It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Positive Observation

[Image description: The chicken boxty I had for dinner. Boxty is a very delicious Irish dish.]

My parents stopped to take me to dinner the other day on their way home from visiting my grandma, as I'm not at all out of the way. We decided to go someplace new to them, someplace I hadn't been in about 4 or 5 years. Right as we pulled into one of the accessible spots a minivan pulled into the other one. I watched as an older lady and a PA got a manual wheelchair out of the trunk. For those of you who don't know, I check out chairs like some people check out cars. It was a very crappy chair, which was obviously custom (a shame... If you're going to go through insurance approval and all...) as the frame was blue, and it was an Invacare. I didn't notice if it was a foldable chair or a rigid frame as I was concentrating on getting out of the car, but as it had swing away foot rests and a sling back I imagine it was foldable. I didn't get a chance to see the wheelchair user.

We went into the restaurant and got seated, and they came in right after and got seated diagonal from us. I checked out the woman in the chair, who must have been in her 40s. "Why isn't she in a powerchair," I thought? I'm not sure if she has CP or if she had a TBI or a stroke when she was too old to have it classified as CP, (when babies have strokes they call it CP) but I imagine she has CP, and regardless would be perfectly capable of handling a joystick.

As soon as the three of them got settled, the woman turned to the person who seated them, and asked him what his name is. "My name is Wendy, she said in perfectly understandable "CP speech," if you know what I mean. "I'm very happy you're here." To which he replied, "I'm very happy you're here."

She repeated this exchange as soon as the waitress showed up, even before she had a chance to say anything, and again when another restaurant staff showed up.

Hmmm... I thought. What a clever idea. I also noticed out of the corner of my eye that her PA had put on a bib. I'm sure being in your 40s and wearing a bib, coupled with the fact that you're being pushed by a PA wearing scrubs (ICK! if I had a PA I'd make them wear jeans to go out to eat) often if not always puts her in a situation where she's ignored. Where people look at the people she's with as if she's not even there and ask them what she would like to eat. Although my CP is significant enough that there's no way I'd ever pass, I seldom find myself in this situation, and found it to be a great way to break down a frustrating communication barrier... which leaves me wondering if any of you use this strategy or a similar one? Just curious...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Quote

Found on the main page of the website of a therapeutic riding place somewhere in the state of Maryland. I won't out them. Also found in at least one of their newsletters (I only looked at one).

Although many afflictions cannot be “cured”, nearly anyone may be healed.
I'm speechless...

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Conversation with My Family Part 2

Same morning as the last post. Same brunch. Somehow we're in a conversation that turns briefly to London, and then briefly to a specific museum in London, where my stepfather mentions he bought a book for $20 that is now extremely rare and is worth $300. My parents are like that, they have all kinds of "shit" in their house that isn't shit at all. You might look at that book at a yard sale and give me $2 for it. I don't even know which one it is, but I'll know to look for it. It's the same with their dishes, they're into Fiestaware. They might have a $300 plate lying around.

So I look at them both and say
"When you're old and demented we'll bring in an appraiser so we can sell your dishes and things and pay for your home attendants. Because of course we have to pay them a living wage..."
This sets me off on a tangent about someone I know who gets paid crap under the table, to which my mom responded about a close friend who paid her mom's/ mom-in-law's attendants very well. But then she went
"Start with the sterling sliver it's worth [tens of thousands $] retail, so you'll probably get [I forget what she said]"
Is this the kind of conversations other 26 year old daughters have with their 54 year old mothers, or is it just me? It's what happens when you get involved with worker rights I guess...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Conversation with My Family Part 1

Yesterday was my mother's 54th birthday. I took the bus home Saturday night after work, and a few hours earlier my brother flew in overnight from New Mexico, where he's living in a hotel for a few months. Sunday morning we went to brunch. My parents have never owned a mini van, because my mom is scared of them, but because my stepfather was in a car accident and my mom's best friend is in California for the entire month of February, we're borrowing her's. At some point during the morning, my mom looks at my brother and says

"Jason, help Cheryl with the door."
To which I snap
"I don't need help with the door. Don't you know etiquette? You don't help someone unless they say 'I need help with the door'."
She could have said "Do you need help with the door?" That's different.

On the way home we stopped at a Japanese grocery store. We're parked right in front of the door. Why go to the ramp built onto the access aisle a few spaces away? Except I can't do curbs, which they all know full well, and everyone just got out of the car and walked into the store without any regard to me. One of them had the store door open before I even had the car door closed. The parking spaces had those stupid barriers that keep the front of your car from being close to or on top of the curb, so they were too far away to lean on, which I'm sure at least one of them noticed.

"HEY!" I said, a slight bit exasperated. I should learn to keep my mouth shut...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I'll Let The Words Speak for Themselves

Swiped from Deborah. I need to visit your blog more often...

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