#CPChatNow Recap- 02-27-2019

Happy March! In the United States this month receives distinction as Cerebral Palsy (Developmental Disabilities) Awareness Month. Prior to the occasion participants in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow gathered for one last February Twitter chat. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to tell you all about the discussion via your weekly recap!

While still February, our heads remained focus towards cerebral palsy awareness.

Zachary mentions the Faces of Cerebral Palsy Project, headed up by Cerebral Palsy Research Alliance Foundation.

To commemorate CP Awareness Month Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation has started an ongoing curation of photos featuring individuals with CP titled “The Faces of Cerebral Palsy.” Familiar face to the chat Jocelyn tipped me off to the project and I further shared with our community. Fill out the Faces of Cerebral Palsy form to submit your photos and story.

You will notice the form includes a few questions. One in-particular sparked dialogue within our chat February 27th.

The question in question asked “What do you wish people knew about cerebral palsy?” My co-host Devin Axtman replied, saying “that it’s (CP) different in everyone and not tragic. It doesn’t end at 18.”

Meanwhile I explained what gave me trouble in answering, saying in-part “I realized my answer would differ based off who the ‘people’ are?” Nonetheless I eventually settled upon a reply.

Zachary expresses what he wishes people knew about cerebral palsy.

I decided I wished people to know “a lot more is possible when you focus on combating particular symptoms rather than focusing on the general diagnosis.” Alternatively participant Veronica Hosking communicated a different wish.

Veronica and Zachary discuss the visibility of cerebral palsy.

Watching the UCP of Central Arizona’s telethon, Veronica reported a mother called noting the mother never heard about cerebral palsy until her daughter received the diagnosis. This left Veronica wishing more people with CP would talk about the condition. I suggested the issues stands less with people not talking about their CP, but instead the discussion taking place on niche platforms.

Adding to my comment I emphasized the importance behind a show like Speechless airing on a mainstream channel. Veronica and I agreed such representation proves huge!

Another area where disability representation could use a boost includes within the workforce. A fact supported by statistics participant Shira provided.

Shira comments about the lack of representation people with disabilities have within the workforce.

Research for school led Shira to learn only 37% of the disabled population that is of working age have jobs. Devin reasoned the poor numbers come down to attitudes and assumptions. Let us try to debunk these bad attitudes and assumptions using our extend-the-conversation question. Remixing the aforementioned alongside the Faces of Cerebral Palsy question previously recapped, we get the following query.

“What do you wish employers knew about cerebral palsy?”

Leave your reply in the comments section and keep the conversation going! Then mark your calendars to remind yourself to join us on Twitter every Wednesday starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What do you wish employers knew about cerebral palsy?"
Reply in the comments!
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#CPChatNow Recap- 2-20-2019

This past week in #CPChatNow was buzzing as always. Members talked about how #DisabledPeopleAreHot, plans for CP Awareness Month, incompetent nurses, and controversy with Walmart and an employee with CP. This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

The hashtag #DisabledPeopleAreHot swept Twitter the past week. Many #CPChatNow members posted pictures for the hashtag. Here is a newcomer to #CPChatNow, Lionel Menchaca.

Lionel's #DisabledPeopleAreHot picture

March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness month. Zach asked if members had plans for the upcoming month. Veronica and Zach discuss upcoming CP awareness plans

Veronica Hosking talked about a phone bank for the local UCP and Zach talked about a team for the Race to Empower which is held in May due to Cleveland winters:

Hannah tweeted about her frustration of being in the hospital and her leg spasms triggering an alarm. A hospital tech asked a truly unbelievably incompetent question:

Hannah tweeted about a tech asking to predict her leg spasms so she doesn't trigger the bed alarm. Blemi and Devin tweeted how nice it would be to predict spasms.

Finally, #CPChatNow shared collective outrage at a change in Walmart policy which may cause a greeter with CP to lose his job:

Hannah passes along a tweet about a Walmart greeter with CP possibly losing his job due to a change in job description. I express disbelief an accommodation cannot be worked out

#CPChatNow members shared our frustrations with employment and attitudes of employees:

Hannah tweets the employment system is rigged. Hosking Poet shares they need to be reminded of EOE laws. Blemi shares she is glad she stopped shopping there and many greeters may be out of jobs.


This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: What is the worst thing a healthcare employee has said to you? Please join us each Wednesday at 8 Eastern on #CPChatNow.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What is the worst thing a healthcare employee has said to you?

-Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- 2-6-2019

#CPChatNow included various different topics last Wednesday including: future employability, Valentine’s Day coming up, and even member’s favorite breakfast cereal. This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

First, Shira shared the memory of encountering a Deaf employee at the bowling alley and struggling to communicate with him. She raised an issue many people with disabilities fear, their future employability:

Zach and Shira talking about a memory at a bowling alley and how it relates to fears about future employability
Zach and Blemi chat about Valentine's Day being a forced holiday

Zach brought up Valentine’s Day and members shared various thoughts from extreme indifference to excitement. Blemi and Zach talked about the day sometimes being a forced holiday:

Finally, Zach and Paul talked about their favorite breakfast cereals:

Zach and Paul talk about breakfast cereals. Paul likes Count Chocula and Zach likes Cocco Puffs followed by Fruity Pebbles with a shout out to Trix for the best commercials.

