#CPChatNow Recap- “Family Reunion” Focus Chat

Participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow enjoyed a familial and festive atmosphere Wednesday, March 24th, 2021. The night representing our community’s first “family reunion.” To tell you more I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. All aboard this special recap.

As my co-host Devin Axtman and I hoped, the “family reunion” themed focus chat brought back familiar faces.

Devin happily greets Hannah during the #CPChatNow family reunion.

Beloved community member Hannah joined in on the reunion fun. Such a welcomed presence! After everyone exchanged their hellos, we started into the night’s designated questions.

The list of questions for #CPChatNow's family reunion focus chat.

Answers to the different questions brought up some commonalities. For example, with question two “How has your life changed since you participated in #CPChatNow?”

Long-time chat regular Jen answered the question, saying she has virtually gotten to know more people with CP. I responded, noting virtual connections can lead to real impact. A sentiment Hannah expressed with me in 2019 while recording a Youtube video “The Positives of Social Media.”

Devin further illustrated this fact when answering question three “How has your experience of disability changed (or not) since you started participating?”

#CPChatNow participants discuss how participating in the weekly Twitter chat has changed their experience of disability.

In his answer Devin noted that our community has helped him become more confident in his disability. Other benefits our community has provided members arose when people answered question five, “How have the relationships you developed in #CPChatNow been of a benefit to you?”

#CPChatNow members share how their connections in the group has benefited them.

Both Jen and our “Positivity Princess” Linds responded to the inquiry. Linds saying the chat helps to boost her energy levels. Meanwhile Jen indicated our chat gives her a place to connect with others who can relate with her struggles.

What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question “How have the relationships you developed in #CPChatNow been of a benefit to you?” Leave your response in the “Comments” section.

After you reply, set a reminder to join us on Twitter each and every Wednesday, The good times begin at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

The week's extend-the-conversation question asks "How have the relationships you developed in #CPChatNow been of a benefit to you?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 3/17/2021

This past week in #CPChatNow was happening as always. Members discussed positives that were occurring in their life and how their disability has helped them stand out. We are also proud to announce our Family Reunion Focus Chat! This is #CPChatNow co-host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

First, we are excited to announce our Family Reunion Focus Chat. Please join us Wednesday (3/24) on Twitter to reconnect (or connect!) with #CPChatNow community members, both longtime and new!

zach tweets announcing the #cpchatnow family reunion for march 24th. there is a graphic announcing the reunion and inviting people too join

Next, I would like to recognize Dick Hoyt’s death. Dick and his son Rick who has CP have inspired many by their participation in marathons and triathlons.

i recognize the death of dick hoyt and share a link to his obituary, there is a picture of him pushing his son rick.
zach tweets dick hoyt's death made him think of ultimate warrior's promo before his death. dick hoyt helped others believe and made their blood pulse through their body.

Zach also asked members about a positive in their week. Tonia shared a blog post she wrote in the past week about 10 things no one tells you about aging with CP. I can definitely agree with number 3!

zach asked what about a positive thing from member's past week's. tonia shares a new blog post about 10 things no one tells you about aging with cp.

Finally, Zach asked members how their disability has helped them standout.

zach asks how member's disabilities have helped them standout and excel. i tweeted it has given me an opportunity to share my story with others and build relationships. zach tweets he can say the same thing and his cp gave him a purpose, more than clocking in and out of a job.
Chris also shared her favorite quote about disability regarding being open to differences and fighting for social justice as the ways she tries to standout.
chris tweets about her favorite quote from an activist and social worker with CP, there is an image of the quote, zach tweets he feels he is a better friend to others because he is more open minded and willing to listen, chris tweets she likes the quote because she feels the memoir is the first time she is reading about herself or her experiences

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: How has your disability helped you excel? Please share your answers in the comments and join us next Wednesday, March 24th for our Family Reunion Focus Chat on Twitter at 8 PM Eastern.

-Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- 01-13-2021

As the years pass, the bonds formed during the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow continue to flourish. A fact evident by the chat Wednesday, January 13th, 2021. Evidence I, #CPChatNow co-founder and co-host Zachary Fenell, will present today via your weekly recap. Shall we start chugging along?

#CPChatNow participants reflect on conversations about dating held early in the chat's history.

Conversation between my co-host Devin Axtman and long-time chat regular Blemi caused me to reflect. Leaving me remembering discussions from our chat’s early years when we discussed the dating troubles a disability can cause. Dialogue Devin and Blemi actively engaged in. Now seven years later both remain engaged to their respective significant others! Proof everything comes down to meeting the right person. As Devin stated, “It sounds like a BS cliché but it’s true.”

