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Topic : Physically Challenged Adults Support

Number of Replies: 86
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Sunday, September 17, 2006, 12:10:41 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Share advice and support with other adults with a physical disability or special needs.

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September 20, 2006, 9:33 pm CDT

I am not physically challenged! I have a disability.

It doesn't look like too many people look at this message board, but I am going to comment anyway. I hate the phrase "physically challenged"!!! The media thinks this is politically correct. It is not. I am a person who has a disability, not a handicap or a challenge. Any time other words are used to describe people with disabilities, it undermines our visibility and our right to participate in society just like everyone else. Society has sugar coated and watered down words that describe something it doesn't want to look at or acknowledge. People with disabilities have been shoved aside, hidden away, discredited, ignored and discriminated against for centuries. Probably from the beginning of time. Just because I use a wheelchair and have to do things a little differently doesn't mean I am not able to do anything. It doesn't mean I don't have feelings or that I don't spend money in the market place. Society has looked at people with disabilities as an inconvenience to be tolerated. Even with the Americans with Disabilities Act, I have to find out ahead of time if a building is wheelchair accessible before going there. And even when they say they are accessible, I may be able to get in the door because of hastily constructed ramp, but I am unable to go any futher. Accessible parking is a joke anymore. Everyone and their brother as a permit to park in those places even if they are perfectly able to walk. This message is more of a complaint than a support for anyone, and I appologize for that. I have had multiplesclerosis for 34 years and have learned to deal with it one day at a time. However, there are days when I am so frustrated because of the cost of medications that I need to take and can't afford to buy. The government doesn't make it any easier. And try to meet new people and make new friends sitting a wheelchair. Don't even ask if I have had a date in the last 10 years! I am very frustrated tonight and feeling very alone and depressed. My disability makes it evern more difficult to get a decent job that I spent 10 years in college to be able to earn enough money to pay my medical expenses. Sorry I am not very cheerful.
 
September 21, 2006, 10:24 am CDT

Physically Challenged Adults Support

Quote From: marsgramna

It doesn't look like too many people look at this message board, but I am going to comment anyway. I hate the phrase "physically challenged"!!! The media thinks this is politically correct. It is not. I am a person who has a disability, not a handicap or a challenge. Any time other words are used to describe people with disabilities, it undermines our visibility and our right to participate in society just like everyone else. Society has sugar coated and watered down words that describe something it doesn't want to look at or acknowledge. People with disabilities have been shoved aside, hidden away, discredited, ignored and discriminated against for centuries. Probably from the beginning of time. Just because I use a wheelchair and have to do things a little differently doesn't mean I am not able to do anything. It doesn't mean I don't have feelings or that I don't spend money in the market place. Society has looked at people with disabilities as an inconvenience to be tolerated. Even with the Americans with Disabilities Act, I have to find out ahead of time if a building is wheelchair accessible before going there. And even when they say they are accessible, I may be able to get in the door because of hastily constructed ramp, but I am unable to go any futher. Accessible parking is a joke anymore. Everyone and their brother as a permit to park in those places even if they are perfectly able to walk. This message is more of a complaint than a support for anyone, and I appologize for that. I have had multiplesclerosis for 34 years and have learned to deal with it one day at a time. However, there are days when I am so frustrated because of the cost of medications that I need to take and can't afford to buy. The government doesn't make it any easier. And try to meet new people and make new friends sitting a wheelchair. Don't even ask if I have had a date in the last 10 years! I am very frustrated tonight and feeling very alone and depressed. My disability makes it evern more difficult to get a decent job that I spent 10 years in college to be able to earn enough money to pay my medical expenses. Sorry I am not very cheerful.

I want to thank you for posting here-I wanted to post but I did not want any backlash from people who may seem ignorant-   I  have a disabilty myself-  I personally do not like the word'handicapped'   I have wasted so much time trying to explain the difference to people-but all they do is wave me off or ignore me-like THEY know better-

 

I am really glad you posted-  I have to come back here again gladly-to re read what you posted- 

When I was in college-I was the president of a group of people with various different disabilities-

 

Oh-I am reading what you wrote-and we MUST chat again!!

 

Take care-Please know that you are NOT alone-And  thank you so much for the courage to post this new board- 

 

Take care-

 

N

 

PS-  I sure do understand the frustration and feeling lonely-  I assure you -you are NOT alone!!

