#CPChatNow Recap- 10-11-2017

Celebratory vibes pulsed through the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, October 11th, 2017. I am co-host Zachary Fenell and I am here to recap the congratulatory messages and laughter. Admittedly the night failed to start on an uplifting note. Participants remained emotionally drained from difficult weeks. They hoped others possessed better moods. A hope I could fulfill.

Zachary Fenell takes #CPChatNow into an uplifting mood with news he successfully completed the Towpath Marathon the previous Sunday (October 8th 2017)

Finishing the Towpath Marathon’s entire 26.2-mile course the previous Sunday (October 8th, 2017) left me entering the chat still maintaining positive momentum. The congratulations given by the #CPChatNow community continued the cheerful feedback I received since October 8th. Many people knew my story heading into the marathon due to a news article published in Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow participants for their thoughts on The Plain Dealer article covering his unreasonable marathon journey.After jokingly hassling me for my self-centered focus, Susanne Kate Brasset gave her approval on the piece. Susanne specifically liked my point calling normal a myth. Take a read yourself and form your own opinion, “A Man, His Cane, and 26.2 ‘Unreasonable’ Miles to Prove His Own Doubts Wrong.”

Meanwhile my co-host Devin Axtman expressed interest in the details relating to my near 12-hour walk.

Devin asks Zachary if he took any breaks during the marathon and what he ate throughout the day.Particularly Devin wondered what I ate and if I took any breaks. Enough marathon talk nonetheless! We discussed other subjects too! In fact I announced our October focus chat guest. One #CPChatNow co-founder and original co-host Handicap This! piped up to call a “great get.”

Dr. Karen Pape receives praise from original #CPChatNow co-founder Handicap This!Current co-host Jorge Oteiza played a vital role in scheduling the Dr. Karen Pape focus chat. Dr. Pape possesses an incredible reputation as a groundbreaking and innovating clinical neuroscientist. We excitedly welcome her to #CPChatNow.

While groundbreaking and innovating work in the medical field stands important, do not forget the basics. The cliche “laughter is the best medicine” comes to mind. Laughter’s value emerged a hot topic Wednesday, October 11th.

The #CPChatNow community discusses the merits of laughter.Like Susanne states, laughter emits much positive energy. Perhaps you rely on a certain joke to get you laughing amidst rough times. Tell us that joke by answering the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

Answer this week's extend-the-conversation question, "What is your go-to joke you tell yourself when you need to laugh?"“What is your go-to joke you tell yourself when you need to laugh?” 

Share by commenting below. I’m ready to begin laughing hysterically.

Until next time #CPChatNow!

-Zachary

 

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#CPChatNow Recap- 09-27-2017

Another month in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow’s history came to a close Wednesday, September 27th, 2017. I am original #CPChatNow co-founder and current co-host Zachary Fenell, here with highlights for all. You know what I am talking about, recap time!

Familiar faces returning gave the night a reunion-like feel. First, past participant Timmy Le popped in.

A familiar face to long-time CPChatNow regulars found time for the September 27th Twitter chat, Timmy Le! Unfortunately, at the start “everyone” only included Jen and myself. However with time, more individuals started showing up.

Co-host Devin Axtman apologizes for his tardiness, mentioning a rough March. Yes, March!My co-host Devin Axtman apologized for his tardiness, citing a tough March! Devin quickly realized his misspeak.

Devin quickly catches his misspeak.Regular Hannah Pike noted forgetting the month signifies a long month. I jokingly theorized the mix-up related to cerebral palsy awareness initiatives. The United States acknowledges March as CP Awareness Month. Meanwhile an international awareness initiative, World CP Day, remains days away!

A short while later another name from CPChatNow’s past re-surfaced.

Kate takes a study break from nursing school to re-surface in CPChatNow.Kate found time in her busy nursing school schedule to check in with us at #CPChatNow. Devin expressed admiration towards Kate’s desire to go into nursing. The course load proves challenging in general, let alone with the additional obstacles cerebral palsy may cause.

Potential cerebral palsy caused obstacles also came up regarding interacting with children. Recently becoming an uncle, I possessed curiosity about others with nieces or nephews and how CP impacts their abilities as an aunt or uncle.

Zachary asks if having CP hinders anyone's abilities to be an aunt or uncle.Susanne Kate Brasset responded, mentioning kids’ ability to adapt. Sentiments Jocelyn supported, talking about her niece and nephew.

