Category Archives: Disability Culture

Need some perspective? Try skiing!

Hello everyone!

I’m back! In case you were wondering, I have not abdicated my purple, blogging chair on wheels… The end of 2015 was filled with many health-related surprises that led to emergency surgery. Ringing in the new year recovering from anesthesia is definitely one way to spend the holiday, but I think I’ll make different plans for next New Year’s Eve!

I’d like to thank everyone for their support through 6 of the most challenging weeks of my life. Whether you prayed for me, sent emails and texts to check on me and buoy my spirits, dropped everything to stay with me, sent beautiful purply items to keep me warm,  galvanized your faith community to pray for me, gave me copious hugs or kept me laughing through some frightening moments, I felt the power of your love and I am grateful to, and for, each of you! May you all be surrounded by purply blessings! 😊

Love and Blessings Always,

Allison

 

Without further ado, here’s today’s post…

I absolutely love to ski!! One of the few things I love more than skiing is telling people I ski and seeing the looks of complete befuddlement on their faces. Usually, people get these looks for one of two reasons. One, they have just met me and cannot fathom how I ski. I can usually see the conversation going on inside their heads… “How do I politely ask Allison ‘how in the world do you ski given the fact that your balance isn’t the best and your arm control leaves a bit to be desired?!’ ” Or, two, if they know me, the fact that I participate in adventure sports is no surprise. The surprise to them is that I willingly sit outside, in the freezing cold, and call it fun. The reason this comes as a surprise is because on more than one occasion in the winter, I have had the following conversation in my apartment …

Continue reading Need some perspective? Try skiing!

Abstract painting of world. The words world cerebral palsy day 7 oct. 2015 are on the right side.

Happy World CP Day!

Surprise… I am posting on a Wednesday! Today is World CP Day! YAY!! I decided to celebrate by coming up with my “10 Reasons I Love Having CP” List.

10. Palsy begins with the same letter as- you know what’s coming- PURPLE!!!

9. Before my speech became pretty easy to understand, I spelled out words when I spoke to people who couldn’t understand me. This led to me becoming such a wiz at spelling that I won several Spelling Bees in elementary school.

Continue reading Happy World CP Day!

To special school, or not to special school? What a gift it is to have the choice!

As a new school year commences, I am reminded of my years and years and YEARS of education. When I say I am a strong advocate for both special schools, which are schools for disabled children only,  and inclusion(inclusion is enabling students with disabilities to attend regular public schools by providing whatever support systems the child needs to succeed in a regular education classroom), people often gasp and say, “You, a staunch proponent of equality, equal access and a fully inclusive society, support special schools! Well, I never!” Ok, maybe the response isn’t quite so dramatic, but the surprise is palpable. Yes, I support the option of multiple school settings because one size does not fit all children, and one size may not even fit the same child for the entire duration of their academic career. Believe me, I know… I was one of those children.

Many are quite surprised when I tell them that I went to Sunbeam School, a school for disabled children, through second grade. When I ask why they are so surprised, they often say that I am so self-confident and independent that they assumed I attended a “regular” school for my entire educational career. I say yes, I am self-confident and independent now, and I am pretty sure that I was born with that spirit. However, developing those skills as a child depends on having people around you who help you hone those skills. While my parents and other adults helped me to hone those skills outside of school, my teachers at Sunbeam reinforced those lessons throughout the school day.

Continue reading To special school, or not to special school? What a gift it is to have the choice!

“This is the happiest thing I’ve ever seen!”

One of my favorite aspects of having CP is ascribing to disability culture. Now, I know some of you may be thinking, “Did I read that right? Disability culture? There are many words that come to mind when I think of disability… but ‘culture’ is definitely not one of them!” Well, join me and my community for a moment.

Yes, we have a culture and a part of our culture that I thoroughly enjoy is our dances. We have dances at so many events- everything from summer camp for disabled kids to conferences for academics in the field of disability studies. We firmly believe that there is room for everyone on our dance floor. Indeed, each individual’s experience is enriched when everyone dances their dance in whatever way they can. Having grown up immersed in disability culture, I forgot how special this is until I saw one of our dances through the eyes of two of my non-disabled friends.

Continue reading “This is the happiest thing I’ve ever seen!”