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Thread: Disability Awareness

  1. #1
    New Community Member
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    Oct 2006

    Exclamation Disability Awareness

    Hi all! It's been forever and a lifetime since I've been on. I'm in college again trying to make something of myself again to help this large income SSI gives me
    Anyway... I'm doing a power point presentation on Disability Awareness for my Final in my Business Presentation class.
    With your permission I'd like pictures of people with names and stories with Disabilities, Hidden Disabilities, also some with older kids that need to use strollers (in the strollers). Email them to me please. If you need my email then msg me.

    Also if you have pics of you (if disabled) or your S/N kids in college or working I'd appreciate those. I hope to really bring awareness to us disabled people & less judgment.

    I'd also like some pictures of people with "hidden" disabilities getting out of cars parked in "disabled parking" for my Hidden Disabilities segment. Ya know for those people who see someone getting out of a car and THINK they aren't suppose to be parking there not knowing that the person IS disabled. I had done a search of people getting of of cars in disabled parking or in disabled parking but couldn't find any with hidden disabilities. Most had wheelchairs and such. Also maybe just standing by the car/van..

    OH, I'm also talking about those who block the loading zones in disabled parking with carts and such or parking in disabled without placard... Any other ideas I can mention, just let me know!! I have to have this DONE by this Friday!!

    I might be able to send you a copy of it later when I'm done if you'd like (if you give me your email and I remember lol).

    I'll let you know if I need more.

    Thanks a MILLION!!!
    Gina Marie (GM)

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    Oct 2006


    I don't have a picture of this as it was before I had a cell phone with a camera. When Caitlin was at her old school (that is from Early childhood up to grade 1- she is in 4th gr now), I had a horrible time with other parents boldly parking in the handicap spots. There were only 2 spots and the parking lot was and still is rather small. But there was a year we had a horrible bus driver so I opted to just bring her on my own and with her wheelchair and how busy it is at dropoff time I really needed the handicap stall to have room to put her chair next to the van and get her in it, especially as we live in Wisconsin and in the winter it is quite cold and I try to get her out of the van and in the school as fast as I can. Well, after repeatedly seeing parents of able-bodied kids park in the spots, I began pulling up behind them to block them in so they could not back out. I would then hang my blue card from the mirror so they could be shamed of taking 'my' spot. I actually had a mom, instead of waiting for me to get back out and move my van so she could leave, she drove forward over a snowpile and the curb to get out!! Crazy! Before doing the blocking thing, I had been leaving notes on their windshields, but that was not effective as I actually had a guy come back the next day and YELL at me that he DESERVED that spot and how dare I leave a note on his car! He was a he did not deserve that spot (kid was not at all disabled). He actually had the nerve to tell me this, a 7 mo pregnant lady at the time, who had to lift my daughter who could not help in the process in any way into a wheelchair. BTW, I told him if he continued I would call the police. Anyway, after crazy man situation, I did speak to the principal and they installed signs in front of the spots. This way violators could not drive forward if 'blocked' in and they could not use the excuse that they 'didn't see' the handicap logo painted on the spot. (crazy man's claim) My worst experiences with handicap parking problems have been at the schools! Had a few at the school she is at now, but none in the past few yrs...she has been at her school now for 4 yrs.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7) babies are all getting so old!!

  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    ((((((Gina Marie))))))

    Good to see you here! Good for you persevering in college!

    I know you fought long and hard for that SSI, and it's definitely helpful and needed, but not an abundant income.

    I wish that I could offer you something helpful or useful, but we don't have any recent incidents to provide.

    Jon's secondary school was located on a campus with another school for students with behavior problems/criminal activity/etc. The parking lot was too small to accommodate the cars for both schools, and for years, the lot did not have a disabled parking space. Of course, the teens from the other school were rude and reckless, so the lot was a scary place.

    I parked our van next to the sidewalk entrance to our school to drop off/pick up Jon. Until one day, it dawned on me that we didn't have a disabled parking space, which is a violation of numerous laws (fed, state, local)!! On IEP day, with all the teachers, and the county special ed rep, and the school principal present, I informed them that they were violating these laws (I read the list of them) and demanded that a disabled parking space be installed immediately, if they didn't want me to point out this violation to the proper agencies. You should have seen their faces! :) The very next day, the space next to our school's entrance was marked for disabled parking. Astounding that I hadn't thought of it sooner, but even more astonishing that THEY didn't realize it!

    When Jon was 22 and Michael was 21, we took them to Las Vegas. We stayed at a decent hotel. When we returned from a Hoover Dam outing, the hotel security guard stopped us. He demanded to see our room key. He asked us to open our sons' backpacks on their wheelchairs for his inspection, which we refused to do. He asked us where we'd been, and how long we were staying in Vegas. We have no idea why he was so rude to us, unless it was to discourage us from staying there, hoping we would check out of the hotel in anger for that treatment.