Jocelyn recalls a recent conversation she had with her seven-year old niece about disability.Jocelyn talks more about her niece and nephew, noting her four-year old nephew warned her about a railing issue.The stories Jocelyn shared about her niece and nephew displayed children’s willingness to learn and their thoughtfulness. Maybe you hold insights helpful to the subject. Keep the conversation going then!

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "Have you found cerebral palsy hinders your ability to be an aunt or uncle at all?" Leave your reply in the "Comments" section.Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Have you found cerebral palsy hinders your ability to be an aunt or uncle at all?”

Leave your reply by commenting below. Until next time!

-Zachary

 

#CPChatNow Recap- 09-13-2017

Disability’s presence on the big and small screen proved a popular topic during the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, September 13th, 2017. Here to provide you some highlights circa the weekly recap, I am co-host Zachary Fenell. So just like you might at the movie theater sit back, relax, and enjoy.

As per our usual, #CPChatNow opened with participants sending each other greetings and pleasantries. Long-time regular Hannah Pike metaphorically called “action,” directing the conversation to the previously mentioned topic.

Long-time #CPChatNow regular Hannah Pike turns the conversation to acting and disabilities sharing an article she recently read.Personally I found the read thought provoking. You can form your own judgements reading the Deadline piece “Actors with Disabilities Find Little Work in TV, But CBS & FOX Lead the Way in Hiring.”  Hannah and I agreed discussing the issue remains important. I pointed out how seeing someone you can identify with on the small screen may boost self-esteem. That leads to today’s extend-the-conversation question.

“Has there been a certain movie or TV character who helped you see disability differently?” Answer in the “Comments” section. Meanwhile you might notice the piece Hannah tweeted exclusively addressed disability on TV. Talk additionally transitioned to movies courtesy another long-time regular, Blemi.

Another long-time #CPChatNow regular Blemi recalls seeing a movie trailer recently which angered her.She recalled seeing a movie trailer for the film Stronger and cringing. My co-host Devin Axtman believed he reacted similarly when he saw the trailer. However, upon me finding the trailer and posting he recanted.

The #CPChatNow community goes in-depth discussing the Stronger movie trailer.Devin explained the trailer differed from what he originally thought. Further dialogue pursued while we tried understanding our differing opinions. Amidst the chatter Devin noted he enjoyed the way the trailer portrays adjusting to disabled life as non-static. All the movie discussion left veteran participant Jen asking about a separate disability related trailer.

Jen asks #CPChatNow about who has seen the trailer for Jeremy the Dud. We all seemed to find the Jeremy the Dud trailer hilarious. Beyond the movie and TV talk, Devin also announced our September 2017 Google Hangout date.

#CPChatNow will hold their September 2017 Google Hanout Thursday, September 21st. Every month we hold a video chat via Google Hangouts. For privacy reasons we do not post the Hangout link publicly. If you want to join us, please send us a message through our Facebook fan page. Devin, our co-host Jorge Oteiza, or myself will respond to you.

Answer this week's extend-the-conversation question in the "Comments" section, "Has there been a certain movie or TV character who helped you see disability differently?"Mentioning responses, remember to respond to the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

“Has there been a certain movie or TV character who helped you see disability differently?”

Reply below! I hope to speak with you again soon.

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 08-30-2017

During #CPChatNow Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 participants discussed assorted topics. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here with some highlights. Like usual these come packaged together via the weekly recap.

One characteristic which the recaps seem to showcase entails our community’s ability to empathize with each other. Prior to joining #CPChatNow many never talked to someone else with cerebral palsy before. Chatting with a peer who understands can feel dreamlike. Thanks to regular Hamda, we at #CPChatNow may now credibly boast about our dreamy status.

Participant Hamda dreamed of #CPChatNow community members gathering in-person for a picnic.Hamda shared a dream she enjoyed where our community gathered in-person at a park. Such a gathering would prove absolutely wonderful! Arranging said event in reality though requires navigating multiple logistics.

Our community remains spread out across the United States and internationally too. Plus we possess busy schedules, especially since school recently started back up for our young adults. Back to school actually generated much dialogue August 30th.

Shira's comments about being back at school causes Blemi to reflect on her school days.Community regular Shira Sadiky mentioned starting back at school earlier that day. This caused Blemi to reflect on her school years. Their conversation expanded with other participants also reminiscing. Eventually the chatter turned to more serious matters, the devastation Hurricane Harvey caused.

