#CPChatNow Recap- 8-23-17

#CPChatNow was bustling as always this past week as members discussed moving, marathon training, and perceptions of disability.  This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along on this week’s ride.

The chat included some members sharing some exciting news in the disability world.  I shared a cool story from Canada about a woman with CP repelling down a skyscraper to raise money for charity:

Next, Dave shared some news about an exoskeleton helping people with CP with movement.  Technology continues to offer exciting advancements for people with disabilities!

Dave tweeting about a freaking amazing exoskeleton. He shares that working out power will be a gamechanger

Jen shared this was the last #CPChatNow in the house she grew up in and her feelings surrounding the move.

Jen discussing her upcoming move and the bittersweet feelings surrounding it

Next Zach talked about how his October 8th marathon was drawing closer and the organizers have agreed to allow him to have an early start as an accommodation for his CP:

Zach discussing his October 8th marathon and the 31 training days to go. He states he has 31 training days left

Finally, talk turned to the perception of disability in society.  This was started by Zach as he stated that he did not like to take off his shoes during gym class because people would ask him about his DAFOs.  Elizabeth jumped in to the discussion with a question that spurred more discussion about the perception of disability in society largely being something that is to be ashamed of.

A discussion of gym class, DAFOs, adulthood, and disability perceptions in society

For our Extend-The-Conversation question this week, I will use the theme of changing perceptions in the transition to adulthood.  What personal perceptions about disability have changed as you entered adulthood?

Tweet you later!

Devin

A sunset with a desert formation on the horizon. The Extend-The-Conversation Question of What Personal Perceptions of Disability Have Changed As You Entered Adulthood? A white #CPChatNow logo on the bottom

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#CPChatNow Recap- Accessible Gaming Focus Chat

Representatives for the 501(c)(3) charity AbleGamers joined the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, August 9th, 2017. We  welcomed guests Steven Spohn (COO) and Craig Kaufman (Program Director) as they led us in a focus chat about accessible gaming. Personally for me, #CPChatNow co-host Zachary Fenell, the evening proved extra neat because I actually went to junior high and high school with Craig. However, I am sure you could care less about that! So let us get to what does interest you, accessible gaming!

An open-ended Q & A stimulated the night’s dialogue. I started off the questioning, asking how Steven and Craig became interested in accessible gaming.

Craig explains what interested him in accessible gaming.

Steven Spohn shares how he became interested in accessible gaming.Craig’s accessible gaming interest grew from helping a customer with a TBI (traumatic brain injury). Meanwhile Steven faced issues firsthand dealing with his disability muscular dystrophy. Discussion quickly transitioned to overcoming barriers gamers with cerebral palsy encounter. Steven recommended a particular controller.

Steven often recommends people with CP use an accessible controller called Axis. Almost immediately after Steven suggested using Axis questions regarding system compatibility surfaced. Steven replied in-part “Almost every controller is usable with other systems. The only exception unfortunately is Nintendo.” Additionally Steven mentioned specific system accessible controllers exist too, naming his personal favorite.

One of Steven's favorite accessible controllers is the one-handed Playstation controller. The different controllers Steven named intrigued community regular Alena Brand. She asked if a website exists where you can compare these different controllers. Steven revealed AbleGamers remains at work creating such a resource. Although they worry people will buy controllers that end up not working. A concern AbleGamers minimizes through a no charge exchange policy.

Taking a step back and reflecting, all the various accessible gaming options demonstrates the great strides in accessibility made by the gaming industry. A truth put into context courtesy participant Seth’s gaming memories.  Seth recalls playing Atari with his feet.Seth recalled sitting in his walker playing Atari using his feet! Now, like Craig pointed out, some game developers address accessibility internally via control schemes.

Craig notes games like Mario Kart and Fonza have some cool accessibility options within the control schemes.Also, Craig advised considering PC games. He noted some games you only need a mouse to play.

