#CPChatNow Recap- 02-27-2019

Happy March! In the United States this month receives distinction as Cerebral Palsy (Developmental Disabilities) Awareness Month. Prior to the occasion participants in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow gathered for one last February Twitter chat. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to tell you all about the discussion via your weekly recap!

While still February, our heads remained focus towards cerebral palsy awareness.

Zachary mentions the Faces of Cerebral Palsy Project, headed up by Cerebral Palsy Research Alliance Foundation.

To commemorate CP Awareness Month Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation has started an ongoing curation of photos featuring individuals with CP titled “The Faces of Cerebral Palsy.” Familiar face to the chat Jocelyn tipped me off to the project and I further shared with our community. Fill out the Faces of Cerebral Palsy form to submit your photos and story.

You will notice the form includes a few questions. One in-particular sparked dialogue within our chat February 27th.

The question in question asked “What do you wish people knew about cerebral palsy?” My co-host Devin Axtman replied, saying “that it’s (CP) different in everyone and not tragic. It doesn’t end at 18.”

Meanwhile I explained what gave me trouble in answering, saying in-part “I realized my answer would differ based off who the ‘people’ are?” Nonetheless I eventually settled upon a reply.

Zachary expresses what he wishes people knew about cerebral palsy.

I decided I wished people to know “a lot more is possible when you focus on combating particular symptoms rather than focusing on the general diagnosis.” Alternatively participant Veronica Hosking communicated a different wish.

Veronica and Zachary discuss the visibility of cerebral palsy.

Watching the UCP of Central Arizona’s telethon, Veronica reported a mother called noting the mother never heard about cerebral palsy until her daughter received the diagnosis. This left Veronica wishing more people with CP would talk about the condition. I suggested the issues stands less with people not talking about their CP, but instead the discussion taking place on niche platforms.

Adding to my comment I emphasized the importance behind a show like Speechless airing on a mainstream channel. Veronica and I agreed such representation proves huge!

Another area where disability representation could use a boost includes within the workforce. A fact supported by statistics participant Shira provided.

Shira comments about the lack of representation people with disabilities have within the workforce.

Research for school led Shira to learn only 37% of the disabled population that is of working age have jobs. Devin reasoned the poor numbers come down to attitudes and assumptions. Let us try to debunk these bad attitudes and assumptions using our extend-the-conversation question. Remixing the aforementioned alongside the Faces of Cerebral Palsy question previously recapped, we get the following query.

“What do you wish employers knew about cerebral palsy?”

Leave your reply in the comments section and keep the conversation going! Then mark your calendars to remind yourself to join us on Twitter every Wednesday starting at 8pm ET.

Until then, remember. Do not blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What do you wish employers knew about cerebral palsy?"
Reply in the comments!
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#CPChatNow Recap- 2-20-2019

This past week in #CPChatNow was buzzing as always. Members talked about how #DisabledPeopleAreHot, plans for CP Awareness Month, incompetent nurses, and controversy with Walmart and an employee with CP. This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

The hashtag #DisabledPeopleAreHot swept Twitter the past week. Many #CPChatNow members posted pictures for the hashtag. Here is a newcomer to #CPChatNow, Lionel Menchaca.

Lionel's #DisabledPeopleAreHot picture

March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness month. Zach asked if members had plans for the upcoming month. Veronica and Zach discuss upcoming CP awareness plans

Veronica Hosking talked about a phone bank for the local UCP and Zach talked about a team for the Race to Empower which is held in May due to Cleveland winters:

Hannah tweeted about her frustration of being in the hospital and her leg spasms triggering an alarm. A hospital tech asked a truly unbelievably incompetent question:

Hannah tweeted about a tech asking to predict her leg spasms so she doesn't trigger the bed alarm. Blemi and Devin tweeted how nice it would be to predict spasms.

Finally, #CPChatNow shared collective outrage at a change in Walmart policy which may cause a greeter with CP to lose his job:

Hannah passes along a tweet about a Walmart greeter with CP possibly losing his job due to a change in job description. I express disbelief an accommodation cannot be worked out

#CPChatNow members shared our frustrations with employment and attitudes of employees:

Hannah tweets the employment system is rigged. Hosking Poet shares they need to be reminded of EOE laws. Blemi shares she is glad she stopped shopping there and many greeters may be out of jobs.


This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: What is the worst thing a healthcare employee has said to you? Please join us each Wednesday at 8 Eastern on #CPChatNow.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What is the worst thing a healthcare employee has said to you?

-Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- 02-13-2019

Occasionally the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow encounters quieter nights. The February 13th, 2019 chat ended up as one such occasion. Nevertheless there still remained enough to highlight and package into your weekly recap. To do so I, co-host Zachary Fenell, am here.

Like previously mentioned, the evening started off slow.