Another participant who experienced much change and growth since our community started in December 2013, stopped by to update us on his life happenings.

Jorge Oteiza updates #CPChatNow on his life happenings.

Yes! Jorge Oteiza tweeted to update us on his graduate school adventures. An ambitious high school student when our community came into existence, Jorge has come a long way with his studies. Nevertheless, he still remains a young man who possesses a bright future.

Speaking of the future, any discussion in 2021 about the future should involve COVID vaccinations. A subject which arose during our chat January 13th.

#CPChatNow participants discuss availability of COVID vaccines.

Devin raised the topic, mentioning he received his first vaccination shot over the weekend. Others meanwhile lacked a timetable regarding when they would receive their vaccinations.

Elsewhere in the chat, I also asked a pandemic related question.

#CPChatNow participants discuss sports continuing while COVID spreads.

Upon Devin and Blemi starting to discuss hockey season, I asked if they were happy sports are going on or if they feel sports create unnecessary risk of COVID spread. Blemi answered with mixed emotions, noting she does enjoy having the distraction. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Are you happy sports are going on or do you feel that creates unnecessary risk of spread?”

Answer below in the “Comments.” Then mark your calendars to join us on Twitter each and every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "Are you happy sports are going on or do you feel that creates unnecessary risk of spread?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 9-30-2020

The last #CPChatNow of September was busy as always! Members discussed things such as their art, podcasts, and keeping themselves on track with what they needed to do. This is #CPChatNow co-host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap. All aboard!

First, #CPChatNow mama bear, Erin, talked about her art. Erin would like to use her art to inspire people.

erin tweets she is doing paintings to build an etsy store. erin tweets she is mainly doing landscapes and has backgrounds for be yourself; everyone else is taken and happy fall.
erin shares last week's painting, a painting with a sky at sunset. there is a brown path with dark green landscapes on both sides

Next, talk turned to Chris’s upcoming talk at a CP conference about his podcast, a podcast about his favorite musician, Prince.

chris tweets he is talking about how he is recording and editing his podcast while sharing stories of his favorite guests and episodes, zach asks who his audience is and states that can be helpful in deciding what to share. chris tweets his audience is people with cp, friends and families and healthcare professionals
chris explains his podcast is on his favorite musician, prince. he is going to explain how prince inspired him to put his voice out there and talk about what he loves. i shared i felt prince would love that and that's what he is all about.

Finally, talk turned to something that is a struggle for many, especially during quarantine, staying on track.

erin tweets staying on task is her biggest struggle, zach tweets he has a similar issue due to him jumping from task to task, he needs to remind himself to focus on one thing, erin tweets she makes daily goals and tries to remove distractions, zach tweets he is working at the library to remove distractions

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question inspired by Chris’s podcast: What is your favorite Prince song? Share your answers in the comments!

Thanks for reading! Join us each Wednesday at 8 Eastern on Twitter at #CPChatNow!

-Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- 9/9/2020

This past week in #CPChatNow was bustling as always. Members discussed personal accomplishments, COVID restrictions in Australia, good deeds, and what social media platform they like. This is #CPChatNow co-host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

First, we would love to congratulate #CPChatNow mama bear, Erin, on her acceptance to a Master’s program:

erin tweets that she was accepted to the sacred theology master's program she applied to. zach wishes her congratulations and asks her to make time for #cpchatnow

#CPChatNow has had a member joining us from Australia. AcquiDis detailed COVID restrictions in place in the land down under.

acquidis detailed covid restrictions from australia. she tweeted in melbourne there is an 8-5 nightly curfew
acquidis tweets masks are mandatory outside the home with many dying in aged care facilities, she tweeted there are $1652 fines per offense of not wearing a mask or breaking curfew

Next, talk turned to good deeds as I shared the story of my bus driver taking me to the train station at the end of her route. Members shared good deeds others had done for them or they had done:

zach asked members what a good deed someone had done for them or they had done for someone else. zach shared he worked all six days his work was open to cover a staff shortage, erin tweets she send a friend a custom wedding card

Finally, Zach and Chris tweeted about what social media platform they were most active on:

chris and zach tweet about what social media platforms they are active on. zach tweets he is not active on linkedin, but has not been active. he mainly uses twitter and facebook. zach tweets he likes facebook for people he already knows and twitter is better for meeting new people, chris tweets he uses facebook every day and uses twitter to interact with celebrities.

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: What is your favorite good deed you have ever done or someone else has done for you? Please share your answers in the comments!

Please join us each Wednesday at 8 Eastern on Twitter at #CPChatNow! Thanks for reading!

-Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- 09-02-2020

A strong communal vibe resonated within the live weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020. Here to delve into details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Consider me your conductor for the train ride that is the September 2nd, 2020 recap. All aboard!

