Thanks to everyone who Tweeted, Facebooked (is that a word?) and otherwise shared information about Ed Roberts and his first official memorial day in California
The Ed Roberts Campus at Berekley California is open. The campus uses Universal Design and is built for EVERYONE. Here is an article about how the architect had to think differently about successful design. It is across the street from a fully accessible transportation system. Win-Win.
Historical Videos for YouTube
We had a great response to reformating the historical videos into segments for YouTube. We are creating a plan for moving forword. As we get news, I’ll pass it on. Thanks to everyone who so generously contributed in any way to this important project.
The Inclusion and Disability Rights Movement has come a long way, yet we have so much farther to go.
Adapting: Becoming a Star
Ed Roberts often joked that in the first 14 years of his life he was “just an ordinary kid.” He was more interested in sports than in school work and wanted to be a professional baseball player when he grew up. That all changed.
In 1953, before the vaccine, Ed contracted polio. Overnight he became paralyzed from the neck down and required an iron lung, which he used the rest of his life.
One of Ed’s greatest talents was being able to look at a situation, and ADAPT.
Ed decided a baseball career was out, and became a straight A student in High School.
When all the students stared at him, he decided this was an attitude problem. Instead of being embarrassed, this was how it must feel to be famous. In time, he reframed the whole experience, adapted, and decided he would pretend to become a famous movie star.
Indeed he did become a star. How fitting we are now trying to get his video on YouTube. I think he would get a bang out of that.
Stares into Stars
This would also be a good tip for people who are being stared out. Parents, Caregivers, Teachers could all adapt this strategy and help “reframe” those stares into stars!
Skype and Technology
I just saw a video (2010) where a teacher and class used Skype to help one of the students who had cancer keep up with what was happening at school.
When Ed Roberts got Polio, (1952) he was quarantined and had to listen to his classes over the telephone. Think of the differences.
Skype would have been amazing to him.
When Ed returned to school after missing almost two years of school, he felt like a stranger. Not only had he changed physically, he was now paralyzed, but he carried the stigma of “polio” and having a “Quarantined” sign on his front door.
At 16, Ed had to start his life and start making friends all over again. Plus, with the stigma of “polio” people were afraid of him and he looked so “different.” If the students could have seen him over “Skype” they would have seen him evolve, and gradually they would have adjusted to his new learning style and physical appearance. It would have been a learning experience for all of them.
It’s nice when students send get well cards, but including the student on Skype shows another dimension of caring.
BTW: home with Skype is the least restictive environment for this child at this time.
The new Technology Act will make other learning opportunities available for people of all ages. Who knows what the future may hold.
Any other tips for reframing embarrassing situations Stares into Stars? Any other uses of technology you would recommend? What would you want if you had to miss school for a long time?
Keep Climbing: Onward and Upward.
All the best,
I thought it was a fantastic idea to use Skype to keep them in the class and up to date with it. I like how they did that, it allows the children to know what is happening in class without being there since they can’t
There are so many options with the internet–we can only hope things will continue to get better and the new technology is even better 🙂
I love Ed’s attitude towards his situation. I think everyone can learn from him and try to “reframe” their attitude in a situation to make themselves feel more comfortable. I also think skype is a great tool. Many of my professors utilize skype for students who need extra help or miss classes.
Ed was the best, it was an honor to be with him. I learned a life lesson every time I was with him–plus, he had an amazing sense of humor. Just an amazing guy.
You will have to tell me more about how the profs are using Skype. Sounds interesting.
I think it is great that today we have so many resources that can help people stay connected especially when a circumstance like you mentioned happens. With all of this technology people labeled with disabilities will be able to keep in touch and in the instance of school, be able to keep up with their school work instead of getting far behind. Students will feel like they are being kept “in the loop.”
If for some reason a child has to be kept inside, having Skype will also give them a chance for a different view while still getting to see their teacher and fellow students. It may even be easier for a child to learn if they are physically seeing what is happening in the classroom instead of just reading it out of a book and trying to decode it themselves.
Technology really can make a difference. Keep looking around and I’ll bet you find even more ways to bring people together. Thanks for your comment Megan.
I think using skype to help the child is a great idea! I never would of thought about using it to help the children with disabilities. It is amazing to see that this new technology can help so many people. Since I am soon to become a teacher, I will keep this idea in mind. This is a great way to help them! Thanks for letting us know!
Sarah, you are right, it is a great time to have technology to help us stay connected and make new friends.
I just finished reading the article concerning the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley. I love the idea of Universal Design because of the way it includes people with disabilities without excluding anyone. What I am wondering is whether or not any one has heard of any other architectural movements across the nation that are implementing Universal Design.
It’s my understanding that Universal Design is being used in architecture all over the world. I know Wright State University has embraced it, with underground tunnels so people in wheelchairs and everyone else can get from one building to another without having to go outside. Pretty handy in snow and ugly weather.
Check out Patrick Schwartz and his universal design strategies for teaching.
I have been reading this blog and find more and more similarities between the subjects of your blog and myself. My understanding on disability and ability has been expanded thanks to this site and others like it. It is a shame more people do not read these inspirational stories.
Thank you and have a great day
Hi Kit, Welcome and thanks for your nice comments. Maybe you can help spread the word about Climbing Every Mountain. Share more about what you are doing. Also FYI, on the top left side of the homepage, there is a subscriber box where you will be notified each time a new post is added.
Ok Mary I’m stumped on the reframing stuff. I do however have a few thoughts onf the tech stuff though.
It does sound rather cool to use Skype(still not quite sure what it is)to help a student stay a part of his old world. The question I have is ” can technology be misused to avoid the real issues of integration and interdependence? Can it be used to hide the fact that we don’t have perfect children or adults?
Don’t get me wrong I like technology like screen enlarging software to make texts and pics easier to see. I’m just cynical enough to see how some tech might lead to the exact opposite of the goal of true inclusion.
Have a great day.
Reframing is a term from psychology that talks about looking at an event…from a different perspective, from another person’s point of view–like putting it in another picture frame. okay?
Certainly people can mess up anything. You’re right Gary, technology could be used for good or to keep people more distant and hurt the LRE rather than help.
Using Skype to keep a child integrated with a class is a fantastic idea! And pretty easy too. I love to hear about these ways that technology can help the disabled. I get a bit overwhelmed by technology myself so it’s wonderful to hear how they can add great value to people’s lives in ways I wouldn’t have thought of.