#CPChatNow Recap- Reflecting Back and Looking Forward Focus Chat

This past week in #CPChatNow was especially lively as we celebrated #CPChatNow’s 4th birthday!  We decided to do a focus chat with various questions focusing on changes in member’s lives, questions about #CPChatNow, and a discussion about #CPChatNow’s future.  This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along on this special recap.

The first question focused on what has changed in members’ lives in the last four years.  Members shared many things, but it was interesting that many members had common changes:

Zach asking what has changed over the past 4 years. I answered with some changes including a master's degree, girlfriend

Blemi discussing a new job and boyfriend when talking about changes. Seth discussing cruises and burying his grandpa

The next question was about how members had heard about #CPChatNow.  Members shared various things such as discovering it on their timeline to seeing CP celebrities like John Quinn tweet about it:

Hannah tweeting that #CPChatNow showed up on her timeline

Me stating that I stumbled on #CPChatNow in a search, but I saw John Quinn tweet it

Zach also shared the story of the creation of #CPChatNow.  A collaboration between John Quinn and @HandicapThis.

Zach sharing story of #CPChatNow's creation

The next question related to specific questions or conversations that have stuck out to members.  Hannah shared the long running #CPChatNow joke of the story when someone asked if her CP was caused by getting ran over by a train:

Hannah tweeting the train conversation is her favorite #CPChatNow conversation

Jen tweeted about the focus chat with @The_CP_Swagger and Hunter Gandee who has made national news by carrying his brother with CP on his back to raise awareness:

Jen tweeting her favorite chat was with CP Swagger

Zach chimed in with the exercise chat led by Erin while I said the dating or accessible gaming ones:

Zach and Devin discussing their favorite conversations

Members also mentioned liking that the conversations in #CPChatNow tend to happen organically and do not feel forced:

Members discussing the joy that CPChatNow conversations tend to happen organically

Finally, the last question in the Focus Chat was regarding who members would like to see be a guest on a future focus chat.  Members were consistent in requesting Micah Fowler of Speechless fame.

Jen tweeting that she would like to see Micah Fowler on a future chat

Now this brings us to our next Extend-The-Conversation question and I will use #CPChatNow’s fourth birthday as inspiration.  What has changed for you in the past four years and what would you like to see in the next four?

This week's extend-the-conversation questions asks "What has changed for you in the past four years and what would you like to see in the next four?"

Answer in the “Comments” section.

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#CPChatNow Recap- 04-19-2017

Every week the Twitter chat #CPChatNow thrives thanks to our great community. A fact our April 19th, 2017 Twitter chat exemplified! I am proud co-founder and co-host Zachary Fenell here to recap our latest chat.

Interim co-host Devin Axtman suggested we start the night by sharing peaks and pits from the last seven days. An idea in past weeks offered up by participant Amanda. Hamda’s peak raised the night’s first communal mention.

Many CPChatNow participants keep in touch with each other throughout the week.Participants keeping in touch throughout the week demonstrates the strength in connections made within our community. Something I wish to emphasize by creating new #CPChatNow promotional graphics. In past months I asked participants to submit photos with them in their #CPChatNow shirts for such graphics. I asked again April 19th, this time also sharing a taste to what said images might look like.

Zachary Fenell shares a prototype for a new website banner while requesting photos to include in said banner. One signature trait to a true community involves seeing an idea shared grow and evolve. Long-time participant Hannah Pike set said evolution in motion with her photo submission.

Hannah submits a photo with fellow #CPChatNow participant Alena Brand for inclusion in CPChatNow's new promotional graphics.Hannah thinks her photo with Alena would be a good fit for the promotional images because the picture shows community.Additionally opening up submissions beyond pictures featuring CPChatNow shirts seems only fair to those without CPChatNow shirts. If you want your face incorporated into CPChatNow promotional material, submit a photograph! You can send our way via a direct message through our Facebook fan page.

Another aspect to community emerged while a couple participants made small talk. Shira discussed a school project which peaked Blemi’s interest. Soon their dialogue blossomed in more meaningful ways.

Knowing Blemi has made a career with numbers despite struggling at math brought Shira some hope.Hope, enhanced ideas, and friendship all represent community characteristics. What characteristics do you value in a community? Tell us! Answer the aforementioned for the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

This week the CPChatNow extend-the-conversation question asks "What characteristics do you value in a community?"

