Allison Wallis

Freelance Reporter-Generalist and Disability Beat

United States

I'm a freelance journalist based in O'ahu, Hawai'i.

I write about disability, health, chronic pain, Judaism, life in Hawai'i, and whatever else strikes my fancy. I'm open to freelance opportunities- email me at [email protected]

I am available for collaborations, consultations, sensitivity reads, and speaking gigs related to disability and journalism.

My work has been featured in outlets like the Washington Post, Al-Jazeera, Healthline, and the Forward.

I have a Master of Arts graduate degree from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at New York University and a graduate certificate in Disability and Diversity Studies from the University of Hawai'i.

I was proud to be named an AAPD NBCUniversal Tony Coehlo Media Scholar, 2021

The Forward
This doctor steered Hawaii through the worst of the pandemic. Now he wants to be governor

By Allison Wallis August 11, 2022 UPDATE: Josh Green won Hawaii's Democratic gubernatorial primary on Aug. 13. Read about what inspired him to run for office and the challenges he's faced getting to this point in this profile. HONOLULU - The protesters stretched around the block every night in the summer of 2021, blocking traffic and blasting air horns.

Heeding the Water's Call - Nautilus

Allison Wallis's disability rendered the ocean off-limits. But the adaptive surfing movement says they can get everybody-of any ability-in the water. From my home, a block away from the beach, I can hear the waves. They call out to the residents here, as much a piece of the island as the mountains and jungle.

I can garden in my wheelchair thanks to these raised garden beds

Once I started using a wheelchair part time, I thought my gardening days were over. I can't squat or bend down comfortably, and as my disabilities progressed my gardening enjoyment steadily decreased. I realized that if I was going to continue gardening, I'd have to change how I do things.

Talk Poverty
I Ate Lobster On Food Stamps. It Was Delicious.

The first time my family shopped with our food stamps, we bought grapes, Roman Meal bread, cheddar cheese, romaine lettuce instead of iceberg, peaches, and a lot of hamburger. And a lobster and a pound of butter and some lemons. The lobster was on sale since they tended to hang around the tank for a long time at the H-E-B in southeast San Antonio. I remember exactly what we bought, even 30 years later. We feasted that night. I remember cracking open the claw, startled at the creaminess of the...

My Body Isn't Made for Sex Anymore

My body doesn't feel like it's made for sex anymore. The body I had when I first met my husband, the body that lifted 50-pound bags of flour and kept up with the men in the kitchen, running a station solo during the busiest of Friday nights, has morphed into a body that can't quite keep itself knit together.

Unearth Women
Travelers with Disabilities Share their Best Travel Tips | Unearth Women

When science fiction author Elsa Sjunneson-Henry travels, she packs two carry-ons: one for her personal items and another full of food and toys for Pax, her guide dog. Sjunneson-Henry, who is deaf and blind, frequently flies for conventions where she speaks about topics such as fiction and disability.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog
A Review of David Chang's Eat a Peach

By Allison Wallis David Chang's memoir Eat a Peach is a book about disability, but it is not a disability memoir. A disability memoir, in my opinion, requires that an author be aware that he is disabled. I found myself continually wishing that someone would step in to tell the author that a community of people...

The Click
Everything Is Free at the Little Free Plant Store - The Click

The Little Free Plant Store is on a single-lane road across from the beach park where the surfing contests are held. There's an old bathtub full of green pond plants-taro, water lettuce, and water lilies with pink blooms-out front under the house's eaves in the yard.

The Click
Using an Infrared Thermometer? It's Trickier Than You Think - The Click

(HONOLULU) - Infrared thermometers are everywhere. It's nearly impossible to run errands or visit a doctor's office without having your temperature checked upon entry. These measures are in place to reduce the public's contact with possibly infected COVID-19 patients. But the problem is that infrared thermometers can be inaccurate if misused.

The Click
Progressive Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar Talks Reform - The Click

Justin Kollar isn't a fan of the phrase "defund the police" and refers to it as "terrible marketing." Still, he supports many of the movement's tenets, including spending more on mental health services so that adequately trained responders can react to crisis calls-in place of armed police.

What It's Like to Be Immunocompromised During the COVID-19 Outbreak

As the COVID-19 outbreak grows in the United States, people who are immunocompromised are put in great danger simply living their lives. As a majority of Americans are now under some sort of shelter-in-place order, we talked to two people who are immunocompromised about their lives amid the pandemic.

Electric Literature
Why Aren't Writing Retreats More Disability-Friendly? - Electric Literature

Once a year, I fill out an online application for Hedgebrook, a writer's retreat in Washington State. I attach a writing sample and send it off into the ether. Seven or eight months later, I get an email with a denial. In the past, this hasn't been too upsetting; Hedgebrook is incredibly competitive.

We Need to Take the Pain of Teenage Girls Seriously

...It’s not a breakthrough. Both other patients and parents have publicly spoken against Sherry, calling his treatment torture and alleging that he kicks out anyone who doesn’t work in the way he wants. There are no double-blind studies or large peer-reviewed studies that show this “therapy” works. There’s no way to tell if these girls leave the program with less pain, or if they just learn to lie to cover it up.

Living with Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks

The dura serves an important purpose in the body–it holds your cerebral spinal fluid, which is the fluid that creates a buffer between your brain and spinal cord and your body. CSF fluid is clear and colorless and bathes and soothes your brain and spinal cord, transporting nutrients and eliminating waste. It also serves as a shock absorber and helps to protect the brain and spine from trauma. It flows in and out of ventricles in the brain, soothing nerves and the lining of the brain. One way...

I learned what kind of mother I am during the false nuclear alert in Hawaii

What do you tell your child when you're pretty sure you're about to die with her? How do you comfort your child when you're terrified yourself?Last Saturday morning, a ballistic missile alert was sent to Hawai'i residents. Thankfully, it turned out to be a false alarm, but during the 38 minu...