#CPChatNow Recap- 05-15-2019

Participants in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow proved anything but speechless Wednesday, May 15th, 2019. I am #CPChatNow co-host Zachary Fenell here to recap our community’s response to Speechless‘ cancellation. The subject remained the conversation’s main concentration throughout the night.

Once the topic emerged, I forwarded the extend-the-conversation question my co-host Devin Axtman originally asked in his recap for the May 8th, 2019 chat.

#CPChatNow participants discuss their favorite Speechless memories.

Devin’s had asked, “What is your favorite memory of Speechless?” Seth recalled the moment JJ met Lee, the character played by guest star Zach Anner. I praised that episode “R-U-N– RUNAWAY,” saying “that episode did wonders to show the importance of role models.” Personally though, my favorite Speechless memory differed.

Zachary and Ajani share their favorite memories of Speechless.

My favorite Speechless memory goes back to season one and the show calling out the “inspirational porn” perspective. I remembered thinking “They are going for it. Awesome!”

Meanwhile Ajani, a past guest star on the show, said his favorite memory dealt around the episode Ray tried playing basketball to win a girl. Ajani found the pain Ray went through to impress the girl believable. The more everyone talked favorite memories, the more additional memories surfaced.

Zachary and AJ continue discussing their favorite Speechless memories.

Seeing Ajani’s name made me think back to the episode he guest starred in, the season two finale “N-O– NOMINEE.” Specifically I loved the sequence involving getting JJ onstage to accept his award. Ajani commented he found that whole scene “like a page out of my life!” He proceeded to share details.

Ajani talks about how the Speechless season two finale was like "a page out of my life!"

Over the years Ajani found himself attending events at inaccessible venues. To get in Ajani relied on different people to lift him up steps. His story gave me flashbacks to a tale I heard my fellow #CPChatNow co-founders Handicap This! share before. Mike and Tim’s story entailed a multi-floor movie theater and perhaps the quickest elevator ever repaired!

Based off the abovementioned dialogue one can positively say Speechless created empathetic television. This fact raises the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “Share a Speechless scene you related to.” Do so via a comment in the “Comments” section.

Given Speechless‘ empathetic nature, there stands no surprise fans continue to actively try and save Speechless.

#CPChatNow participants discuss efforts to try and save Speechless.

One effort to save Speechless involves a change.org petition. If interested, you can sign here. Although ABC already passed on renewing Speechless, Ajani hopes the network will at least continue the series at their sister station, Freeform. Seth liked the idea, saying he wants to see a series about JJ in college on Freeform.

Regardless whether the attempts to resurrect Speechless works, a question sticks out to me.

#CPChatNow participants agree Speechless has been a success.

Curious I asked #CPChatNow if the efforts to revive Speechless go for not, would they consider the show’s run successful? Mainly I am thinking television’s future. Will Speechless influence other networks to feature shows with a prominent character who has a disability or will networks use Speechless‘ ratings as an excuse to dismiss similar shows? Nobody possessed a crystal ball to know for certain. However, participants did claim Speechless as a success.

#CPChatNow participants claim Speechless as a success for multiple reasons.

Ajani deemed the show successful, citing how Speechless wound up garnering a global reach. Paul absolutely considered the show a success, noting how “it was the first of it’s kind.” You might say Speechless holds status in television as a true pioneer! At the least, I said that!

Let us keep the Speechless conversation going at minimum one more week. Remember to answer the extend-the-conversation question, “Share a Speechless scene you related to.” Leave your answers in the comments below!

Then come by Twitter every Wednesday starting at 8pm ET to enjoy the live chat. Follow along with the hashtag “#CPChatNow.” Until then, remember. Do not blend in. Blend out!

– Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "Share a Speecless scene you related to."
Answer below in the “Comments” section!

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#CPChatNow Recap- 05-01-2019

Much like a variety pack, the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow offered quite the assortment Wednesday, May 1st, 2019. Rather than descriptive packaging though, you get me #CPChatNow co-host Zachary Fenell. I am here to recap the variation in discussion from our first May 2019 Twitter chat.

