A Person First

  I first heard about person first language when I was in graduate school. The concept was familiar to me long before that. The idea that it was much more respectful to refer to "the woman who was blind" rather than "the blind woman" just made sense in my mind. Other...

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I’m Not Afraid to Fight

When I was about three years old, my family moved into a new house. One summer day a few months after we settled in, my brother and sister were playing at the end of the driveway.  I wanted to see what they were doing, and so with shorts on and no socks or shoes, I...

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I Just Don’t Do Well…

The weird thing was it wasn't throughout my whole house. On a Saturday morning a few months ago, I noticed something strange soon after I woke up. There was no electricity in my bedroom or my office, but the rest of the house was fine. At first, I thought it would be...

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Don’t Blame His Mental Illness

I have made a point not to write much about gun violence on this blog so far. There has been plenty of opportunities. After Sandy Hook. After Las Vegas. After three people died of gun violence in the early hours of the morning in downtown Lawrence a few months ago,...

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We Can’t Do This Alone!

A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me a video. (Thanks, Beth!) It profiled Kevan Chandler, a young man who is a wheelchair user because he is affected by Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Kevan loves to travel, but because of his disability, he was limited to only going to...

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Every Single Time.

Happy Valentine's Day Eve. Or as I like to call it, Single's Awareness Day. It used to be that I was among the cynical about this holiday, thinking like so many others that it was an occasion invented by Hallmark cards, Hershey's chocolate and every flower shop in the...

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Just Ask My Dad

I was working on a writing project when the phone rang. “Hey, Pop. What’s up?” “I have a question since I want to be more sensitive to people with disabilities.” I chuckled. Let me just say that disability etiquette has never been at the tippy top of my 75-year-old...

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Strategies for Success

Because I have never known any different than living with cerebral palsy, I have always gone about my day doing things in the way that they work best for me. To an outsider looking in, they would probably be called accommodations. To me, they are simply the things I...

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In the Spotlight Not the Shadows

There has been a debate going on within the disability community for many years now. Should only actors with disabilities play the roles of characters with disabilities or is it okay if actors without disabilities play the role of someone experiencing a disabling...

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Big Dreams…

I've been thinking often for the past few days about today being Martin Luther King Day. Dr. King had a dream. That all people would be treated equally regardless of the color of their skin. That there would be no prejudice, no preconceived ideas. That nobody would...

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