 

 
October 4, 2006, 6:49 am CDT

Disablilities come in many forms

Quote From: hotnychick

I want to thank you for posting here-I wanted to post but I did not want any backlash from people who may seem ignorant-   I  have a disabilty myself-  I personally do not like the word'handicapped'   I have wasted so much time trying to explain the difference to people-but all they do is wave me off or ignore me-like THEY know better-

 

I am really glad you posted-  I have to come back here again gladly-to re read what you posted- 

When I was in college-I was the president of a group of people with various different disabilities-

 

Oh-I am reading what you wrote-and we MUST chat again!!

 

Take care-Please know that you are NOT alone-And  thank you so much for the courage to post this new board- 

 

Take care-

 

N

 

PS-  I sure do understand the frustration and feeling lonely-  I assure you -you are NOT alone!!

 

I also have a very dibilitating illness Called Fibromyalgia coupled with Chronic Fatigue.  I have many if not most of the same symptoms as thoses with MS except for the fact that I am not bound to a wheelchair.  Many with FMS have been confined to a wheelchair for long periods of time.  I was 35 years of age when the Fibromyalgia took it's toll on me and I was forced to quit working.  Many people and doctors do not believe that Fibromyalgia is a real medical condition and thus I have no support and I am not taken seriously when I tell people that I just not able to do certian tasks no matter how big or small or small they may be. 

 

When I was working I was a custodial superviser and floor finisher.  I had always been a strong, healthy, dynamic person until this illness snuck up on me and took my life out from under me.  My muscles grew weaker and my cognition was starting to fade away from all the things I needed to concentrate on.  To this day there are imes I can't even get out of bed and tend to my children and the usuall househol chores. 

 

My family sees me as "looking fine" so they can't understand why I don't do more.  The doctors I have seen do not know much about this illness so all they do is give out prescriptions and hope I feel better.  Doctors do not like it when I try to inform on what I have learned and ask for  a certian test or treatment that have been proven to help some.  They always tell give me some story about how they have to follow the regiment of medications and we always start on the lowest dose even though they know I have a very high tolorance to medications. 

 

I have never in my life been addicted to anything and my immune system had always been compromised.  My body always feels like I have a fire burning from the inside out while my skin crawls with the discomfort of many bruises just from the slightest bump into a chair or table.  My energy must be stored up for a few days to be able to accompany my family to any event that will last more than 30 minutes.  I cann't read a book because my comprehension is so far gone most times.  I read the same sentance or papgraph  4 times and still don't undestand.  My muscle tissue feels like it is literally tearing from my organs, bones, muscles. 

 

Thing is, I can force myself to a shower and put on a nice casual outfit and put on the make-up then do the hair and I look like I am ready to tackle the world.  But what people do not understand is that on the inside I  burning from pain, I legs do not want to stand around a mingle, on occassion one or both of my arms are so weak that it takes all I have to greet someone and shake thier hand. 

 

It just goes to show thtat being disabled does not always mean confined to a wheelchair or a bedroom.  Many times disabled simply means UNable to be person on the inside because the outside of the body cannot perform like it once did.

 

Cheri

 
October 4, 2006, 7:44 am CDT

Physically Challenged Adults Support

Thank you all for sharing.  I too dislike the term physically challended.  It makes what we live with sound too simple, like a neatly tied package. I am only 50 but have had moderate to severe arthritis for over 25 years.  It started in my knee when I was 20.  Now, it affects my hands, feet, both knees, neck and back.  For about 10  years now I have had to use a cane and when I go to the store  or anywhere I have to walk over 20 minutes, I have to use a wheelchair.  Going anywhere is a hassle because you have to plan almost every step to see if you can handle it physically.  You have to make sure the places are wheelchair friendly and many are not. especially the bathrooms.  What some places consider handicapped bathrooms is a joke.  It is getting so I just want to stay home most the time. 

 

Recently my family was planning a 3 day vacation to Philadelphia.  I just could not get excited about going. I used to love to travel and see new places.  Now I have to do so much reasearch to see if I can even access the places we want to go.  Now it is just such a big hassle that I do not have the energy to tackle.  We ended up not going on the trip because my husband became ill.  I was sorry he was sick but it felt good for once not to be the reason we did not do something.  I feel like such a burden to my family. 