To start the dialogue, I asked participants what remained on their minds.

Participant Hailey tells about her plans to visit Amsterdam and more.

A familiar face to the chat Hailey surfaced to share her plans to visit Amsterdam. Additionally Hailey remained at work on meetings for her thesis. Factor in the five-hour time difference she now faces and you can easily understand her absence from #CPChatNow.

Another recognizable name stopped by the chat May 1st.

Jorge stops in and gives #CPChatNow a life update.

Soon to graduate Jorge popped in to give a life update. He mentioned competing in a Tough Mudder to round out his collegiate career. Meanwhile I told Jorge about my own competition coming up, a 10k for United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland’s Race to Empower.

Both a 10k and Tough Mudder offer their challenges. That leads to this week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How do you challenge yourself?” Leave your response in the “Comments.”

Challenges do not need to involve physical activity. As the chatter May 1st reminds us, various tasks can prove challenging.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the challenges of understanding scientific research.

For example, my co-host Devin Axtman and I each marveled at the intellectual challenges included in science. In-particular I theorized scientific vocabulary could intimidate. #CPChatNow’s resident scientist Timmy responded by saying “Then we failed as scientists when conveying our work to the general population.”

The entire science discussion emerged thanks to a potential focus chat idea. Stay tuned to our Twitter chat and our Facebook fan page for updates! Also remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How do you challenge yourself?”

Reply by commenting below! Then set a reminder to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter, starting at 8pm ET.

Until next time, remember. Do not blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How do you challenge  yourself?"
Respond in the comments!

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-17-2019

Assorted topics arose Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 during the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to meet all your recap needs. So allow me to get right into the action.

Long-time #CPChatNow regular Jen refused to let a storm threat stop her from joining in on the week’s fun. Actually the storm threat wound up stimulating conversation.

#CPChatNow participants discuss their least favorite parts of bad weather.

Based off Jen’s situation, I asked participants to name their least favorite parts about storms. Jen mentioned tornadoes and sirens. Meanwhile Seth said power outages remain his least favorite part. I noted the inconveniences power outages cause. My co-host Devin Axtman added insight, pointing out power outages create difficulties medication wise too.

Another conversational spark occurred when Devin asked if anyone has seen Netflix’s new TV show Special.

Special gave Molly an emotional reaction. She cried!
Based off Blemi's recommendation, Hannah and Devin intend to watch Special.

Molly said Special made her cry, meaning the show left an emotional impact on her. Blemi also enjoyed an emotional viewing experience, explaining how she identifies so much with Ryan’s character. Words leaving Devin to exclaim he will have to watch! Hannah additionally revealed her intentions to watch Special, putting the show on her things to watch list.

How about you? Answer for this week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Do you plan to watch Special? Why or why not?” Answer in the “Comments” section!

Speaking of plans, participants shared their upcoming Easter plans.

Hannah looks forward to coloring eggs for the first time in at least five years.

Blemi raised the subject, asking if anyone possessed big Easter plans. Hannah looked forward to coloring eggs for the first time in at least five years. Simultaneously, Grace revealed a unique Easter tradition her family partakes in.

Grace's family plays family trivia on Easter.

Oppose to an Easter egg hunt, Grace’s family plays family trivia. She pondered whether the tradition extends from her family seeking an accessible alternative to the more traditional Easter egg hunt. Either way, the trivia offers a fun time.

Perhaps your family enjoys their own unique holiday tradition. Join us on Twitter Wednesday evening starting at 8pm ET and share all about your tradition! Just remember to use the hashtag “#CPChatNow” in your tweet. Finally, also remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “Do you plan to watch Special? Why or why not?” Comment below!

Until next time, remember. Do not blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

Keep the conversation going! Answer, "Do you plan to watch Special? Why or why not?"
Answer by commenting below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-03-2019

Conversation remained buzzing Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 during the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to bring you the highlights the best way I know how. Your weekly recap!

Topics to discuss began arriving before the live chat even began at 8pm ET. Earlier in the week Sue Tonnesen included our hashtag in a tweet seeking podcast recommendations.

