Thursday, September 22, 2011
New Feature: From Where I Sit
I was recently given the suggestion by one of my amazing followers that I should start a new feature where you could ask me, a physically disabled (and fabulous *wink*) woman a question regarding having a disability.
I LOVED this idea. I realize that there are inevitable questions that go through people's minds when it comes to those who have a physically disability, but those questions often times go unanswered as to not offend the person.
I have always been open about my physical challenges, and would much rather someone ask rather than assume when it comes to what I can or cannot do.
Each year I attend The Great American Teach In which brings business professionals into the school system from K-12 to talk about their role in the working world. I usually seem to end up somewhere in the 7-10th grade classes and the questions that are fired at me never cease to amaze me.
I can always count on being asked by at least one student, "Can you have sex?" LOL.
Some of the others I get asked, "How do you get dressed?" "Can you drive?" "Why are you in a wheelchair?
Another part of my presentation is a segment I like to call "Walk in my shoes." Being that I work in a hospital where every patient has some physical disability (They can't walk, are missing a limb, have a curved spine, etc) I let the students see what it might be like to live with one of these physical challenges. For instance we have a race. Three students with lace up shoes sit in chairs at the front of the class, they hold one hand behind their back and untie and tie their shoe using only one hand to simulate missing a limb.
It is hysterical when they try to "cheat" by sneaking their other arm down or when they say, "Man, no one could do this!"
It is always a great experience and I hope that I leave these impressionable minds with the understanding that a person might look different or have to go about doing something in a different way, but we all deserve respect, friendship and understanding.
I want to open up this same kind of discussion with you. Is there something you have always wanted to ask a person with a physical disability, but were too afraid of offending them? Well here is your chance. I am an open book and would love to answer your questions. I'm not shy or easily embarrassed, so ask away!
Please keep in mind that not all disabilities are the same. You can have two people with the same diagnosis and their experiences can be night and day from each other! I can only give you my opinion from my experience, "From Where I Sit."
You can either leave a question in the comment section or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will then do a blog post answering your question. I can't wait to hear what's on your mind!