 

Most days the only way I get things done is in 15 minutes increments.  I can clean for 10-15 minutes then I have to rest.  It  may take me all day to do the simplest tasks like vacuuming, laundry, and dishes.  I can't even walk the dog most days.  I miss that most because at least I was getting some exercise.  My weight is going up and up and I haven't been able to stop it.  I know it is my choice to eat what I do.  I get so discouraged and so lonely.  Sometimes I just pray for God to let me die becasue I am so tired of living with the pain.  I rarely go out with friends anymore and even going to church is a struggle.  It is just so amazing how much chronic pain takes out of you physically and emotionally.

 

I also have IBS, chronic pelvic pain sydrome, interstitial cystistis and I struggle with depression. 

 

 Sometimes I just sit and cry becasue it feels like I can not take anymore.  But I do.  I go on. 

 

Thank you for reading this.  It is nice to talk with people who understand. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
October 4, 2006, 7:58 am CDT

Physically Challenged Adults Support

Quote From: cherio84

I also have a very dibilitating illness Called Fibromyalgia coupled with Chronic Fatigue.  I have many if not most of the same symptoms as thoses with MS except for the fact that I am not bound to a wheelchair.  Many with FMS have been confined to a wheelchair for long periods of time.  I was 35 years of age when the Fibromyalgia took it's toll on me and I was forced to quit working.  Many people and doctors do not believe that Fibromyalgia is a real medical condition and thus I have no support and I am not taken seriously when I tell people that I just not able to do certian tasks no matter how big or small or small they may be. 

 

When I was working I was a custodial superviser and floor finisher.  I had always been a strong, healthy, dynamic person until this illness snuck up on me and took my life out from under me.  My muscles grew weaker and my cognition was starting to fade away from all the things I needed to concentrate on.  To this day there are imes I can't even get out of bed and tend to my children and the usuall househol chores. 

 

My family sees me as "looking fine" so they can't understand why I don't do more.  The doctors I have seen do not know much about this illness so all they do is give out prescriptions and hope I feel better.  Doctors do not like it when I try to inform on what I have learned and ask for  a certian test or treatment that have been proven to help some.  They always tell give me some story about how they have to follow the regiment of medications and we always start on the lowest dose even though they know I have a very high tolorance to medications. 

 

I have never in my life been addicted to anything and my immune system had always been compromised.  My body always feels like I have a fire burning from the inside out while my skin crawls with the discomfort of many bruises just from the slightest bump into a chair or table.  My energy must be stored up for a few days to be able to accompany my family to any event that will last more than 30 minutes.  I cann't read a book because my comprehension is so far gone most times.  I read the same sentance or papgraph  4 times and still don't undestand.  My muscle tissue feels like it is literally tearing from my organs, bones, muscles. 

 

Thing is, I can force myself to a shower and put on a nice casual outfit and put on the make-up then do the hair and I look like I am ready to tackle the world.  But what people do not understand is that on the inside I  burning from pain, I legs do not want to stand around a mingle, on occassion one or both of my arms are so weak that it takes all I have to greet someone and shake thier hand. 

 

It just goes to show thtat being disabled does not always mean confined to a wheelchair or a bedroom.  Many times disabled simply means UNable to be person on the inside because the outside of the body cannot perform like it once did.

 

Cheri

Cheri,

 

I so undertsand what you are saying.  It is difficult for people who do not have these physical problems to comprehend the enourmous amount of effort it takes just to get ready to go out the door.  By the time you get cleaned up and dressed you are already tired and in pain.  Then to be around people and interact with them takes all the energy you have left.  By the time you get home you are so exhausted it takes days to recover and in the meantime you are not able to do the "chores" you usually do and things pile up around you.  They do not understand because they can not "see" your pain.  They do not know what it takes for you to be there. 

 

I just wanted to say I do understand and I am so glad you decided to post.  I think this is going to be a place I come often to connect with people who understand my world and my struggles.

 

Connie

 
October 4, 2006, 9:09 pm CDT

Living w/ CFS & FMS

Quote From: cherio84

I also have a very dibilitating illness Called Fibromyalgia coupled with Chronic Fatigue.  I have many if not most of the same symptoms as thoses with MS except for the fact that I am not bound to a wheelchair.  Many with FMS have been confined to a wheelchair for long periods of time.  I was 35 years of age when the Fibromyalgia took it's toll on me and I was forced to quit working.  Many people and doctors do not believe that Fibromyalgia is a real medical condition and thus I have no support and I am not taken seriously when I tell people that I just not able to do certian tasks no matter how big or small or small they may be. 