In the “Comments” section share what characteristics you value in a community.

Leave your reply in the “Comments” section. Then join us tonight on Twitter at 8pm ET. Susanne Kate Jones returns to our community to lead us in a focus chat titled “A Serious Chat About Comedy.” You can expect an insightful discussion sprinkled with laughs throughout. Talk and laugh with you later.

Sincerely,

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-28-2016

Wednesday, December 28th closed out our third complete year filled with Twitter chats. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to recap our final 2016 Twitter chat. Long-time regulars enjoyed seeing a familiar face surface once again.

A familiar face returns to #CPChatNow. Susanne‘s humor remained a missed entity from #CPChatNow. Even those on the receiving end to her sarcasm enjoyed Susanne’s presence.

#CPChatNow participants engage in friendly banter.

The warm reception Susanne received represents our community’s overall welcoming attitude. Life could keep you away. However, say the opportunity arises for you to stop in. Prepare for exclamation marks, joyous GIFs, and maybe even happy emojis! 😛

On a personal note, I am pleased to see #CPChatNow adopt such an attitude. As an original co-founder I witnessed much transition the last three-plus years. Yet we continue to remember and respect our past. For example, take the praise given Wednesday to former co-host and #CPChatNow co-founder John W. Quinn.

#CPChatNow community members praise Someone Like Me by John W. QuinnFittingly enough #CPChatNow stands at another transition point. My current co-host Blake Henry will spend the first half to 2017 studying abroad in Spain. Consequently the time difference will limit Blake’s ability to participate in the Twitter chats. Hence last week’s announcement promoting chat regular Devin to interim co-host.

Suspecting individuals might possess questions about his upcoming adventure, Blake made himself available to chat December 28th.

Blake Henry answers questions about his upcoming semester abroad.Jen has a question about Blake's Spain trip.Meanwhile I asked a question designed to encourage others to think about their 2017.

Zachary asks about 2017 New Year resolutions.Although I am obviously bias, I think my question supplies a lot to contemplate heading into the new year. So let the thoughts flow! Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Is anyone setting New Year resolutions? If so, what are they?”

Leave your reply in the “Comments” section below.

Finally, let me take a moment to thank you. With your help #CPChatNow enjoyed a second straight banner year! Besides 11 focus chats and monthly Google Hangouts this year saw new members join the community, our website launch, and #CPChatNow apparel created. The latter you can still purchase during our “#CPChatNow T-Shirt and Winter Apparel” sale.

Profits from our shirt sales go to the non-profit Keep On Keeping On Foundation. To date our summer and winter sale raised nearly $158.00. Enable us to add to that total and go ahead buy your own #CPChatNow t-shirt or winter apparel. First, before you go shop #CPChatNow apparel answer the extend-the-conversation question.

This week's extend-the-conversation questions asks about 2017 New Year resolutions.“Is anyone setting New Year resolutions? If so, what are they?”

Answers go in the “Comments” section. Talk with you in 2017!

Sincerely,

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-21-2016

Excitement resonated throughout #CPChatNow Wednesday, December 21st. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, tasked with compacting all that enthusiastic energy down into your weekly recap. Hype for a big announcement sparked the initial anticipation.

Zachary teases the announcement of a new interim co-host.Multiple community members expressed their excitement for my co-host Blake Henry as he prepares for his next adventure.

#CPChatNow community members express their excitement for co-host Blake Henry's upcoming adventure.Summarizing in my own words the details to Blake’s upcoming opportunity feels underwhelming. Rather I recommend you check out his post for yourself. Read “Blake Henry’s Next Adventure.”

While time ticked away until the interim co-host announcement, our dialogue transitioned to the previous week’s extend-the-conversation question. Special guest Heaven Ramsey asked the question during her “Strength Through Community” focus chat. “Did you feel alone before social media?”

Lindsay takes time to answer the extend-the-conversation question from the December 14th focus chat "Strength Through Community.".This triggered discussion on the differences various social media platforms provide.

#CPChatNow discusses how different social media platforms provide different support systems.In some ways my explanation echoed sentiments I shared at our “Strength Through Community” focus chat December 14th.

For me chatting with the #CPChatNow regulars week after week I almost feel I know them as persons and not online connections.

The individual Blake and I chose as interim co-host falls into said category. Blake revealed the interim co-host’s identity around 8:30pm ET.

