#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- 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: 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- 1-16-2019

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

 

 

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-26-2018

One night removed from Christmas, individuals in the cerebral palsy community gathered for the last 2018 #CPChatNow live Twitter chat. Holidays remained a forefront concentration too, as you will see reading this recap. A recap gifted to you by yours truly, co-host Zachary Fenell.

Initial conversation revolved around Christmas gifts participants received the previous day.

Jen received too many great Christmas gifts to name just one favorite.When asked about naming favorite gifts received, long-time chat regular Jen could not name just one. Between Stranger Things seasons one and two, her Doug the pugs, and new iPad Jen encountered a tough call. Meanwhile chat regular Seth and my co-host Devin Axtman expressed clear favorites.

Seth's favorite gift came from one of his aides.Devin's favorite gift received was an ugly Christmas sweater.Seth’s aide gave him $100 on betonline, an online poker/sports betting site. Fun! Devin also received a fun gift, an ugly North Dakota State Christmas sweater. Eventually the dialogue transitioned past Christmas to New Year’s.

#CPChatNow participants reflect back on their 2018s.

Personally, New Year’s always puts me in the mood to reflect. Therefore I asked participants to share some positives from their last 12 months. Another long-time regular Hannah recalled making the most of the good moments. Hannah experienced relentless health concerns throughout 2018, so enjoying the good occasions became extra important.

Additionally, Devin responded saying 2018 brought him growth both personally and professionally. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What were positives for you in 2018?” Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

Expanding beyond our personal 2018s, we furthermore explored 2018 relating to the overall cerebral palsy community.

Devin and Zachary discuss the positives 2018 brought the general cerebral palsy community.Answering the question “What were positives for the CP community in 2018?” Devin named the continued media presence with Speechless and Maysoon’s project. That latter project refers to Can-Can, a sitcom starring actor, comedian, and past #CPChatNow participant Maysoon Zayid. In late 2018 ABC ordered a Can-Can pilot.

Can-Can possesses exciting possibilities. Same applies to Speechless perchance the show gets picked up again in 2019.

Zachary hopes Speechless will get a fourth season.Speechless getting renewed for season three stood out to me as a 2018 positive for the CP community. Now I am hoping a fourth season will get the green light in 2019. Much potential exists story wise regarding JJ heading off to college. Devin noted he could even consult on JJ’s accommodations scenes! My co-host’s work history gives him the credentials. You never know, right?

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What were positives for you in 2018?"Depending upon what happens with Speechless and Can-Can, 2019 could get incredibly exciting for the CP community. Yet before we commit ourselves to the year ahead, let us take a final moment to remember 2018. Answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What were positives for you in 2018?” 

Respond below! Then make a New Year resolution to join us on Twitter every Wednesday at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-12-2018

Participants in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow discussed various topics Wednesday, December 12th, 2018. As co-host I am tasked to neatly summarize all the different discussion into your weekly recap. Wish me luck!

“Good luck Zachary!”

Thank you! The extend-the-conversation question from the previous week’s recap stimulated early dialogue December 12th.

Participants in the #CPChatNow community discuss what they would make the theme song for their life with cerebral palsy.My co-host Devin Axtman originally posed the question during the December 5th recap. “What is the theme song of your life with cerebral palsy?” Blemi answered “She Moves in Mysterious Ways” by U2 while Devin himself responded “Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty. Seth’s response meanwhile left him and I bonding.

Seth says the theme for his life with cerebral palsy would be "Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls.Seth replied “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls. Personally I love that song. As I explained in the chat the lyrics “I don’t want the world to see me because I don’t think they will understand” strongly resonated with how I felt back in my timid days. Seth noted feeling the same way.

Continuing to provide a spark kindling chatter Devin raised another question.

Devin asked participants to share CP related holiday traditions.Devin asked whether anyone has CP related holiday traditions. He then named his. Devin’s family hangs the cabbage patch outfit Devin wore his first Christmas on their tree. Jeni Briere sympathized, recalling her older sister getting upset when their parents “stole” the sister’s cabbage patch kids clothes for Jeni to wear.