Seth compares the activity in #CPChatNow to that of Sears.

After awhile #CPChatNow regular Seth joked that the chat felt emptier than a Sears. His comment brought out my co-host Devin Axtman. Devin admitted to thinking the day was Tuesday. Oops!

Someone who I knew would miss the chat included long-time regular Hannah. In fact Hannah asked I share a message from her.

As asked by Hannah, Zachary shares Hannah's regrets for needing to miss the night's chat.

Earlier in the day Hannah underwent surgery. Although she wanted to join the fun, she found herself too exhausted. Extremely understandable, if you ask me.

Therefore while waiting to see who else might stop by, Seth and I used the time to discuss a common interest beyond cerebral palsy.

While waiting for others to join #CPChatNow, Zachary and Seth discuss pro wrestling.

An ability to bond over topics besides cerebral palsy shows a deep connection within our community. For Seth and I we discussed professional wrestling. Major League Baseball (MLB) represents another non-related cerebral palsy common interest multiple people inside our community share.

When the chat began picking up, MLB discussion emerged. However, this time the dialogue held ties to cerebral palsy.

#CPChatNow participants give their thoughts on Major League Baseball renaming the "Disabled List" to "Injured List."

To confess, I brought up the MLB subject. Recent news coverage by ESPN’s Jeff Passan intrigued me. Passan reported the sports juggernaut renaming their “Disabled List,” the “Injured List.” Long-time regular Jen greeted the news without much enthusiasm.

Similarly, I personally never found the phrasing a problem. Yet I also cannot argue against MLB’s reasoning. Passan quoted a MLB memo explaining “The principal concern is that using the term ‘disabled’ for players who are injured supports the misconception that people with disabilities are injured and therefore are not able to participate or compete in sports.”

Devin agreed alongside my thoughts. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How do you feel about MLB renaming the disabled list, the injured list?” Answer in the “Comments.”

Elsewhere #CPChatNow co-host Jorge Otezia shared a different current news development.

Jorge linked to a press release announcing a merger between the Reaching for the Stars Foundation and The Cerebral Palsy Foundation. You can bet in the coming months we at #CPChatNow will keep you informed regarding the merger and the impact had throughout the cerebral palsy community. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for that.

Prior to going to Facebook to like our page, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How do you feel about MLB renaming the disabled list, the injured list?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How do you feel about MLB renaming the disabled list, the injured list?" Answer by commenting.
Answer in the “Comments.”

Answer below via a comment. Then go like our Facebook page. Finally, mark your calendar and come join #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday on Twitter, starting at 8pm ET.

Until then, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 2-6-2019

#CPChatNow included various different topics last Wednesday including: future employability, Valentine’s Day coming up, and even member’s favorite breakfast cereal. This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

First, Shira shared the memory of encountering a Deaf employee at the bowling alley and struggling to communicate with him. She raised an issue many people with disabilities fear, their future employability:

Zach and Shira talking about a memory at a bowling alley and how it relates to fears about future employability
Zach and Blemi chat about Valentine's Day being a forced holiday

Zach brought up Valentine’s Day and members shared various thoughts from extreme indifference to excitement. Blemi and Zach talked about the day sometimes being a forced holiday:

Finally, Zach and Paul talked about their favorite breakfast cereals:

Zach and Paul talk about breakfast cereals. Paul likes Count Chocula and Zach likes Cocco Puffs followed by Fruity Pebbles with a shout out to Trix for the best commercials.

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: Have you ever had fears related to your employability due to your disability?

Thanks for reading and join us each Wednesday at 8 Eastern on #CPChatNow on Twitter

#CPChatNow Recap: 1-30-2019

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow put on full display arguably their greatest virtue, community. At least I would make said argument and I am #CPChatNow co-founder and co-host Zachary Fenell. Seemingly I am not alone in this opinion either. After a rough week, long-time #CPChatNow regular Hannah Pike turned to the chat seeking a little normalcy.

Seeking a sense of normalcy, long-time participant Hannah turns to #CPChatNow.

Participants responded giving Hannah a welcoming reception. In-particular my co-host Devin Axtman asked Hannah if she received the penthouse suite treatment, a reference to last year’s Speechless Thanksgiving episode “C-E– CELEBRITY S-U– SUITE.”

Beyond the usual names, our community also welcomed a new member January 30th.

#CPChatNow participants welcome a newcomer, Sean.

Newcomer Sean decided to accept an invitation from #CPChatNow regular Shira to join the chat’s fun. Immediately Sean engrossed himself into the dialogue, asking participants to share their favorite portrayal of a person with CP in movies or TV. An effective conversation starter!

Besides opening our metaphorical arms to Sean, our community also warmly greeted a returning familiar face.

Familiar face Jorge Oteiza returns to #CPChatNow!

