exit your vehicle, ramps that are too steep or too long, doors that are too heavy to open, changing tables in accessible stalls being installed over the toilet, counters of inappropriate heights, etc.?

What kinds of things would you like non-chair users to be more aware of when it comes to accessibility and barriers? I saw one person in the comments here saying that accessible bathroom stalls don't mean "reserved," despite the fact that they likely have access to all of the others; are there similar issues that you'd like to be more visible?

What would you like to see changed, and what actions would you like to see people without disabilities take to get them going?

A:

What are the best and worst aspects of finding such great success at a young age?


Q:

One thing that's been stressed is doorways having a minimum of 32" clearance when the door's open 90º. How realistic is that for someone in a standard chair that's like 30" wide, like how do you manage to get through without pinching your hands or scraping the shit outta your knuckles every single time? Is the preferred 36" something you see as adequate for the majority of people in wheelchairs, and do you think that "the majority of people in wheelchairs" is an appropriate standard for the ADA?

My chair from wheelrim to wheelrim is 27". Most everyday chairs have a fair amount of camber (the wheels are angled diagonally so the chair is wider at the bottom than the top) that keeps your hands out of the way.

32" is common and plenty big for us and MOST wheelchairs. Chairs that are 30" or wider are very rare, usually only for obese users.

On an average day in which you go out together (e.g. to a restaurant or shopping), how many "design barriers" would you say you run into? Bad curb cuts (here in Chicago, we have the Chicago Curb Cut, in which both the curb cut and the street curve downward, causing people in chairs to bottom out, which can pitch them forward, fucking ridonk), having inadequate space to exit your vehicle, ramps that are too steep or too long, doors that are too heavy to open, changing tables in accessible stalls being installed over the toilet, counters of inappropriate heights, etc.?

You nailed it! All of those are fairly common. (more common than you would expect) I'd say the most common problem is inadequate curb cuts. The most annoying common issue is stores that have isles that are too narrow or the store itself is overcrowded so we can't get around very well at all.

What kinds of things would you like non-chair users to be more aware of when it comes to accessibility and barriers? I saw one person in the comments here saying that accessible bathroom stalls don't mean "reserved," despite the fact that they likely have access to all of the others; are there similar issues that you'd like to be more visible?

Yeah, handicapped stalls don't mean reserved. It is just a common courtesy to not use them unless you need to because the others are taken. Nothing is more annoying than going into a bathroom with 6 stalls and the ONLY one taken is a guy in the handicapped stall doing his taxes or something.

Restaurants are getting worse about seating availibility - by only having high topped tables. Even the Cheesecake Factory doesn't have a table we can sit across from eachother unless we sit outside. - most have a bench on one side and a regular chair on the other. That means we have to sit side by side.

What would you like to see changed, and what actions would you like to see people without disabilities take to get them going?

I'd love to have the owners of every single place sit in a wheelchair for an hour. Park, get into their business, get a table or shop or whatever their business provides, use the restroom and try to get around when it's super busy. Just to see what it's like. That would fix 90% of the issues we'd ever run into.

A:

Being 16 I know I have a lot to learn in many areas; my career being one of them. I've had once in a life time opportunities and experiences, and I've also missed family functions and friend's birthdays. I think keeping an open mind is really important for any type of success.


Q:

Are companies hiring with equal opportunity real? as in they don't favor more with non-disable.

A:

First, a big THANK YOU! Moana is an amazing character and my son (3) adores the movie. Moana is an instant classic and one so many future films will be compared to.

Were any of your parts ad libbed, or changed on the spot due to your own personality or unexpected things that happened on set?

Thanks!


Q:

I honestly can't answer this for sure. As a software developer, using a wheelchair has absolutely no effect on my productivity (or my projected productivity by an employer). I do believe that whether they try to or not, there is always an immediate hesitation by an employer and it would vary widely on a case by case basis.

A:

Thank YOU!

There were more than a few parts I ad libbed. I have a natural tendency to make weird flabbergasted noises and somehow they worked with the film!! Yay!!

P.S. Please tell your son I said hello!!


Q:

Sometimes, this bot does not seem very 'Auto'

A:

Omg!!! A live AMA and it's someone that I'm a huge fan of! Questions.... What's your favorite ice cream flavor? What music have you been listening to recently? What's your Favorite book? What's the best advice you've ever gotten?

Thanks for this AMA!! You're a huge inspiration for my little cousins, they want to be just like you when they grow up :)


Q:

The regular Autobots were filming for the new Transformers movie.

A:

Thank you so much!! -Vanilla Bean -THE ENTIRE DEAR EVAN HANSEN ALBUM -Aesop's Fables -Always pre-treat a stain before washing. ALWAYS.


Q:

How awesome is Lin Manuel Miranda? Did he get you Hamilton tickets?

A:

He. Is. AMAZING!!!! So sweet, so smart, he also gives realllly good hugs.


Q:

First of all, I'd just like to say amazing work on Moana! You've got incredible talent for one so young (I can't believe you're younger than me by a few months!!) Now for my question. Do you have a life motto? If so, what is it?

