I was born with cerebral palsy and have spent most of my adult life learning to embrace my disability. I would not have been crowned Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2007 or selected to represent the United States in the International Games for the Disabled unless disability was part of my world. I’m by no means an expert, but I do my best to respectfully break down barriers between those with disabilities and those without disabilities; by offering observations and guidelines to people who are shy around or unsure what to do when they encounter people with disabilities in their world.
Some people write from the head, some from the heart. Lorraine has the ability – a gift, really — to write from both. She always brings a human and personal perspective to her writing, but at the same time there is something universal – and thought-provoking – in the words she puts to the page. Her writings have helped me better understand the challenges and opportunities she faces as someone with physical disabilities, and at the same time has helped me “reframe” my perspective to see physical disabilities as part of the larger picture of human diversity. She brings to light, in her own down-to-earth way, the fact that the human condition is one marked by both differences among us – which makes life interesting – as well as the many things that we share in common (which far outnumber those interesting differences). Few people can make me laugh, cry, ponder, get angry, and find inspiration in the course of a few paragraphs, but Lorraine can and does almost every time I read her work. She is a writer of the highest caliber. I hope she keeps writing for years to come!
Chris Tilden—Director of Community Health
Lawrence—Douglas County Health Department
Lorraine’s writing has taught me so much about what daily life is like for a person with a disability. Whether it’s the joy of ballroom dancing on wheels, the frustration of dealing with an unyielding state bureaucracy, the longing for human touch, the terror of being home alone with a broken phone, or the simple wish that she could take herself out for a cheeseburger, Lorraine invites us into her life. Every story leaves me with new insight. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, Lorraine’s writing is always unflinchingly honest.
Marilyn Hull, CEO
Marilyn Hull Consulting