Craig notes a lot of PC games only require a mouse to play. Chat regular Susanne Brasset provided a testimonial to Craig’s suggestion, fondly recalling the ease she enjoyed playing Everquest.

Susanne and Craig praise Everquest for ease of play and commitment to the disability community.Overall the entire accessible gaming focus chat highlighted many technologies the disability community can use to make gaming a more accessible experience. Therefore what a better extend-the-conversation question to ask than, “What technology do you use to help make gaming an accessible experience for you?”

Reply by commenting in the “Comments” section. Perchance this recap increased your thirst towards exploring accessible gaming options, take Craig up on his offer to answer any questions.

Craig encourages anyone with questions about accessible gaming to contact him.Make sure to tweet Craig any lingering questions you might possess. Plus while along your accessible gaming journey discovering what works best for you, remember the following words Steven tweeted.

If you remember one tweet from #CPChatNow's accessible gaming focus let it be Steven's tweet "You can play anything you want to, with the right combination of technology and stubborness.Whatever serves as that right combination of technology for you, do tell. Answer the extend-the-conversation question.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What technology do you use to help make gaming an accessible experience for you?"“What technology do you use to help make gaming an accessible experience for you?”

Comment below and share!

Until next time,

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 8-2-2017

This past week in #CPChatNow brought up varied topics as always.  Members discussed issues with healthcare professionals, breaking in athletic shoes, and our Focus Chat next week on accessible gaming with AbleGamers!  This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride.

A common theme this week was discussion of member’s distrust of healthcare professionals.  Rachel expressed frustration that medical professionals do not want to discuss Cerebral Palsy, but they are happy to treat the symptoms of CP.

Devin tweets about how doctors blame CP for stuff while Rachel tweets that professionals rarely discuss her CP and just treat symptoms

Rachel further expressed her frustrations with medical professionals predictions being wrong about her abilities.

Rachel expressing frustration about ways medical experts have been wrong about her ability

Next, talk turned to stupid questions asked by doctors when Hannah chimed in with a stunning question from a doctor.

Zach tweeted about stupid questions asked by your doctor. Hannah said she had a doctor ask if she still had CP. Rachel pointed out this is like a Speechless scene

Zach also expressed frustration about breaking in his new athletic shoes. Rachel pointed out this has been issue for her, but she has gotten relief from inverts and a new masseuse.

Zach expressed frustration it has taken awhile to break in new athletic shoes. Rachel pointed out this takes 6 weeks, but she has gotten relief from inverts and a new massuese

Members discussed issues they experienced with extreme temperatures.  Zach also shared he set a personal best in a 5K as he works towards completing a full marathon.

Blemi then discussed difficulties her body experiences during extreme cold.  Rachel shared she also has difficulties with extreme cold.  Zach shared some happy news that he had just set his personal best in a 5K.

Finally, #CPChatNow is incredibly excited to announce that our next Focus Chat will be next Wednesday, August 9th, with the folks behind AbleGamers. AbleGamers is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit public charity that aims to improve the overall quality of life for those with disabilities through the power of video games.  Craig also reached out to Rachel after she expressed frustration surrounding video games.

Zach announced the AbleGamers Focus Chat for August 9th, Rachel expressed frustration with video games, Craig from AbleGamers reached out to her to offer assistance.

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question and it ties in to next week’s Focus Chat: What are difficulties you have experienced surrounding CP and gaming? Please share your answers in the comments.  Also, don’t forgot to join us for our Focus Chat next week! A black background with the extend-the-conversation question What are difficulties you have experienced surrounding CP and gaming? in gray text with gaming in all caps. #CPChatNow white logo in bottom left hand corner

Tweet you later!

-Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- Writing a Cerebral Palsy Book/Memoir Focus Chat

Writing a cerebral palsy book or memoir remained the subject for #CPChatNow Wednesday, July 26th, 2017. Yours truly, co-host Zachary Fenell, enjoyed the pleasure to lead the focus chat. I prepared seven discussion questions based off my experiences writing and publishing my CP memoir Off Balanced. However I proved not the only author around to chat July 26th.

Author of Someone Like Me: An Unlikely Story of Challenge and Triumph Over Cerebral Palsy John W. Quinn offers to add his insights to #CPChatNow's "Writing a Cerebral Palsy Book/Memoir" focus chat.Yes! Fellow #CPChatNow co-founder and author to the cerebral palsy memoir Someone Like Me: An Unlikely Story of Challenge and Triumph Over Cerebral Palsy John W. Quinn offered to add his insights to the chat! Fitting since his name came up anyways after I asked the first question.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow participants about what CP books stand out to them.Now I prefaced the question, explaining the importance behind knowing similar books already published. That way you can try emulating the attributes which worked for other authors. In her response to the first question regular Shira Sadiky complimented my memoir, calling Off Balanced “relatable.” I noted I felt the same relation reading Someone Like Me. Co-host Devin Axtman also praised John Quinn‘s work.

Devin Axtman shares Someone Like Me sticks out to him.Meanwhile long-time regular Alena Brand named a trait she enjoys in cerebral palsy themed books.

Alena Brand enjoys disability memoirs that maintain positive outlooks.

Opposed to naming specific titles, Alena mentioned enjoying disability memoirs featuring positive vibes. Other books brought up included Geri Jewell’s I’m Walking as Straight as I Can and Bonner Paddock’s One More Step. Perhaps another title stands out to you. Speak up by answering for the week’s extend-the-conversation question “Do any particular cerebral palsy books stand out to you? Why?” Respond in the “Comments” section.

Continuing on, the night’s second question addressed motive behind writing a book.

Zachary Fenell gets #CPChatNow participants to think like a writer and reflect on why you would write a memoir.

Shira raised two potential motivations. Share your experiences others could relate to and/or learn from others. I resonated with the second, commenting I like reading memoirs from those with more severe cerebral palsy. Remarks Alena made also spoke to the learning theme.

Alena aspires to write a memoir in order to have people understand how she lives.Alena plans to write a book to educate others on how she lives. Yet not everyone possessed author aspirations.

Devin doesn't think his life is different enough to write a book.Devin expressed doubt he lives differently enough to warrant writing a book. I pointed out he could target able-bodied readers to show a disability does not make someone so different. Every story contains value. Sometimes you just need to find the right perspective.

The above holds true with regards to the writing process too. Penning a manuscript can seem intimidating. John supplied another way to view the task.

John Quinn didn't think of himself as writing a book but instead he focused simply on telling stories.John recommended concentrating on telling stories opposed to writing a book. He added practical advice to help enter said mindset.

John suggests not worrying about grammar or anything. Rather "Just write. Edit later."A later question transitioned the conversation from the writing process to the publishing and marketing aspect.

Question five transitioned from the writing process to publishing and marketing, asking "How can a blog help transition you to publishing a book?" Jen postulated bloggers could assist spreading word about your book. Truth based off my time marketing Off Balanced! The dialogue proceeded to discuss marketing specifics. Much I learned reading a certain book.

Zachary recommends aspiring authors read Publishing & Marketing Realities for the Emerging Author by Christine Rose.Seriously, most I know about the publishing process I learned reading Publishing and Marketing Realities for the Emerging Author by Christine Rose. For aspiring authors if you take one tidbit away from this recap, make that read Publishing and Marketing Realities for the Emerging Author.

Book lovers, hopefully you too enjoyed reading the “Writing a Cerebral Palsy Memoir/Book” focus chat recap. Perhaps the chat introduced you to a CP book you didn’t know about previously. Or, maybe you can suggest a book not discussed. Remember the extend-the-conversation question.

Answer in the "Comments" section, "Do any particular cerebral palsy books stand out to you? Why?"“Do any particular cerebral palsy books stand out to you? Why?”

Respond by commenting below!

Talk with you later,

-Zachary