Devin Axtman will take over as #CPChatNow interim co-host while Blake studies in Europe during the spring 2017 semester.Congratulations to Devin! He deserves the opportunity based off seniority in #CPChatNow, his passion for the community, and more. Certainly though, a community needs more than co-hosts to thrive. Your participation keeps us going strong. Decisions we make as co-hosts aim to best serve you. Therefore your feedback proves vital. You will possess the opportunity to share feedback tomorrow Thursday, December 29th at our year end Google Hangout.

December 2016 #CPChatNow Google Hangout AnnouncementWhether you can make the Hangout or not, please reach out and share your feedback about #CPChatNow. Contact Blake, Devin, or myself. Give your input on how #CPChatNow runs. Plus offer any new suggestions.

Beyond all our exciting community activities, regular Jen turned our attention to holiday festivities. She asked about what you hoped to find under the Christmas tree.

#CPChatNow share what they want for Christmas. Although Christmas passed, let us maintain the holiday theme with the week’s extend-the-conversation question. This time we concentrate on the giving aspect to the season. Answer “What is a gift you gave this holiday season?”

Answer for the extend-the-conversation question, "What is a gift you gave this holiday season?"Leave your response in the “Comments” section below.

Additionally note, #CPChatNow apparel still remains available. At your request we extended the #CPChatNow t-shirt and winter apparel sale to Monday, January 2nd, 2017. A #CPChatNow shirt could make a great belated holiday gift. Or, perhaps you feel like buying yourself a present. Proceeds from the sale go to the non-profit Keep On Keeping On Foundation. So, essentially you still end up giving to someone else!

Go ahead and order your #CPChatNow shirt. Too attend our Google Hangout Thursday, December 29th and share your feedback on our community. Finally, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question “What is a gift you gave this holiday season?”

Comment away!

-Zachary

 

#CPChatNow Recap- Community Through Strength Focus Chat

Special guest Heaven Ramsey joined #CPChatNow Wednesday, December 14th to lead our “Strength Through Community” focus chat. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, ready to compile chat highlights into your weekly recap. Enjoy!

Heaven’s credentials as a community leader begins with her Facebook page, “A Stairway to the Stars: Heaven’s Journey with CP.” Over 8,000 people like the page. More importantly, the page provides an active and supportive community. Support proved a key concept discussed throughout the evening.

Heaven asks if you felt alone before social media came along.#CPChatNow community members answer Heaven Ramsey's question about feeling alone.Most participants seemed to empathize with Heaven’s alone sentiment. Although others enjoyed a belonging feeling. What about you? Allow me to rephrase Heaven’s question for the week’s extend-the-conversation question. Answer “Did you feel alone before social media?”

Leave your response in the “Comments” section. First though, let us continue with the recap. My answer to Heaven’s question spurred dialogue revealing a valuable aspect community supplies.

Heaven points out it is important to have a person who understands you.The understanding you find in a community helps relieve the previously mentioned loneliness. Also regarding understanding, #CPChatNow regular Devin sought to better understand Heaven’s goal with her Facebook page.

Heaven answers Devin's question about what her ultimate goal is with her Facebook page.A mentoring program like Heaven aspires to create could reduce loneliness even more. Plus build certain expectations so kids with cerebral palsy growing up can feel increasingly confident towards their futures. Such a demand already exists too. In fact returning participant Sarah demonstrated as much in a tweet.

#CPChatNow participant Sarah seeks advice for starting a conversation with her teacher.Co-host Zachary Fenell gives his suggestion to Sarah.By offering encouraging feedback and practical advice, #CPChatNow empowers participants to better build in-person relationships and communities. Maybe that explains why participants continually profess their admiration for our community.

Sarah professes her admiration for #CPChatNow.Additionally our guest Heaven Ramsey spoke highly about her experiences with us.

Heaven enjoyed her time leading a #CPChatNow focus chat.Come revel in the positive community one Wednesday yourself. #CPChatNow happens every Wednesday from 8pm ET-10pm ET. Tonight we will make a big announcement related to what my co-host Blake Henry posted on the website earlier in the month (read here).

Before then remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. The question gives those not on Twitter a chance to still participate in our community. The week’s question rephrases a question Heaven asked.

Answer this week's extend-the-conversation question! Leave your response in the "Comments" section.“Did you feel alone before social media?”

Respond in the “Comments” section below. As always thanks for your interest in our community. You allow us to thrive.