Simultaneously in answering Devin’s question I explored a separate aspect to holiday traditions.

Zachary turns the holiday discussion to accessibility.Diverting a little from the original query, I named Christmas Eve dinners at Grandma’s house as my favorite holiday tradition. Although not directly CP related, I explained Grandma’s home remained largely accessible helping to create an enjoyable environment. Devin especially empathized alongside one factor I mentioned, needing a table to eat. A need not all participants shared though!

Hannah says she does not need a table to eat at.Hannah vocalized she prefers not eating at a table, a preference she reasons extends back to rarely doing so when growing up. No matter your dining setting preferences, everyone could probably agree the holidays can represent a stressful time. Stress eventually rose to the conversation’s forefront.Zachary asks #CPChatNow participants how they avoid over exerting themselves. I asked how individuals keep themselves from over exerting themselves. Grace admitted she does not. Rather she counts on someone else to help keep her in check. Otherwise she will work herself to death or at least fall and/or encounter pain flares. Experiences I resonate with, mentioning I know I need to take a step back and refocus when my movements get extra sloppy.

What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What signs indicate you are over exerting yourself?” Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

Recognizing these signs stand vital. They allow you to better understand your limits, a subject Hannah knows too well.

Zachary and Hannah discuss the importance of knowing your limits.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What signs indicate you are over exerting yourself?"

Leave your answer in the comments!

Similar to Grace, Hannah confessed to lacking balance within her life. Serious health complications the disruption in Hannah’s situation. Hannah named learning she can’t push past her body’s limits stood the hardest lesson. Familiarizing yourself with how your body tells you “Enough” stays vital to avoid over exertion. So again answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What signs indicate you are over exerting yourself?”

Reply below in the “Comments.” Then remember to join #CPChatNow every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

 

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-21-2018

Before participants in the CPChatNow community gathered with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving, they assembled for the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, November 21st, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to reminisce about the November 21st, 2018 chat the best way I know how. Your weekly recap!

Thanksgiving emerged as an early discussion topic thanks to my co-host Devin Axtman.

#CPChatNow community members discuss their favorite Thanksgiving foods.Devin asked people to share their favorite Thanksgiving food, naming pumpkin pie as his. Both Timmy and I experienced difficulty picking just one! Hannah meanwhile said mashed potatoes are her favorite, although this year Hannah looked forward to a special gluten free peanut butter cake her grandma made.

Aware not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving in November, I asked a question.

How the Canadian calendar lists American Thanksgiving.

On American calendars Canada’s Thanksgiving gets marked as “Canadian Thanksgiving.” I wondered if on Canadian calendars if they listed our Thanksgiving as “American Thanksgiving.” Timmy seconded my curiosity saying “Please tell us!” Heather DeYoe dropped in later to inform us Canadian calendars lists the day as “American Thanksgiving.”

Keeping to a Thanksgiving theme, we also discussed Thanksgiving family traditions.

Devin's family watches Christmas Vacation as a Thanksgiving tradition.Timmy's family Thanksgiving traditions are to eat, sleep, and repeat.

Devin shared his family watches Christmas Vacation on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile Timmy’s Thanksgiving tradition sounded quite enjoyable. He eats, naps, and repeats. I however need to patiently wait until Black Friday to eat. Since my mother works in retail, eating Thanksgiving dinner on Black Friday has become the Fenell family tradition.

Still I find Thanksgiving Day a reminder to show gratitude, which led to the next question.

Hannah is thankful to have survived 2018, even if that sounds cliche. I asked participants to share a 2018 accomplishment that they are thankful for. Hannah simply said surviving, given the difficult year she faced. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is one accomplishment from 2018 you are thankful for?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What is one 2018 accomplishment you feel thankful for?"Leave your answers in the “Comments” section below. Then come join the conversation LIVE Wednesday nights on Twitter, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary