#CPChatNow Recap- 11-20-2019

A certain familiarity takes over Wednesdays for those who participate in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Wednesday, November 20th proved no different. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap.

In addition to our usual weekly chat, November 20th marked co-host Devin Axtman’s birthday. Although quite exhausted, long-time chat regular Hannah made sure to stop by to wish Devin a happy birthday.

Participants enjoy a certain sense of familiarity every Wednesday night.

Fellow long-time regular Blemi, along with Devin and I all responded mentioning we miss Hannah. Furthermore Blemi suggested, if possible, Hannah try acupuncture. Blemi discussed recently starting acupuncture and as a result enjoying more energy.

Besides renewed energy levels, Blemi discussed a second newfound discovery. Breaking Bad!

#CPChatNow participants discuss RJ Mitte's character on Breaking Bad.

Naturally the Breaking Bad discussion led to talk about RJ Mitte’s character, Walter White Jr. Blemi liked how the show incorporated cerebral palsy without making the condition a big deal. Her comments interested me since earlier this year I read Zach Anner’s book If At Birth You Don’t Succeed. Within Anner critiqued Breaking Bad, feeling the show did not develop the Walter White Jr. character enough. Personally, I hold no opinion because I never watched an episode.

The Breaking Bad conversation also left Devin remembering the time he met RJ Mitte at a school event. In-particular Devin recalled talking orthotics with Mitte.

Speaking of talking to a cerebral palsy celebrity, I brought up a known name who possesses ties to our community.

Zachary and Devin discuss Maysoon's recently released audiobook Find Another Dream.

Back on Thursday, October 31st Maysoon Zayid released her audiobook Find Another Dream. I asked if anyone read the book yet. Devin shared Find Another Dream remains next on his list.

In addition to Zayid’s book release, another current event arose during the night’s dialogue.

Zachary brings up the #DisorderedNotDrunk campaign.

AtaxiaUK’s #DisorderedNotDrunk campaign received a boost in attention when onlookers mistook Emmrdale actor James Moore’s cerebral palsy for drunkenness. The campaign asks people to share their stories about being mistaken for being drunk. I asked if anyone had a similar story. Grace said she had that happen all the time to her in college. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question “When was a time somebody mistook your cerebral palsy for drunkenness?”

Comment below to answer. Additionally post your answers to your various social media accounts. Remember to use the hashtag #DisorderedNotDrunk too.

While remembering hashtags, remember to use our hashtag “#CPChatNow” to join the fun on Twitter. #CPChatNow happens every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET.

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


This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "When was a time somebody mistook your cerebral palsy for drunkenness?"
Leave your answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-06-2019

Election Day in the United States came and went, but Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow maintained focus on issues. To tell you more I am #CPChatNow co-host Zachary Fenell. Like always, I will do that via your weekly recap.

Voting accessibility arose in conversation when I asked participants what their accessibility needs for voting are.

#CPChatNow participants discuss voting accessibility.

As my co-host Devin Axtman pointed out, accessibility at polling places is a huge problem. This left our own “Positivity Princess” Linds to ask if there were assistance signs outside where you can call for help. Devin answered yes, but still noted the problematic nature. Too many polling places are located in non-accessible buildings. You cannot help someone unable to enter the building.

Devin’s comments left me wondering how such buildings could be chosen as voting locations. Swiftly the dialogue transitioned to another important subject.

Voting accessibility conversation transitions to talk about the importance of representation.

Using a single hashtag Linds summarized the problem, #ThingsNoOneThinksAbout. Devin furthered her point, giving a real life example he recently experienced. His apartment built a new sidewalk out to the train station, but without a curb cut.

In my opinion Devin and Linds’ comments emphasizes the importance of representation. The decision making process needs to feature diverse voices. Such voices will ensure items like curb cuts no longer go overlooked.

Meanwhile on an encouraging note long-time chat regular Hannah gave a glowing review for her polling place.

Hannah was genuinely impressed with her polling place's accessibility.

Hannah stated her polling place’s accessibility genuinely impressed her. What about your voting experience? Keep the conversation going! Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How is the accessibility at your polling place?” Leave your response in the “Comments” section.

Maybe concerns over your polling place’s accessibility led you to speak out, teaching you to advocate for yourself. Similar learning moments highlighted our chat November 6th.

#CPChatNow participants share the moment they learned to advocate for themselves.
Hannah talks about the moment she learned to advocate for herself.

Moments when participants learned to advocate for themselves varied. Both Devin and long-time chat regular Blemi recalled their first real self-advocacy moments happening in high school. Linds remembered connecting with someone locally from Easter Seals and realizing she was already advocating for herself. Elsewhere Hannah learned to advocate for herself quite young, needing to persist that her bus driver drop her off at her house, not the end of the street.

If the highlights above intrigued you, consider joining the conversation live. Our Twitter chat takes place every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET. Simply include the hashtag “#CPChatNow” in your tweets. Anyone not on Twitter can enjoy our community by following our Facebook fan page and/or answering the weekly extend-the-conversation question. Again, this week’s question asks “How is the accessibility at your polling place?” Comment below with your answer.

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


This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "How is the accessibility at your polling place?"
Leave your answer in the “Comments.”

#CPChatNow- 10-30-2019

On the day before Halloween, #CPChatNow was busier than a chainsaw in a haunted house. Members talked about carving pumpkins and Halloween plans, inspiration porn, and naming mobility devices. This is #CPChatNow co-host, Devin Axtman taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

First, members discussed their plans for Halloween. Zach dressed up as a professional for Halloween.

Zach discussed dressing up in slacks and a dress shirt instead of his typical t-shirt, polo, or long sleeve shirt
A picture of Zach as a professional- zach in yellow dress shirt, brown tie, and black slacks with a brown belt

Next, I shared a story that has gone viral recently, a mom helping her son with Cerebral Palsy experience the skatepark and proclaimed that was better than inspiration porn

i tweeted the video of the mom helping her kid with cp skate at the skate park. Zach and blemi expressed excitement about the story with me saying it was better than inspiration porn

This led to talk about a common topic with disability, inspiration porn. This discussion was a bit different in that it talked about the definition of inspiration porn and how it fit into taking someone with a disability to prom.

Beau c asks if facebook posts inspiring someone are inspiration porn. I tweeted it depends on the intent of the post, who told the story, if it was actually inspiring
Beau C tweets he does not mind people saying him driving his wheelchair across a major highway is inspiring
blemi tweets to her inspiration porn comes from the media giving someone attention for asking someone to prom and feeling like they need to rescue someone. beau tweets they feel the person being asked to prom is in the moment. blemi tweets she feels the problem is people asking for the recognition

Finally, the talk turned to whether people have named their mobility aids. Zach tweeted he was thinking about naming his cane and Blemi tweeted that she is thinking about naming her canes:

zach asks whether people have named their mobility aids. zach tweeted he was thinking of planters since it reminds him of the cane the peanuts guy has. blemi tweets she has 3 canes and zach suggests she names them as a group

Zach wrote a blog about destigmatizing mobility devices and said he got tired of writing “my cane.” Jeni tweeted about naming her elbow crutch, but not naming her AFOs.

zach said he got tired of writing "my cane" while writing a blog about mobility aids. jeni tweeted she is going to let her niece name her elbow crutch, but she doesn't name her AFOs

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: Have you ever named your mobility device? Please share your answer in the comments and join us each Wednesday at 8 Eastern on #CPChatNow.