Discussion early in the night included long-time participants sharing interesting developments going on in their own lives.

Timmy tells #CPChatNow about his current scientific research.

Our “resident scientist” Timmy made an appearance. Prompted by my co-host Devin Axtman, Timmy updated us on his current research. Currently Timmy remains at work investigating binge drinking and the executive and emotional input to the reward circuit. Overall, he explained, the study hopes to understand the neural circuitry involved with addiction and addiction-like behavior.

Besides Timmy, the recently returning Erin provided us an update. Erin joined us after handing in a big term paper the night prior. In our chat’s early years, Erin played a pivotal role in our community. To the point she received the moniker “Mama Bear!”

Beyond enjoying familiar faces like Erin and Timmy, we also welcomed a newcomer.

#CPChatNow participants welcome a newcomer.

AcquiDis joined our chat for the first time September 2nd, 2020. Personally, I found a quote included in a press release AcquiDis shared intriguing. “…urges disabled individuals to embrace their condition and look beyond it.” The quote led to further dialogue.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the difference between looking beyond your disability and disliking your disability.

Devin pondered whether a fine line exists between looking beyond your disability and disliking your disability. Furthermore, Devin stated he doesn’t believe there stands a final stage where you “overcome” your disability. Instead Devin said there will always be things thrown back your way.

Both Erin and I added our separate input to the topic. Erin emphasizing the need to embrace and own your disability. Meanwhile I distinguished looking beyond and disliking your disability, stating looking beyond your disability entails accepting your disability and just doing what you need to do to be you. Alternatively, disliking your disability entails an active conflict where you battle negative thoughts. An idea Devin paraphrased well, summarizing the negative thoughts as “battling internalized ableism.”

Enough though regarding what we think! What do you think? Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is your attitude towards your disability?” Comment below to answer!

Answer as the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What is your attitude towards your disability?"

Then make your plans to join us on Twitter each and every Wednesday. The fun begins at 8pm ET!

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 7/15/20

This past week in #CPChatNow was cracking as always. Members discussed various topics like their brags for the day, creating their own podcast, life hacks, and what part of the day they feel at their best.

Zach opened the conversation by asking members what their brag for the day was. He shared that his book is now offered at the library he works at:

zach tweets he spotted his book while working at the library. an image of zach's book on a book shelf between two books.

My brag was advocating to my apartment to finally finish a wheelchair ramp on a sidewalk:

i tweet my brag is advocating to my apartment to finally finish a wheelchair ramp. an image of a wheelchair ramp by a pickup

Travis tweeted about starting his podcast, Off The Crutch.

travis tweeted about starting his podcast, off the crutch. he came up with the name because he uses forearm crutches.

Amanda tweeted a Buzzfeed article with tips for people with limited mobility. This might be helpful for some people with CP.

amanda shared a video from buzzfeed about 35 tips from people with limited mobility

Finally, members discussed what part of the day they felt the best at:

zach asked what part of the day people feel their best at. zach tweets he would've said 7-10 pm in college, but now he said in the morning. i tweeted right after i take a shower, veronica tweeted in the early afternoon.
karen tweeted she feels better at night because she is still sleepy in the morning so she has less balance.

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation: What is your favorite part of the day?

the extend the conversation question graphic. a picture of a sunset with a person standing in front of the ocean. extend-the-conversation question in white with what is your favorite part of the day? and the white #cpchatnow logo in the bottom right hand corner

Thank you for reading and join us each Wednesday at 8 Eastern on Twitter at #CPChatNow

-Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- 7/1/2020

#CPChatNow opened up July discussing a wide range of topics. Members discussed Canada Day, critical topics such as their favorite type of M&M’s, and if it was difficult to obey their limits. This is #CPChatNow co-host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

First, I would like to highlight an important conversation The Accessible Stall podcast had about systemic racism and abelism. You can find the episode here.

i tweet about the accessible stall podcast episode on systemic racism

I also wanted to highlight a recent blog post by co-host, Zachary Fennell, about his experience during the Cleveland UCP Race to Empower.

zach tweets about a guest blog post about cleveland UCP"s race to empower

July 1st was Canada Day and Blemi tweeted that it was very different than the normal celebrations due to the COVID pandemic.

blemi tweeted everything is canceled so she was having a low key canada day at home, zach asks about usual activities, blemi tweeted her hometown usually had a parade and rodeo and there are always family get togethers. zach tweets that sounds like fun and a low key day is good sometimes

Next, talk turned to a very important question, what are member’s favorite M&M’s. This was inspired by some delicious Crispy M&M’s I was enjoying.

i ask what people's favorite m&m's were. chris tweeted peanut or nutella.