 

When I was working I was a custodial superviser and floor finisher.  I had always been a strong, healthy, dynamic person until this illness snuck up on me and took my life out from under me.  My muscles grew weaker and my cognition was starting to fade away from all the things I needed to concentrate on.  To this day there are imes I can't even get out of bed and tend to my children and the usuall househol chores. 

 

My family sees me as "looking fine" so they can't understand why I don't do more.  The doctors I have seen do not know much about this illness so all they do is give out prescriptions and hope I feel better.  Doctors do not like it when I try to inform on what I have learned and ask for  a certian test or treatment that have been proven to help some.  They always tell give me some story about how they have to follow the regiment of medications and we always start on the lowest dose even though they know I have a very high tolorance to medications. 

 

I have never in my life been addicted to anything and my immune system had always been compromised.  My body always feels like I have a fire burning from the inside out while my skin crawls with the discomfort of many bruises just from the slightest bump into a chair or table.  My energy must be stored up for a few days to be able to accompany my family to any event that will last more than 30 minutes.  I cann't read a book because my comprehension is so far gone most times.  I read the same sentance or papgraph  4 times and still don't undestand.  My muscle tissue feels like it is literally tearing from my organs, bones, muscles. 

 

Thing is, I can force myself to a shower and put on a nice casual outfit and put on the make-up then do the hair and I look like I am ready to tackle the world.  But what people do not understand is that on the inside I  burning from pain, I legs do not want to stand around a mingle, on occassion one or both of my arms are so weak that it takes all I have to greet someone and shake thier hand. 

 

It just goes to show thtat being disabled does not always mean confined to a wheelchair or a bedroom.  Many times disabled simply means UNable to be person on the inside because the outside of the body cannot perform like it once did.

 

Cheri

Cheri - I also have Fibromyalgia & CFS.  I'm 42 and have had it for 10 years.  At first I thought I was dying and the doctors just couldn't figure out what from.  Then when I realized I wasn't dying, but would have to live with this indefinitely, I wished I was dying.  But, a strange thing happened.  After being in bed for 6 straight months, I spent a lot of time reading, studying my Bible, writing, e-mailing friends - I began to gain encouragement.  I may have lost who I was on the outside, and I have to live with a lot of pain, confusion, depression, fatigue like no one can fathom...I became a new person on the inside.  I had plenty of pity parties (& still do!!!), and I feel it's ok to get down sometimes.  I just finally chose to not STAY down.  This illness may have my body, but it couldn't have my spirit.  I was and am still worth something.  There are still things I CAN do.  I CAN be an encouragement to others, including my husband and children.  I can send notes or cards to others who are in even worse shape than I am.  I can pace myself, plan rest days, and enjoy moments that I DO feel ok.  I can go to my daughter's softball games, whether I'm in a wheelchair or walking, lots of pain or not, I go anyway.  The disease WILL NOT rob me or my daughter of that.  I have had to give up a lot of things-physical strength, energy, living without pain everyday, sleep, memory, being able to eat anything and not get "sick" from it (I have IBS), smaller waist line, ability to do a lot of things I used to do, such as work full time, ride a bike, go for a jog or even a long walk...But I force myself to focus on what I CAN do.  I know it sounds cliche', but what are my options?  I can feel sorry for myself and stay in bed, or I can do the best I can with what I have and focus on the good.  (Remind me of that on my next "bad" day!!  =)  You're right - people DON'T understand.  I look, for the most part, basically healthy.  But I guess I don't really understand what it's like to live with cancer, or severe Type I Diabetes, or Parkinson's, or a heart condition.  That's why I think it's soooooo important to connect with a person or persons who DO understand, such as a support group or just a friend.  God gave me a friend shortly after I was diagnosed.  She also had (& still has) CFS/FMS.  We were the only 2 people in the world it seemed that understood each other.  We still stay in touch, just not as often.  But it has helped me more than I can say to have a friend who understands exactly how I feel.  Do you have a local support group you could contact?  You can get on the national CFIDS website and try to locate one in your area.  I do feel for you, and understand the pain, frustration, sense of loss and sometimes worthlessness - but you ARE worth something!!  There is SOMETHING in this world that ONLY you can do.  It may be as simple as caring for your grandmother or sending frequent notes to a nursing home resident that no one else visits...But reaching out to others is THE #1 anecdote for depression and discouragement.  But anytime you'd like to "talk", please feel free to e-mail me at amkmom6089@aol.com.  Sorry this is so long!  Hope you didn't get too tired reading it!!! Take care of yourself, and take life one day at a time, literally.  Julie from Oklahoma

