Speaking at Disability Awards

Living with Disabilities

In addition to Disabilities, Attitudes and persistently accepting, adapting and believing, this post concerns two main points:

  1. My anticipation of the upcoming opportunity to keynote and present awards to both the employers and employees at the 11th annual Chattanooga Area Employment Consortium, a group of non-profits that offer employment services to people with disabilities.
  2. The fact is that people with disabilities are just like people without disabilities, in that we have hopes, dreams and senses of humor.

Persistent Acceptance

We don’t get to choose our disabilities, or the groups to which we belong, but we ALWAYS get to choose our Attitude toward ourselves and toward the groups of which we are members. Becoming part of the world’s largest minority,  people with disabilities, wasn’t in my plans, but persistently accepting that I am part of this group opens my mind to the possibilities and advantages connected with being a group member.

Because people with disabilities form a minority that crosses every social and geographic boundary, a whole world of related possibilities exists that many people never discover. The opportunity to grow my understanding of myself and others is but a bare beginning. Choosing to accept differences has opened the opportunity for me to rebuild my life and make it better than I had dared hope.

My new neighbor, who I met yesterday, just brought her jazz musician friend by because when she described me to him, he said he knew me from a ways back. We had a great reunion and visit. What an incredibly cool deal it is to be living in the results of accepting my disability and the differences that exist between people.

And More Acceptance Joys

They barely left before my girlfriend Bonnie called to say she is burning onto a disc a show I did for the Brain Injury Association of Colorado and another of me doing my

Jr. Cadillac plays it right

jazz walk/paralytic shuffle across a wide lawn on a sunny day as a live concert of Junior Cadillac (A NW rock ‘n roll, country and R&B band) plays in the background.

What does all this have to do with the disability event later this month in Tennessee? Three things, at least,

  1. If I hadn’t chosen to accept the differences my motorcycle crash and resulting disability forced on me, I wouldn’t be the kind of person who is asked to give humorous keynotes or present disability awards.
  2. Because I practice acceptance, I know what it means to be happy, joyous and free.
  3. We folks with disabilities are like everyone else in more ways than we are different from everyone else.

Thank you Chattanooga Area Employment Consortium for knowing that America works best when we all work.


If you have a group that is looking for a humorous and fresh way to look beyond challenges and see possibilities, please visit our bookings page and fill out our initial questionnaire.

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Winners Don't Quit Association
12515 NE 145th Pl D-130 KirklandWA98034 USA 
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