#CPChatNow participants offer their podcast recommendations.

#CPChatNow regular Seth recommended the Speechless podcast Zach Anner hosts. Meanwhile my co-host Devin Axtman highly recommended The Accessible Stall. Another topic which came up prior to Wednesday evening involved accessibility.

#CPChatNow participants discuss accessible travel.

CP and Me asked the question “Accessible transport, how is it for you?” Devin mentioned using an accessible taxi once in Chicago, comparing the experience to seeing a unicorn. Imagery meant to emphasize how difficult finding accessible taxis stands. I suggested an inability to schedule an accessible taxi in advance feeds into the availability problem to which Devin agreed.

Keeping the dialogue flowing into the night, Devin asked a question.

Devin asks #CPChatNow, "What improvements would you make for a Speechless season 4?"

Hypothetically assuming Speechless gets renewed, Devin asked what improvements people would make to the show. Seth expressed interest in seeing more adult themes. For example, have JJ join a frat.

Personally I would enjoy JJ encountering an inconsiderate jerk and needing to learn to find peace with having such jerks out there and being unable to educate them all. Hopefully the opportunity for either Seth or my scenario to play out happens. Stay tuned to the #CPChatNow Facebook fan page. We will surely post updates about whether Speechless receives a renewal.

Now though, let us return to recapping the April 3rd, 2019 #CPChatNow. A trending hashtag from earlier in the day inspired me to ask a question.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow "What would be your don't tell Mom that scenario?"

The aforementioned hashtag “#DontTellMomThat” left me asking participants to share their don’t tell Mom that scenario. Devin said his would be trying to walk on his own before physical therapy after a surgery. Interestingly enough my answer also entailed physical activity.

Zachary shares his #DontTellMomThat story.

I said not to tell Mom I started experimenting with taking the stairs in high school instead of taking the elevator like I was suppose to. What about you? Keep the conversation going by answering for the extend-the-conversation question, “What is your #DontTellMomThat story?”

Answer in the comments below! Then remember to join us on Twitter Wednesdays starting at 8pm ET.

Until next time, remember. Do not blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What is your #DontTellMomThat story?"

#CPChatNow Recap- 03-13-2019

Participants in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow discussed various subjects Wednesday, March 13th, 2019. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to provide some highlights via your weekly recap. Enjoy!

To get the conversation started I shared a video I found pretty cool.

Zachary and Seth share videos of people in wheelchairs doing backflips and double backflips.

The video features Katherine Beattie, the first woman to do a backflip in a wheelchair! Watch for yourself.

In response to the video, #CPChatNow regular Seth raised me another 360 degrees by linking to the world’s first double backflip in a wheelchair! Check that out too.

Both Katherine’s backflip and Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham’s double backflip remain impressive. Also looking to impress, long-time #CPChatNow regular Blemi turned to our community seeking ideas.

Zachary and Blemi discuss costume ideas for Blemi and her significant other.

Blemi and her significant other want to dress up for a Comicon type event they plan to attend. So Blemi asked about matching costumes ideas which would allow her to incorporate her cane. I fired up Google, hoping to help. Yet searching “female characters that use canes” proved not fruitful.

However, Blemi noted the costume does not need to be for a female character. Doing a search for “costumes with gold canes” I finally came up with a suggestion, The Riddler for Blemi and Two-Face or another Batman villain for her significant other. The suggestion intrigued them!

Another item which seemed to intrigue Blemi included the different Girl Scout cookies we have in the United States of America. This came up when I asked people about their favorite Girl Scout cookie.

#CPChatNow participants discuss their favorite Girl Scout cookies.

Ayden answered tagalongs. Meanwhile Blemi revealed in Canada they only get three choices: mint, chocolate, and vanilla. Therefore tagalongs and our other options appear rather exotic.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie?"
Leave your answer in the “Comments.”

With said new perspective in mind, answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question “What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie?”

Answer below! Then remind yourself to join the conversation every Wednesday on Twitter, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#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!

#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