 
October 5, 2006, 1:23 pm CDT

Disabled and living in an abeled world

Quote From: hotnychick

I want to thank you for posting here-I wanted to post but I did not want any backlash from people who may seem ignorant-   I  have a disabilty myself-  I personally do not like the word'handicapped'   I have wasted so much time trying to explain the difference to people-but all they do is wave me off or ignore me-like THEY know better-

 

I am really glad you posted-  I have to come back here again gladly-to re read what you posted- 

When I was in college-I was the president of a group of people with various different disabilities-

 

Oh-I am reading what you wrote-and we MUST chat again!!

 

Take care-Please know that you are NOT alone-And  thank you so much for the courage to post this new board- 

 

Take care-

 

N

 

PS-  I sure do understand the frustration and feeling lonely-  I assure you -you are NOT alone!!

 

Greetings.

I worked for over 20 years as a nurse for mentally challenged children and adults.  During this time, it took me over 22 years to obtain a degree in Psychology/Sociology.  I had dreams of going into Christian Counseling until I contracted Guillian Barre last year.  The doctors denial of my denial of being ill almost cost me my life.  lost all ability to walk, talk, feed myself, and perform all daily personal care, and spent 6 months in two rehabilitation hospitals.

 

I truly took the ability to function without assistance for granted until I found myself in a wheelchair.  One thing I did  notice was pay telephones are not equipped for handicapped people.  If I could not place the money in the slot in time my call was disconnected and I had to try to dial all over again.  Also, I tried to maneuver the wheelchair into elevators, only to have the door continued closing on me.  The one thing I did notice was that a majority of people are kind and are willing to help.  But, there is also an equal or greater amount of people who stare and make very rude statements about my disability.  I may not look sick on the outside, but live within me with all the pain and discomfort that I endure each day, and perhaps you too will see how hard it is to leave home.  I know that children are inquisitive and will often stare, but when they are accompanied with an adult, they are not corrected when their remarks equal the same prejudicial remarks.

 

I once had a 6year old child comment that all wheelchair people should not be allowed in the stores because it slows regular people from shopping.  I was deeply hurt, but increasingly mad at the parents who just chucked and walked away.

 

My one main complaint is that even though I am disabled now, there are few employers who will take the chance and hire you.  Of course the Office of Vocation Rehabilitation is available, but when the unemployment rate in your living area is high, an abled person will be considered over the disabled. 

 

Do you have any suggestions how I can become a viable person to society while I am still speed riding my wheelchair?

Sue

 
October 5, 2006, 2:35 pm CDT

Physically Challenged Adults Support

Quote From: cherio84

I also have a very dibilitating illness Called Fibromyalgia coupled with Chronic Fatigue.  I have many if not most of the same symptoms as thoses with MS except for the fact that I am not bound to a wheelchair.  Many with FMS have been confined to a wheelchair for long periods of time.  I was 35 years of age when the Fibromyalgia took it's toll on me and I was forced to quit working.  Many people and doctors do not believe that Fibromyalgia is a real medical condition and thus I have no support and I am not taken seriously when I tell people that I just not able to do certian tasks no matter how big or small or small they may be. 

 

When I was working I was a custodial superviser and floor finisher.  I had always been a strong, healthy, dynamic person until this illness snuck up on me and took my life out from under me.  My muscles grew weaker and my cognition was starting to fade away from all the things I needed to concentrate on.  To this day there are imes I can't even get out of bed and tend to my children and the usuall househol chores. 

 

My family sees me as "looking fine" so they can't understand why I don't do more.  The doctors I have seen do not know much about this illness so all they do is give out prescriptions and hope I feel better.  Doctors do not like it when I try to inform on what I have learned and ask for  a certian test or treatment that have been proven to help some.  They always tell give me some story about how they have to follow the regiment of medications and we always start on the lowest dose even though they know I have a very high tolorance to medications. 