A:

Thank you so so much. As of right now, my life motto is stay grounded and stay appreciative. I think it's something I can always work on, so it'll grow with me over time.


Q:

Aloha Auli'i!

I miss the island so much since moving to the mainland. Your performance in Moana brought me back to Hawaii - and it was mostly because of your vocals.

Can you tell me how you put yourself and your heritage into the character of Moana?

Mahalo!

Edit: Also, gotta ask: Loco Moco or Hamburger Steak and where from?

A:

Aloha! Growing up in Hawai'i, as well as attending a school firmly rooted in Polynesian teachings, I was able to bring my life experiences into my performance.

Definitely Hamburger Steak. Rainbow Drive-In. YUMMEH.


Q:

Congratulations on being the first Polynesian Disney princess! It's really amazing that little girls can look up to someone who looks more like them which was something I never had when I was young. What's your favourite dessert?

A:

Thank you so much! It's so important to have heroines our younger generation can look up to. I know being 16 myself, I look up to Moana as well! ALSOOO.... (this is a VERY hard question btw) Key Lime Pie. :)


Q:

Where is your favorite place to go out and enjoy in Hawaii?

A:

If I'm not at home chilling, you can find me at the beach :)


Q:

What was it like performing at the Oscars?

A:

Performing at the Oscars will be something I will never forget. I still vividly remember being SO. NERVOUS!!! It was a new experience working through those nerves and giving everything to my performance, and it worked out pretty well!


Q:

What was your and your family/friends reaction when you were cast as a lead in a Disney animated film as your first major acting role? Had to feel insane. Thanks!

A:

There was a fair amount of screaming, I can tell you that. My family and friends are incredibly supportive, I love them to bits.


Q:

How exactly do you pronounce your name? And what are the worst pronunciation of it you've had?

A:

OW - like you stubbed your toe LEE - Like Bruce Lee and add another EE

OW-LEE-EE


Q:

Coolest place you've ever travelled to? Haven't seen moana yet but your singing at oscars was great!

A:

London! I worked on my accent on the plane over and everything.

P.S. Moana is coming to Netflix!!! Check it out!!!


Q:

How has being cast as Moana changed your life? This is my four year old daughters favorite movie right now (and mine too)!

A:

My life has certainly changed. While I am still a student, I now do my studies in places other than a classroom. I have been able to travel around the world, and meet wonderful people as well. So so grateful!!


Q:

What's your favourite line or song lyric from the movie?

A:

"Blow dart in my butt cheek." from Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.


Q:

Where do you think Moana ranks out of all the Disney movies?

I mean, I'm not asking you to talk smack about Home on the Range or anything, but everyone has a favourite...

A:

I might be a little biased, but I'd say it's pretty high up there.


Q:

What's been the best experience you've had with a fan?

A:

ONE TIME I MET THIS BABY (I'd say around 3 years old) AND HE WAS CRYING SUPER SUPER HARD AND HIS PARENTS WERE LIKE "omg you're about to meet Moana can you please relax and take a nice picture" AND HE DID. LIKE FULLY STOPPED CRYING AND LOOKED UP AT ME WITH HIS FACE AND WAS LIKE "Moana?" AND. I. LOVED IT.


Q:

Hi Auli'i! I'm about to eat breakfast and I want your expert opinion: pancakes or waffles?

A:

WAFFLES WAFFLES WAFFLLEEEES


Q:

what is your favorite pizza topping and why?

A:

Pineapple. I'm a total 'Pineapple on Pizza' kind of person.


Q:

Do you think Moana represents a new kind of Disney movie, where the heroine doesn't need a love interest or to be pursuing/evading one? Did you get that impression while working on the movie?

A:

I think Disney films are reflective of their times, and at this point in time we need heroes and heroines who take control of their story! I absolutely loved working on this film, and everything it stands for. <3


Q:

Hi Auli'i! I've been singing Moana on my way to class for so long now, thank you for making this movie magical!

As the newest Disney princess, what other Disney princess is your favorite and why? Thanks for doing the AMA!!

A:

Mulan was my favorite Disney Princess growing up. I recognized from a young age that she was breaking gender roles, and I also really loved that she had a talking dragon as a friend.


Q:

After performing the national anthem, whats next on your bucket list?

A:

Well after performing on the Oscars and performing the National Anthem, next thing on my bucket list is going skydiving.


Q:

Everyone's asking serious questions about your career. I just want to know, what's your favorite sandwich?

A:

Grilled cheese. Made specifically by my mommy. Slightly burned.


Q:

What would you credit with being the source of your poise and composure? You performed so well at the Oscars, even with a slight flag-related mishap!

I hope great things await you in life!

A:

I always make sure that I'm well practiced and prepared, but in the moments before I go out on stage I just remember to breathe. Phew.


Q:

What are you planning to do next career wise (other than sing the National Anthem)?

A:

I'M IN A TV SHOWWWW!!!! It's new to NBC and it's called RISE!!!! If you can tell by the number of exclamation points, I AM SUPER-DE-DUPER EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Q:

Are you having a good day?

A:

Yes indeed I am!! Thank you so much for all of your questions!!!