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: Have you ever had fears related to your employability due to your disability?

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

#CPChatNow- 11-28-2018

This past week the #CPChatNow Cerebral Palsy Twitter chat was bumping as always.  Members talked about their holiday wish list, what they wanted to be when they grew up, and what they feel is the worst occupation for someone with CP.  This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

Not surprisingly, members’ holiday wish lists dominated the early conversation.  Members shared their gifts were becoming more practical as they aged.

Zach and Devin tweeted about holiday wish lists. Zach tweeted about a bright winter coat so people can see him and I shared I recently bought lights for my wheelchair

Next, members talked about what they wanted to be when they grew up as a kid.  There were definitely some amusing answers, but some also achieved their goal!

Zach tweets about wanting to be a Cleveland Indians player and then shifting his goal to becoming a writer. We talked about mourning not being able to play sports.

Zach and I had a common goal, playing baseball.  I had a little bit more lofty ambitions however, and Ayden would like to be the Leader of the Free World!

Ayden tweeted about wanting to become President

Zach asked about the occupations that members felt were the worst for people with CP. Dave shared some difficult positions he has had, a stagehand and line cook.

Zach and Dave tweet about bad occupations for people with CP. Dave tweets about stagehand and line cook being difficult on the knees

Heather won the unofficial title of Tweet of the Night with a tightrope walker being the worst occupation for someone with CP

Heather tweets that a tightrope walker would be the worst occupation

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation question: What was your dream job when you were growing up and did CP require you to change it?  Please share your answer in the comments and join us at #CPChatNow on Twitter at 8 Eastern each Wednesday.

The Extend-The-Conversation Question graphic. There is a tan background with a picture of a little girl daydreaming. What was your dream job when you were growing up and did CP require you to change it? is in red with the multicolored #CPChatNow logo

-Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- 7-11-2018

A frustrated tone proved present Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 throughout the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to recap said frustration. A current event triggered the early irritation.

#CPChatNow participant Seth raises a controversy news item, banning straws.

Regular #CPChatNow participant Seth made a humorous remark insinuating environmentalists do not care about disabled people. Recently up to date on disability related news, I offered context for Seth’s tweet.

#CPChatNow participants give their thoughts on states and countries banning plastic straws.Hot topic news stemmed from Seattle banning plastic straws. Such a decision remains controversial because many with disabilities need the object my co-host Devin called a “vital tool.” I shared an article discussing the aforementioned plastic straw ban, which led to insightful conversation.

Personally, the news piece stimulated my curiosity. The coverage mentioned alternative straws, an item drawing my intrigue. Participant Wum Gin echoed sentiments that such options cannot compare to how plastic straws perform.

To the Seattle ban credit, they incorporated an exemption for disability and medical conditions. The question arose though, how do you enforce the exemption? No real answers surfaced. Instead the dialogue unraveled, leading to further disheartening issues.

A ban on straws is far from the only issue concerning to the disability community. #CPChatNow participants talk troubling disability employment statistics.

Our beloved “Resilient Wench,” Rachel, thought in some cities you can receive a $250 fine if found using a plastic straw. Devin believed those fines applied to businesses, oppose to individuals. He even commented “I don’t see how they can stop an individual person from using a straw, but who knows.” I can confirm courtesy a CNBC report the $250 fine does indeed apply to businesses, NOT the individual. Information I obtained while researching the plastic straw ban prior to publishing today’s recap.

Within the moment July 11th however, I made a joke based off South Park‘s reoccurring one liner “They took our jobs!” The quip refocused our attention to the unfunny troubles people with disabilities encounter when seeking employment. Devin provided a specific example featuring a potential job applicant and Pacific Sunwear of California. You can read the story yourself, “EEOC Sues Pacific Sunwear of California, LLC.”

Unfair employment practices especially impact women with disabilities, a factor Rachel highlighted.

Rachel notes women with disabilities confront many injustices when seeking employment.

Between the gender pay gap and employers discriminating against disabled job applicants, women with disabilities sadly confront multiple injustices in their job seeking efforts. Truly infuriating! So upsetting you might find yourself angrily shaking. Both Rachel and I recounted personal experiences where an aggravating situation left us shaking.

Rachel and Zachary discuss experiences when they became so angry, their bodies started shaking. This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How does getting angry affect you physically?"Do you relate? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How does getting angry affect you physically?” Share in the “Comments” section below.

Well, looking back I realize July 11th’s chat contained a highly negative focus. Nevertheless we talked over important matters. I think #CPChatNow thrives because we don’t let the tough subjects intimidate us. Make sure to join us every Wednesday on Twitter, starting at 8pm ET. Tweet you then!

-Zachary