 

I have never in my life been addicted to anything and my immune system had always been compromised.  My body always feels like I have a fire burning from the inside out while my skin crawls with the discomfort of many bruises just from the slightest bump into a chair or table.  My energy must be stored up for a few days to be able to accompany my family to any event that will last more than 30 minutes.  I cann't read a book because my comprehension is so far gone most times.  I read the same sentance or papgraph  4 times and still don't undestand.  My muscle tissue feels like it is literally tearing from my organs, bones, muscles. 

 

Thing is, I can force myself to a shower and put on a nice casual outfit and put on the make-up then do the hair and I look like I am ready to tackle the world.  But what people do not understand is that on the inside I  burning from pain, I legs do not want to stand around a mingle, on occassion one or both of my arms are so weak that it takes all I have to greet someone and shake thier hand. 

 

It just goes to show thtat being disabled does not always mean confined to a wheelchair or a bedroom.  Many times disabled simply means UNable to be person on the inside because the outside of the body cannot perform like it once did.

 

Cheri

 Cheri,

I too am disabled. I have MS and am in a wheelchair. I worked for many years with the elderly and with Hospice ( the terminally ill). I still feel like I could be a productive part of the work force but cannot get anyone to look past the wheelchair or work with me on the hours I put in as the fatique is awful. I am depressed most of the time but that is part of the disease so I don't need more obstacles to depress me more. But for the most part I try to make the best of my position in life and find ways to stay up beat all though it can be a challenge most days. I understand what you mean about people being unkind and uncaring and sometimes that includes your own family. But I try to stay close to my God and do the best I can do. Feel free to email me anytinme to chat. I would love to have a new friend. Sharon

 
October 5, 2006, 8:12 pm CDT

sugestions?

I am a 33 yr old mother of one, and wife.  As well as that I am dissabled.  I was wondering how other people deal with the stress and demands of trying to ballance the wants and needs of your family with the physical limits you face.    Some of my background?  I suffered a broken back in 2001.  Dr's didn't find it for a year.  I went from dr to dr getting told to take more pain medication and antidepressants.  One Dr even told me I was just a woman and was panicing because I had a little pain.  I could rant forever on the history but that doesn't change where I sit now.  After three major spine surgeries I am very limited.  It also doesn't help that to outsiders I look normal.  any suggestions?
 
October 5, 2006, 10:50 pm CDT

Is there any hope for people with disabilities

I am person with disabilities, use a power wheelchair, been eligible for Medicaid since age 20 (now 41), spent many years over 400 pounds, have 4 college degrees, blessed with a supportive family, and otherwise cursed beyond belief. My disability for many years was labeled BEING FAT when I lost most of the weight the medical community decided to investigate further and attempt to explain why my health got worse instead of better. Over the years I have been diagnosed with CIPD (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy) Scheuremanns spinal disease, osteopenia, arthritis, in and out of bouts of diabetes and hypertension -- bottom line I am in horrific pain 24/7. I treated it most of my life with self-hypnosis and biofeedback. Over the last few years I have had to take increasing amounts of morphine and I am scheduled for a morphine pump this month.

 

Of any challenge I have faced, the worst has been the accepted lower-class treatment of people with disabilities, especially children and their families. Being disabled seems to be considered to mean the same as poor, ignorant, waste of resources, and ungrateful -- forever LABELED less than everyone else.

 

This is likely the consequence of being labeled DISABLED or not -able. We are the only minority defined by what we are not. Image filling out an application and having to check the categories "not-male", not-black", not-skinny...but the truth is that is we are a group of people that with a long life each individual is guaranteed membership. In our alleged enlightened, free country we are not a lower class but instead a lesser-class. I want this problem addressed and a good first step is a better category name -- currently I am leaning g towards "GIMP" 

 

Over the years I have met my responsibilities and attempted to be a contributing part of the community. I have been employed as a professional educator and psychologist. What I discovered working in the publics schools (3 states) was a public system with no expectations for children with disabilities, a complete disrespect for their skills, abilities, ideas, and plans for the future.  The district routinely retaliated against families and employees who attempted to advocate for this protected population. As a result of my efforts and never-quit attitude I have been through the horror of our judicial system and the uncaring of our state and federal representatives.

 

Call me a fool, Don Quixote, or pro se ADA litigant… The fight is largely futile, still I try, and I hope someday to find someone who cares and is willing to help…hasn't happened yet.

