Here will discuss a civil rights issue of concern to persons with disabilities, their friends and families. Many
disabled persons like Donna have difficulty speaking. As mentioned before, Cerebral Palsy sometimes affects
the control of the muscles used in speech. Our friend Jerry can barely be understood even by his own friends
and family. They may be highly intelligent persons, but due to the extreme nature of their disability many
persons with CP have had little formal education. Their school teachers often could not understand them.
Much of time in school was spent in speech and physical therapy. Donna needed years of speech therapy
before she could speak at all, and it is still extremely difficult for her to even write her name. Even her social
workers have trouble understanding her speech at times. As things stand now, unless the disabled have a very
devoted friend or family member, no one is really listening to their concerns. They often feel very isolated and
alone.  How can their voices be heard? That is the question. Their lives are "all dark" as Donna used to say. I
hope that this web site will be a place where their voices can finally be heard and they can finally step towards
the light.
AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE(not if you're disabled). Jerry is currently facing a very difficult
situation and is in need of legal assistance. He has been planning a move to California(San Fransisco Bay
Area) for almost 10 years. He has visited there a few times, and they have a wonderful mass transit system
that is easy for him to use, while here in NJ he is confined to his apartment with no usable transportation. He
cannot tolerate the cold winters here in NJ because he must go out alone in his power wheelchair unprotected
from the elements or else he is forced to stay at home. He is very unhappy living here in NJ being confined to
the home most of the time. He has recently been told that he can't move to Ca. because they won't set him up
for home care services(he only needs two hrs. per day) because he is not a resident of the state...a catch 22
situation, because he can't move without already having home care services set up in advance to take care of
him when he arrives. He is very depressed about this situation. Should the disabled be denied the same rights
as anyone else to move from state to state? His e-mail address is jtmclaren@earthlink.net if you think you can
help.
Donna was so happy to get
out and meet Diane(in
wheelchair) and Jim's
mom at the shopping mall
for coffee, the kind of
simple pleasure she was
denied for so much of her
life...a
terrible tragedy,
I'm sure you agree.
LEFT OUT IN THE COLD
You can see how Donna's chair barely fits on the bus lift. Her feet get
squished against front of lift in order to to fit. When the drivers are in a
big hurry or impatient she sometimes gets hurt. To add insult to injury
they are often an hour or more late picking her up.
"Jerry is one of the smartest people I
have ever met", says Jim. "Had he
not been born with CP he could have
been another Thomas Edison...a great
scientist or inventor. He has genius
potential, yet when I first met him he
couldn't spell the word
gum because
of his lack of education." When
Jerry was young a psychologist told
his mom he would not be able to be
educated because of the severity of
his disability. They wanted him to be
in a workshop all of his life doing
menial piece work. His mom had to
fight hard to get him into school.
Donna faced similar obsticles when
she was young.
Our friend Jerry
>>
>>