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I remember the room as if it was yesterday. It was a room like no other in which I had ever before been. The cold plain manila colored vinyl covering the padding cushions gave slightly to the touch, just enough to absorb a beating. There was a deafening sound of silence as the door behind me closed. I thought to myself, "I can't believe this." Very quickly I realized that in order to occupy my mind while I was in it, I would have to really put my brain to work, so I immediately started focusing on the walls and floor. My first thought was that no matter what I did, even if I slammed my body against them, no injury could ever come to me. I was completely protected and surrounded. When you happen to have a very serious disability, this is how society makes you feel, like you have to be completely and totally protected from everything. I mean if you were to try something outside of what is expected of you, it's as if you may as well be slamming your head directly against an unpadded wall, as far as society is concerned. So that is how the system works much of the time, keeping people as safe as is absolutely possible by preventing people with disabilities from trying new experiences. It is as if we are expected to conform to this protected status, acknowledge that we are somehow "less capable" than people without disabilities, and remain inside of a metaphorical padded cell at all times for our own good. Although this book targets people with disabilities themselves and will hopefully make people refocus upon their accomplishments and equality, I really think that people without disabilities who read my ideas will develop a sincere appreciation for what all people have in common, instead of focusing on differences. That having been said, I would now like to take this opportunity to invite people of all ability levels to let me take them on a journey, heading for an absolutely beautiful destination... appreciation of our equality.
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Life has afforded me countless experiences from which to learn valuable insights about society and disability rights. Maturing from infancy, through childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, experiencing a series of disabilities has literally transformed how I see people. Whether it is a baby living with MS, to a child with asthma, to a teen with developmental disabilities, to an adult with Parkinson's, I see no differences in people. People are just people, whether they have disabilities or not, and they deserve to be respected that way. I matured through elementary school going in and out of hospitals regularly for one thing or the other, but at age 10, God gave me what I now see as an incredible gift. By taking away a portion of my memory ability, he gave me an incredible insight capability into how people with disabilities think. People of all ability levels are just the same, wanting and needing nothing different from life. The only difference is how people go about achieving their goals. I graduated high school in 1991 and attended a local community college, then transferred on to earn a Bachelor's in psychology from Syracuse University in 1996. College was very hard, a constant struggle of remembering to do everything that needed to be done and when, but in May 1996, I graduated. Some of my most powerful credentials for this book came in the year following graduation, accepting rejection after rejection for jobs, and no service agencies wanted to help for one reason or another. I moved in 1997 on my own to a different county, learned all it took for me to live alone, found a job, found God, and was happy. I knew I could do more with my disabilities though, so I moved to Saranac Lake, New York in 2001. And despite the day-to-day difficulties, have succeeded here. My point to telling you all of this is that all of my experiences, whether they were job-related, moving-related, or daily living-related have one thing in common. I was allowed to
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Book Description AuthorHouse, 2005. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1420841807