Jorge Oteiza managed to find the time within his busy schedule to drop by and say hi. A schedule that includes job hunting, finishing his last semester at college, and handling graduation thoughts.

New and familiar faces alike enjoyed each other’s company. We celebrated accomplishments.

Ciarán's handwriting skills continue to improve.

Ciarán shared his continual handwriting improvement. Progress Sean called “proof that persistence is key.” Persisting forward in our recap, additionally to toasting each other’s accomplishments, members in #CPChatNow supplied one another encouragement.

Recalling almost falling earlier in the day Shira commented about avoiding falling on her face, saying “Yay, me?” Both Sean and I reassured, yes indeed. Yay you! Sean reasoned getting away without a broken bone or chipped tooth equals a win over gravity.

Similarly I noted these small saves prevent serious harm. Therefore Shira deserves to feel proud. Surely we all experience such moments anyways. As the week’s extend-the-conversation question, share yours! Respond in the comments.

“Share your own ‘yay me’ moment.”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "Share your own 'Yay me' moment.

Let us celebrate our small victories together. Join our community live on Twitter every Wednesday starting at 8pm ET.

Until then, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap 1-23-2019

This past week in #CPChatNow was bustling as always. This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

First, we have to congratulate #CPChatNow member, Timmy Le, for getting accepted to a PhD program at the University of Massachusetts.

Timmy announces acceptance to a PhD program

Next, members talked about annoying aspects of having a disability like fixing your wheelchair or having to renew a permanent handicap parking placard

I talked about getting my chair fixed. Zach and Blemi talked about having to renew a prescription or pay for a placard

Various members talked about the positives and negative impacts of social media. Zach and I talked about negatives like getting addicted to “likes,” but also positives like having access to information you would not have like parents finding community.

Zach and I talked about getting addicted to "likes," but also having access to information you would not have like parents with a CP diagnosis.

Next, members talked about potential figures of speech that are offensive due to disability. Shira and Zach talked about the figure of speech “A leg to stand on”

Shira and Zach talked about the figure of speech "A leg to stand on" and wondered if it would be offensive

Finally, I shared my experience as a wheelchair user of people commonly worrying whether saying “Let’s walk over there” is offensive:

We tweeted about whether figures of speech were offensive. I shared many people worried whether the figure of speech "Let's walk over there" is offensive

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: Do you feel social media is a net negative or positive in your life?

This week's extend-the-conversation question  asks "Do you feel social media is a net negative or positive in your life?"

Please share your answers in the comments and join us each Wednesday on #CPChatNow on Twitter at 8 Eastern.

-Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- 1-16-2019

Participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow adopted a problem solving attitude Wednesday, January 16th, 2019. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to package that advantageous mindset into your weekly recap. One troubling issue community members offered solutions to involved how to cheer up when your body’s limits get you down.

CPChatNow participant Shira seeks advice for cheering up when body limits get you down.Regular participant Shira raised this subject, asking our community “What do you do to cheer up when the limits of your body get you down?” Long-time regular Blemi said she lets herself feel down for about an hour before saying “F’ it” and moving on. She also mentioned eating chocolate cake.

Meanwhile Linds, known within our community as The Positivity Princess, advised Shira to focus on the positive. Elsewhere my co-host Devin Axtman provided a contrasting tip.

To cheer up Devin does an activity which frees up his mind.Oppose to focusing on anything, Devin totally frees his mind by doing something that does not require him to think, watching pro wrestling. Other community members mentioned additional entertainment outlets.

Hannah and Zachary cheer up by respectively listening to music and watching comedy.Well documented music lover Hannah Pike listens to her favorite song on repeat to cheer up. Personally, I think about or watch my favorite comedy sketches. Sometimes too I use my imagination, taking favorite movie lines and putting them out of context. Essentially, I try to get myself to laugh.

What about you? I am appointing Shira’s question the week’s extend-the-conversation question. Answer “What do you do to cheer up when the limits of your body get you down?” Reply in the “Comments” section!

Another problematic topic our community discussed neutralizing during the January 16th Twitter chat included avoiding letting winter bum us out.

Linds gives advice for staying positive in the winter months.Since Linds brought up the subject, I asked her how she prevents winter from getting her down. I possessed curiosity because winter challenges me. Conditions decrease my ability to walk places, costing me some independence. Linds credited her walker for helping to improve her mobility throughout the season. Her response left me contemplating whether I should use my cane more this time a year.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What do you do to cheer up when the limits of your body get you down?"

Leave your answer in the “Comments” section!

Speaking of topics to contemplate, remember to contemplate and answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you do to cheer up when the limits of your body get you down?” Respond below in the “Comments” section. Then plan to join us on Twitter each and every Wednesday starting at 8pm ET.

Until then, remember. Do not blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary