Disability Doesn’t Mean Inability

I recently had the opportunity to talk with a group of students at Azalea Drive Church of Christ in North Charleston, S.C. The church has a youth mentoring program for students who are in middle and high schools.

I talked with the group of about 15 students on what it’s like to go to school, go to work and have a social life while living with a disability. I explained that people with disabilities want to be included in the community and participate in activities just as much as anyone else.

I demonstrated the different features of my chair that allow me to be more independent. The seat elevation feature allows me to raise the seat up to eight inches to be at eye level with someone who is standing. I can also reach items that are in kitchen cabinets. Since I’m in my chair all day, the tilt and recline functions allow me to take undue pressure off my back and hips.

Youth group of Azalea Drive Church of Christ

Youth group of Azalea Drive Church of Christ

The students enjoyed seeing my tripod set-up for my chair. I showed them how I can attach and detach my camera. I also showed them the video of me driving. After my presentation, I showed them my van and how it works. They were impressed to see that I could operate the the vehicle with the touch screen and joystick. I shared that the process for me to obtain my driver’s licence was lengthy, but it was definitely worth the wait.

The students had great questions. They were interested in learning about my daily routine. I mentioned that I needed assistance with bathing, dressing and transferring into my wheelchair. One person in the group wants to work with students with disabilities. Another student mentioned an interest in media and photography.

It was rewarding to spend time with the students and their advisors. I enjoy sharing my experiences with others so they can understand what it’s like to be independent while living with a disability.

About Tuesday Talk With Alex

Born in Charleston, SC, I was injured in a motor vehicle accident when I was nine months old. I acquired a C5-C6 spinal cord injury. I'm now 30 years old and I do not let my disability deter me from acheiving my goals and enjoying life. I will be sharing my experience of living with a spinal cord injury.
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6 Responses to Disability Doesn’t Mean Inability

  1. Kids are really great! Educate them while they’re young! I’ll never forget a child looking at me and saying, “that looks like fun!” I told him that it was when I was going downhill! 🙂

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  2. So wonderful that sharing your abilities promotes such a positive image that will stay with them. FDR said “Do what you can from where you are.”. & such an inspiration as you are.

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  3. Katherine Fairey Reeves says:

    You are so amazing Alex! You always have and always will make me want to be a better person. Keep up the strong and faithful work! I hope to come down to Charleston soon to visit you guys!

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  4. I will never forget the day Russell pulled up in his new car to take me for a ride…it was like a trip to the moon because he was driving!!
    The most special personality trait you have Alex is sharing yourself with the world…we need to get together!!! you can pick me up!!

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