Susanne asks if anyone in CPChatNow was impacted by Hurricane Harvey.Susanne Kate Brasset asked if Hurricane Harvey impacted anyone in our community. Thankfully nobody experienced direct consequences. However both Susanne and co-host Devin Axtman know friends and family directly effected.

Personally I saw the topic as an opportunity to raise an important subject, emergency preparedness.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow community members how prepared they are for an emergency.Responses to the emergency preparedness question stood mixed. Susanne’s time with the Girl Scouts left her more than ready in case an emergency surfaces. Meanwhile Devin admitted to never contemplating the matter. I am willing to wager most people’s answers would resemble Devin’s reply.

Honestly I only thought about emergency preparedness thanks to a past work assignment. When I worked as Handicap This Productions’ Guest Blog Coordinator I connected them with disability advocate Anita Cameron. Her post became a three-part series detailing step by step how to prepare for an emergency.

Zachary links to Anita Cameron's emergency preparedness guest post for Handicap This Productions..I highly recommend reading. Take a look, “Emergency Preparedness- A Common Sense Measure for the Disability Community.” The read will help you answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question!

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What is one thing you can do today to prepare for an emergency?" Reply in the "Comments" section.“What is one thing you can do today to prepare for an emergency?”

Respond below in the “Comments.” Thanks for reading. Remember you can partake in #CPChatNow every Wednesday on Twitter  starting at 8pm ET. I hope to tweet you soon.

Sincerely,

Zachary

 

 

#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- 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

#CPChatNow Recap- 7-12-2017

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 saw participants gather for our typical Wednesday night #CPChatNow Twitter chat. Considering context though, you could define “typical” with the word extraordinary. At least that remains my biased opinion as #CPChatNow co-host Zachary Fenell.

The communal atmosphere and ability to learn from one another all while enjoying ourselves makes our Twitter chat standout. Do you want proof the above happens? Keep reading!

Susanne Kate Brasset started getting the dialogue going by asking others about their experiences receiving botox injections. A topic on Susanne’s mind given her next botox treatment loomed.

Zachary answers Susanne's question, sharing he received botox from the ages 12 to 16.I shared I underwent botox treatment between the ages 12 and 16. However, we discontinued because the results did not seem worth the hassle. Co-host Devin Axtman also discussed undergoing botox treatment.

Co-host Devin Axtman remembers undergoing botox treatment in fourth and fifth grade.Devin explained the botox helped him feel a lot looser but to get the injections doctors needed to put him under general anesthesia. While the botox discussion continued, our resident celebrity Maysoon Zayid made time in her busy schedule to stop in and say hello.

Maysoon Zayid takes time out of her hustle to say hello to CPChatNow.A little later on a newcomer joined in, seeking advice regarding a particular issue.

Newcomer Grace asks #CPChatNow about remedying pain caused by temperature changes.In an effort to best answer Graces question I asked follow-up questions. I wound up recommending a product I like to use, ICYHOT.

Rachel Folly cracks a joke after Zachary recommends to Grace a product to help relieve pain.Rachel Folly sought the opportunity to use her “Them’s the rules” line. Comments I explained to Grace represented an inside joke. Not actual rules!

Zachary explains the "them's the rules" comment to be an inside joke.

Through continuing dialogue we learned Grace discovered us thanks to Maysoon’s earlier tweets. Anyways, shall we get serious and re-visit Grace’s question? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How do you handle pain caused by changes in temperatures?” Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

Other noteworthy points coming out our July 12th, 2017 Twitter chat related to our upcoming monthly events. First co-host Jorge Otezia announced the July 2017 focus chat details.

Co-host Zachary Fenell, author of the cerebral palsy memoir Off Balanced, will lead a discussion on writing a CP related book/memoir on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017.I am very much looking forward to our discussion Wednesday, July 26th. Hopefully the aspiring authors within our group will find the chat beneficial. Additionally, remember the same week, on Thursday, July 27th, 2017 we will hold our monthly Google Hangout video chat. To get added to the invite list contact Devin, Jorge, or myself.

While a big week next week, let us not allow the anticipation to overshadow this week’s chat. The fun begins at 8pm ET! Before then answer the extend-the-conversation question.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "How do you handle pain caused by changes in temperatures?"“How do you handle pain caused by changes in temperatures?”

Answer below!

-Zachary