Solingen 93

Domestic Violence and Abuse

Taste of Disability


One of the activities we had tonight was a disability challenge. Each person was able to come up, with their assigned disability, and do a task. For example, students in wheelchairs had the task of going to the restroom and retrieving a piece of paper towel, and then bringing that paper towel back to the table, and they’d return that for a raffle ticket. My name’s Noadia, and my disability is being on a wheelchair. And… this experience helped me to understand those who are on a wheelchair, and how hard it is for them to do theleastthings. For instance, going to the restroom. One of my tasks was to go to the restroom, grab a piece of paper, and come back. I didn’t realize that not every door had an automatic button to open it. Like, my friend opened a door for me when I was going in, then she left, so I couldn’t get out. It was very hard for me to get out, so this is a great experience. I get to understand andfeelwhat those who are in a wheelchair are feeling. My disability was “wheelchair.” This is an awesome experience for me, since I’m not disabled, and it really opened my eyes. It helped me understand that I shouldn’t take the little things for granted. It’s really hard pushing my weight around. Even going into the bathroom was a big hassle. Noone would help me. I had to, like, push and hold the door open at the same time, and it was really hard. But this is a great opportunity, and I’m glad I got to experience it. Individuals have had their hands taped or their arms in a sling, had to open the envelope, and actually, a lot of them thought they were missing the activity because they thought the envelope was empty. Which it was, but the task was simply to open the envelope, and that was challenging in and of itself. My disability tonight was… I had my right arm in a sling. And of course, my right arm is my dominant arm, so I had to rely on my left hand. And doing that was difficult to accomplish at first, but as time went on, I was able to become more used to it, and become able to use my left hand predominately. Students with visual impairments that came to the table had to write their name and e-mail address on a piece of paper inside the envelope, so it’s very interesting to see everyone come up and explain how difficult each task was to do… with that disability. My disability is that I’m visually impaired. I actually can’t see anything, and I’m using the walking stick. And I knew it was going to be difficult, but I think the main thing that I had no idea would happen to me is that… I’m getting a headache from concentrating so much. From trying to listen to everything, and trying not to run into folks, so… my brain is definitely working a lot harder than it normally would be if I could see where I was going. Headache and all, it’s still being good, though. Well, as you can see, I’m visually impaired. And as soon as I put on the goggles, I could tell that my other senses were compensating. I suddenly wanted to know my surroundings, so as soon as I sat down, I felt where my chair was, and I used this cane to feel where the other chairs around me were. I tucked my bookbag underneath the table, so when I got up, I wouldn’t trip over it. I sat down and I played with this cane because I knew that it would be something I needed to walk. So, I played with it, I wanted to know, like, how it bent, so… someone instructed me on how to do it, and at first I couldn’t, but I learned. Still, it’s a little bit difficult, but when I first did it, I couldn’t. For individuals who were simulating hard of hearing, they had the opportunity to go ask questions. They asked three questions of someone in the room, and wrote those down and brought those back to the table. I felt this is very good for teachers and even people that aren’t going to be teachers to experience what their future co-worker, what own future child might have, or future spouse, somebody that they could just have a daily run in, You’ll see what it’s like in that person’s shoes and then say, “I understand what you’re going through.” They can really understand and have related to it. The little, basic things we take for granted, I realize how much it can actually affect someone who’s actually disabled. Especially when you have to go to the bathroom, have to open doors, or even something like getting food. Cause honestly, that one challenge, I did it like a pro. I went to the bathroom, got the paper towel and everything. But it’s pretty hard opening doors and not being able to use your feet. I’m a freshman here, and this is my first time doing this. I mean, I always knew disabil… like, special needs people had it hard, but I didn’t know it was this hard until I actually tried it, so now I understand the importance of teamwork with them and I always… when I always saw them, I felt sorry for them. Well, I guess now that I’m in this position for myself, I can see that they’re really strong people, and maybe I should help out some more.

Cesar Sullivan

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