The decision to be a pro se litigant is an experience that affirms the futility and unwelcome actions of citizens with disabilities. The courts and opposing counsel presume and treat you like a convicted felon. They assume you have nothing better to do but sit around in your wheelchair and whine about your institutionalized/sickly/sad life.

I have personally worked the process and lost at summary judgment because the EEOC gave me the wrong papers and when I gave the court the right papers they concluded that I manufactured them. The EEOC (Director Zurita – Tampa) called me recently and told me that the reason I lost is because I was too lazy to do the job right AND that NO ONE can make him or his office correct their mistake!!! I have tried lawyers, congressman and senators. No One CARES!!!

In my case the judge concluded that as an employee of the Hillsborough County School Board I had to exhaust administrative remedies (I understood that was required only for Federal Employees) for my charges under the Rehab Act and that I did not file ANY retaliation under the ADA. The fact is I filed a timely EEOC charge twice!!

I have concrete proof, certified deposition testimony, photographs, and copies of state reports…all proving that I did my job and that the school board violated my rights and the rights of children and staff with disabilities. The school board responded to my protected advocacy activities by removing wheelchair access, interfering with my case in another state, took away my healthcare, blocked my access to professional licensure AND had me investigated for two years for
criminal prosecution by the state department of insurance. They told the state that I am NOT REALLY physically disabled and ACTUALLY developmentally-mentally impaired PRETENDING to be physically disabled.

The school board of Hillsborough County made copies of other employees SS numbers (25+)and several children's psych reports and put them in an 800 page packet (distributed to anyone who asked – AVAILABLE WITHOUT SUBPOENA). I have copies of everything I describe.
This is only the short list of despicable and illegal activities of the school board of Hillsborough County Florida.

My case was closed at the Eleventh Circuit because I was homebound and begged (via motion) to file electronically. This motion was denied and when my brief arrived a week late with letters from physicians, and the airline that destroyed my wheelchair in a recent flight to California. The court denied any reconsideration and affirmed the lower courts errors because I failed to prosecute.

I contacted Health and Human services, US DOJ, Washington EEOC, Senators Martinez and Nelson, lawyers from DC to California. I even wrote to TV News networks. I now have 3 weeks to petition the Supreme Court.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF DEPLETED RIGHTS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Recently I found out that the state of Florida does not recognize another disability law (Special Needs Trusts) and that the official position of the DCF (Dept of Child/Family) is that people with
disabilities who have any income above $756/single must either be institutionalized or in a hospice to access Medicaid. I went through a hearing and had their position affirmed by their highest office. I am in the process of appeal as a pro se (the advocacy center turned
me down 5 hours before the filing deadline). The local DCF offices never heard of Special Needs Trusts and flatly told me they do not exist. Federal law 42 USC 1396p outlines the existence of this law since 1993!! None-the-less off again I must go into another court
without support.

All I wanted was healthcare so that I can be permitted to receive the life-sustaining treatments I need. I want to work in field where I can help people with disabilities access the resources they need.Instead I am in a never-ending health crisis, a patient at a local cancer center, have
bone, muscle, neurological disorders, and live daily with extreme pain. The opposing counsels enjoys keeping under fire and spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to keep me away from treatment and prospective employment.

I am so overwhelmed by the complete lack of consideration of the rights of people with disabilities. Florida's advocacy center has always turned me away. I have found this is the common experience for basically everyone. The usual excuse is that the advocacy center does
not understand disability law and therefore cannot assist in matters effecting Floridians with disabilities. The EEOC told me this is because I am too smart and that my employer hated me for being ethical. If I would have agreed to place poor minority kids in special education and occasionally falsify a psychological test result I could have kept my job.

If anyone knows of anyone who is disabled, educated, and interested in doing the right thing THEY SHOULD BE WARNED. Apparently our US Constitution has an unwritten provision that states that all the rights/opportunities/protections described in that document are predicated on either being a lawyer or represented by one.  

I have not given up and continue to look for assistance. My choice at this point is to keep fighting or curl-up and die. This is a fight far from over – the ADA in my experience has been a
failure. The Rehab Act has loopholes big as barn doors (my favorite – if they discriminated for any other reason besides disability, well then, as a matter of law YOU LOSE!!)

I hope others find the success I have not found. Any suggestions??? Please feel free to contact me. I suppose I should just curl-up and die but what can be expected from a member of the "Not-able" class/culture/minority

 

Hey Dr Phil ANY IDEAS???

Trish

 
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