    That evening, we went to a higher class, newer hotel just to see it's erupting volcano. We then decided to splurge and have dinner there. After dinner, we wandered into the casino, and we thought it would be fun for Jon and Michael to play the slot machines, with our assistance, of course. We were laughing and having so much fun, until a floor manager stood before us, announcing gruffly that "children are not allowed in the casino."

    We told this unpleasant toned man that we were aware of those rules, but our sons are adults. Then we showed him our boys' state ID cards (like a driver's license). In case the man was math-challenged, we pointed to our sons and said, "He's 22. He's 21."

    The man countered with, "They don't look 21 and 22."

    I had a bunch of things I wanted to say back to him, but I calmly replied, "Looks are deceiving, aren't they?"

    The man paused, and then said, "Well, you'll have to leave anyway."

    By now, Jim and I were boiling mad. "Why?" I asked angrily.

    "Because they are bothering our other customers."

    We were in a corner on our own, and no one was close by us. I walked to the nearest gambler to us, who was 5 machines away. "Excuse me, are we bothering you?" She looked at me like I WAS bothering her by interrupting her game. I pointed to Jim and my boys in the corner. She said, "No," like I was really becoming an irritant.

    I returned to my family and confronted the man. "That woman says we are not bothering her, so your argument has become irrelevant. What you are really saying is that our two young men are bothering you, and you think they're bad for your business. That is called 'Discrimination,' (said slowly for emphasis). We are leaving now, but not because you are kicking us out the door. It's because we don't want to spend any more of our money in your hotel. And we intend to spread the word about how we were treated here. And the owner of this hotel is going to receive a very pointed letter from me. And you, you should be ashamed of yourself."

    As we were leaving, a gentleman, who was attending a conference being held at the hotel, approached us. He said, "I just watched what happened there, and I want you to know that last year, I brought my boy here, and we were treated the same way." He showed us a photo of his son in a wheelchair and his wife. He went on to describe the numerous ways the hotel personnel had harassed and mistreated them during their stay. He filed a complaint and was reimbursed for his expenses at the hotel. He said he was only there for the convention, because it was important to his work, otherwise he was boycotting the hotel.

    In contrast, the next year, we took the boys to Laughlin, where we were treated so kindly and generously. In the buffet line, people would approach us and say, "God Bless You," and "It's so wonderful to see you with your boys here. It's great that you are taking them on a vacation." When we took the riverboat ride, the operators couldn't have gone out of their way more to accommodate our two wheelchairs, making sure that we safely boarded and departed first, before other passengers. Bringing us free sodas. The hotel personnel were always asking if we needed anything. And the boys played the slot machines, with people encouraging them as they walked by to win the jackpot. And pretty waitresses flirted with them, when they brought them free juice.

    Now these are all old experiences from the late 80's early 90's, but I suspect that things are not a whole lot different today.

    Look at how our state treats persons with disabilities, putting their programs on the budget chopping block, and not taxing yacht owners. How often do we hear any elected official discuss the needs and concerns of our community? What is the size of the disabled population in the U.S. now? It used to be estimated at 50 million people. Any attack by our legislators (at any level) on programs for persons with disabilities is a furtherance of oppression and devaluation of disabled citizens.

    How can we expect the people of our country to respect people with disabilities, if our government agencies do not?

    Who is championing the causes of persons with disabilities? What famous person is out there working on their behalf? What legislator is committed to serving their needs?

    So many years ago, when I was actively advocating for the civil rights of persons with disabilities, I referred to them as the "Forgotten Minority." It's still accurate now, because we do not have a strong voice grabbing the attention of those in power.

    Sorry to ramble on! This, as you know, is an issue very close to my heart.

    I also apologize if this is too political for our forum, but it does pertain to every one of us, as well as our entire BT community.

    Good luck with your presentation, Gina Marie, and please come back and tell us how it turned out for you.

    And, how are you? And how are your boys? When you have time, please update us.

    Love & Light,

    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

  4. #4
    New Community Member
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    Oct 2006


    Hi all,
    I like reading the stories and I will try to add them in. What I REALLY NEED is PICTURES! Pictures of older children in their "strollers", people standing at their vehicles at disabled parking and even just plan pictures of people with "hidden" disabilities and regular disabled people. I need them ASAP as I have to have this turned in this Friday!! I also have to have this presentation pretty much memorized so I can present it next week! Thanks so much!!
    GM Maybe after Finals I will check in and update. I have a Final in American Law (Business Law), Intro to Business and Business Presentation (Power Point) all the week of the 13th.
    But I know with the Lord I can do ALL things!!
    Gina Marie

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