Monday, December 19, 2011

disability perspective / MS

Q ...What is a disability perspective?
A ... disability perspective is a viewpoint that considers the needs and aspirations of disabled people and their families.

I offer as an example a tale of two stories...

“Christmas By The Lake” Boiling Springs, PA
When surreal becomes real, you’re just glad you were part of it.  “Christmas by the Lake” hosted by the Boiling Springs High School Alumni Association could not have been a more enjoyable winter outing.

Upon arriving we found wheelchair van accessible parking available in front of Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Lowering our van ramp we found ourselves also in the staging area of the Pioneer Girls (a variation of Girl Scout Daisies) and parents. Our ‘transformer’ van quickly became show and tell to young inquiry minds who in turn shared with us all their exciting adventures lighting the luminaires. We laughed and smiled as the curious ‘heart of childhood’ embraced differences so honestly and innocently.

Our push and roll around the lake was mesmerizing with hundreds of real luminaries plus a fully lit Christmas Tree floating in the lake. Patti in her wool cape, mittens, hat and buggy bag wheelchair lap blanket declared she was “quite toasty” in spite of a ‘real feel of 29˚F (-1.6˚C)’.
When we needed to abandon the path and use the side of the street for a block, the reflective strip on Patti wheelchair lap blanket shone like a beacon in the lights of approaching cars.

Christmas music filled the air, Santa roamed about ho ho hoing and chestnuts and marshmallows were available for roasting over a fire pit.  Everything was free including hot chocolate, hot dogs, and Christmas cookies. MS symptoms of dysphagia restricted us to hot chocolate and cookies but that was ‘no problemo’, they were delicious.

Horse drawn carriage rides were also available but we did not explore as rarely are they easily accessible and Patti could care less - she already has me, her trusty one-man open sleigh horse.
Now the same event as reported by mainstream media … Lights line the lake in annual Boiling Springs event
12% of Americans are affected by disability, add in their caregivers and families and you are talking about a quarter to a third of any community’s population.

Including disability perspective into news or promotions is not about political correctness, it is inclusive and welcoming to people of all abilities.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive