I am a 51-year-old social worker and freelance writer. I was born with Spina Bifida, but I had no discernible functional impairment until a car accident in 1988 changed my life. Since then I have struggled with the barriers, both physical and societal, that people with disabilities are challenged by every day.
My articles have spanned a wide range of topics from how computers and technology can change the life of a person with a disability to issues of grieving and adoption. My work has appeared in both local and national publications including The New York Times, The Green Bay Press-Gazette, Tennis, Women’s Sports+Fitness, Able Newspaper, Virtual Reality Special Report, Accent on Living and WE Magazine.
As a guest lecturer for a community college course on the role of people with disabilities in society I have spoken with groups of aspiring physical therapy students about the need to maintain a level of dignity and open communication between people with disabilities and the helping professions.
Finally, I have made several radio appearances. As a guest on the radio show ‘Inner Sight’, I fielded questions from call-in listeners regarding whether people can learn to accept the changes brought on by disability. And, as a guest on the Let’s Talk Computers show I spoke on the ways in which computers are making the lives of people with disabilities easier than they ever have been before. In writing about the issues people with disabilities are involved in I feel I have learned a very important lesson, one that I hope I can help others understand.
It is the act of living that is important not the manner in which that action is undertaken. People with disabilities have the same wants and needs as others in the world community.