The Official Blog of Ramona Harvey

Author of "Unclipped Wings"

Archive for cerebral palsy

Unclipped Wings Cultivates Inclusion

March is disability awareness month, and today is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day – so I thought I would take a moment to talk about disability awareness  and what roll it plays in my book Unclipped Wings.

When I got up today I was very aware that I was a person with a disability.  There was no denying it as I transferred into my chair and began my morning routine.  It is obvious that because of my disability there are certain things I am just not able to do – at least not in the way most people do them.  Just looking at me you can tell I have a disability, even if you can’t tell I have cp.  But you cannot tell who I am just by looking at me or classifying my disability.

Growing up as a person with a disability has had a profound impact on my life and my perception of the world.  As is pointed out in my poem “Your Child” even something as simple as a flight of stairs is a different experience for me then it was my brothers.  But far too often we see a person’s disability without seeing, the person.  A person isn’t and should not be defined by their disabilities, yet it happens all the time.  My disability is a part of who I am, but it isn’t who I am.

The same is true about “Unclipped Wings”.  Sometimes people assume that because I have a disability, “Unclipped Wings” is a poetry book about disabilities.  This isn’t true.  I did draw on my experiences as a person with a disability when I wrote some of the poems, but “Unclipped Wings” is not about living life with a disability. (Though we all have them)

“Unclipped Wings” cultivates inclusion of all people not just those with disabilities, because it is a book about life and many of the challenges we all face.  As a person with a disability some of my challenges are obvious, but we all have our own obstacles to overcome.

All of us have the same basic needs.  We all need food, water, shelter, and love.  We also all have our own abilities and disabilities. Everyone is unique. While we may appear different when it comes down to what matters most, we are all more alike then unalike.  It is easy and sometimes natural to judge people and their abilities and potential by their appearances, but we should try to avoid doing that.

We don’t all have the same abilities, but what we chose to do with the abilities we do have is far more important then what are abilities are.


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