Finally, members discussed a common struggle for folks with CP, obeying their limits.

zach asks if it is difficult for people to obey their limits. zach tweets his question was inspired by passing on some sub opportunities at work. i tweet i sometimes have trouble with walking long distances.
chris tweets he does not push his physical limitations and it has been a struggle because he used to resent his cp. he also tweets his immune system has never been strong and all 4 sides are affected so he wishes he could be more physically active.

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: What is your favorite candy?

the extend-the-conversation graphic. the orange, blue, and green #CPChatNow logo is in the right hand corner, extend-the-conversation question is above the question in green with the question of what is your favorite candy above a picture of M&M's on pretzel sticks. #cpchatnow is in white text behind a green background

Thanks for reading and be sure to join us each Wednesday at 8 Eastern on Twitter at #CPChatNow.

-Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- 06-03-2020

Community, both past and present, took center stage during the weekly cerebral palsy (CP) Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020. Here to tell you more I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Join me for our weekly tradition also known as the #CPChatNow recap.

Early in the night humor from our chat’s past emerged into our conversation.

Zachary and Devin share a laugh over humor from #CPChatNow's past.

Jokingly I asked my co-host Devin Axtman if he had any drinks on hand because I may experience technical difficulties throughout the night. A joke referencing the days when our community held monthly video chats via Google Hangouts. Notoriously I would experience technical difficulties, mostly due to my aged laptop’s inability to properly run during group video chats. At one point in a monthly Hangout Devin quipped about turning my technical difficulties into a drinking game. His joke soon became a running gag within our community.

Although, we no longer host monthly video chats our community continues growing in other ways. For example, continuing to welcome new participants to our chats. Newcomers, like Chris Johnson!

The #CPChatNow community learns more about newcomer Chris Johnson.

Judging by his return, I dare assume Chris enjoyed his first #CPChatNow experience Wednesday, May 27th, 2020. Devin happily welcomed Chris back by asking him about his hobbies. That led to a reveal Chris has a podcast about the iconic musician Prince.

Keeping the music vibe going I pointed out music stands a familiar topic within our chat.

#CPChatNow participants discuss music.

Offering an example about our past music discussions, I noted how we discussed music’s therapeutic abilities. A sentiment Chris connected to himself. In-particular he mentioned working on a book about music’s healing qualities especially in the spiritual sense.

Allow us to maintain the music theme beat. Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Who is your favorite musician and why?”

Leave your answers below in the comments! Afterwards mark your calendars as a reminder to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "Who is your favorite musician and why?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 4/8/2020

This past week in #CPChatNow was intriguing as always. Members discussed strategies for dealing with the COVID stay at home situation, special education during the pandemic, and finding connections via the CP community and blogging. This is #CPChatNow co-host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

#CPChatNow member Tonia has been sharing concerns related to paying for her laundry. She shared an awesome story of a friend helping her out. This shows the power of community during the times we are in.

Zach asks Tonia how she resolved her laundry quarter issue. Tonia says that a friend with CP sanitized 100 quarters and sent them to her

Next, Zach and I talked about an issue that has been in the news a lot lately, virtual learning and parents. Concerns are even more amplified when you are helping your disabled child with their special education.

zach posts an article about virtual special education and mentions sped students may have advantages with distance learning since they are used to technology. i mentioned stuff has to be accessible for the technology to be used. i also mentioned difficulty of physical and occupational therapy
zach mentions PT by video and parents being stressed. i tweeted i would be nervous as a parent to mess something up and about access to technology stating many of my mom's students don't have access. zach tweeted he has learned many people don't have access to the internet by working at the library

Next, talk turned to forming connections with the CP community. Zach asked about the first people with CP we connected with.

zach asks about our first connection with somone with cp. i tweeted about a person in physical therapy. Tonia tweeted about a girl she met at camp for kids with disabilities at 13.

Next, talk turned to connections created with a common activity, blogging.

zach asks what got other people into blogging. tonia tweeted it was after reading the post of a parent of a disabled child and wanting to offer her thoughts. linds tweeted she was angry about a teachable moment with a coworker. tonia tweeted she feels obligated to teach others while linds says she does not.

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: Do you feel like you need to teach others about having CP? Please share your answers in the comments!

the extend-the-conversation question graphic. the extend the conversation question is: Do you feel like you need to teach others about having CP? The multicolored #cpchatnow logo in the upper right hand corner, #cpchatnow on the bottom, and an image of a female teacher with a red book drawing on a chalkboard

Thanks for reading and please join us each Wednesday at 8 Eastern on #CPChatNow!

-Devin