Until next time!

-Zachary

 

#CPChatNow Recap- 06-22-2016

Community shined during our weekly Twitter chat Wednesday, June 22nd.  I am co-host Zachary Fenell tasked to bring you the recap. This includes exploring the different communal elements, like encouragement and inspiration. The latter kicked off the night.

Members in the #CPChatNow share how they are becoming more physically active.To see Devin and Hannah refer to my walking as at a certain “level” made me smile. Erin though hit on an important factor.

You are in competition with no one but yourself.Discussion about physical activity continued as the topic transitioned to physical therapy (PT). Not everyone enjoys a positive history with PT. Enter the need for our community to provide encouragement.

#CPChatNow discusses PT's importance.PT or no PT you can still find ways to stay physically active with cerebral palsy.

#CPChatNow co-host Zachary Fenell discusses the exercises he does at home.In order to help others visualize reverse crunches I shared the following.

Since I started doing reverse crunches daily I feel stronger in my abs. As a result I am better able to catch my balance whenever I stumble.

Obviously, I am not the only one with cerebral palsy who exercises at home. So shall we open up the dialogue? Answer Devin’s question for the extend-the-conversation question. “Do you do any exercises at home?”

If yes, please give an example. Follow the usual routine and respond in the “Comments” section.

Moving forward allow me to return to the community theme. A community offers comfortableness and a safe place to share. Erin did exactly that, tweeting out a link to her recent blog post.

Erin shares a personal, emotional blog post.Keep the conversation going! Answer the extend-the-conversation question.Read Erin’s emotional post here. However, first remember to answer the extend-the-conversation question. “Do you do exercises at home?”

Reply in the “Comments” section below. If you answer yes, give an example!

Also consider purchasing a #CPChatNow sleeveless performance t shirt. Made by Sport-Tek, the performance shirt remains ideal for physical activity. Or, explore the other shirt styles available. Sale ends July 11th!

Tweet you tonight!

-Zachary

 

#CPChatNow Recap – Breaking Down Stereotypes Focus Chat

I am co-host Blake Henry back again to bring you the June Focus Chat recap. This week we welcomed special guest, Zach Wood to break down stereotypes about cerebral palsy.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 6.20.31 PMThe change in the chat time made me feel like I was on a time zone vacation to California. We normally chat every Wednesday from 8-10PM ET, however, to accommodate our guest we moved the time to 5-7PM ET.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 6.20.41 PM

I wasted no time asking Zach Wood the first question of the night to break the ice and learn more about his mission of “Breaking Down Stereotypes.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 6.21.28 PMZach was eager to share his creative genius behind The Disability Gang.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 6.21.48 PM

My co-host Zachary Fenell had a question that was right up our special guest’s alley.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 6.21.59 PM

Erin Muse shared the stereotype she comes in contact with way too often. It is time to educate and leave ignorant people in the dust.Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 6.26.12 PM

Hannah Pike also shared with the community of her struggles with stereotypes.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 6.26.02 PM

Who is behind my co-host Zachary Fenell and thinks we should use our creative juices and create a funky wheelchair Public Service Announcement?

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Do you ever get tired of 100 questions about cerebral palsy? Well, many of us do too and some days we just want to run away and go hide. Maybe the next big #CPChatNow creation is a resource of answers to those 100 questions.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 6.34.12 PM

Our special guest Zach Wood brings up a great point. Regardless, if we created resources there will always be that one idiot who fails to listen and learn.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 6.32.44 PMZach asks another great question that has been on the back burner for some time. Many of us face insults from children and adults alike, who are mean lumpy eggs.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 6.38.05 PMMy co-host said he usually receives warm curious questions about his awkward gait.

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Erin said that she does not mind the curiosity and children mean no harm in their questions.

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Zach quickly chimes in again to share his mission of breaking down stereotypes and educating.

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Remember that our long anticipated #CPChatNow gear is now finally available at Custom Cat. You have until July 9th to purchase your desired products. Learn more about the sale.

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Time to dispel your own stereotypes. Go ahead and answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

“What is the worst stereotype you have encountered?”

Leave your answer in the “Comments” section

Respond by commenting below.

Don’t forget to give Zach a big thank you for breaking down cerebral palsy stereo types with us.

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Thanks for your participation in this month’s #CPChatNow Focus Chat.

See you soon,

Blake