Categories
Disability

NEW IDEAS ARE DIFFICULT

The following article was submitted for publication to the Baltimore Sun on December 29th, 2015.  It’s difficult to say, in under 750 words, anything that has nuance or depth, but, I did feel as though we should try to alert our Baltimore Community that this very unique project is seeking funding and the challenges we face.:

“I am from the minority called disability. It’s a complex group, some disabled from birth and most as adults, and if your disabilities are mental, nobody knows you have it just by looking. Unlike being a racial minority, everyone wishes the best for us. Our road to hell is paved by the good intentions of the nondisabled. You care. You pat us on the head and tell us to be strong, how brave we are, how amazing we are, and how impressed you are when we smile. Unfortunately, all this misplaced compassion, however kindly meant, really doesn’t empower us to live our lives or raise our families.

The IMAGE Center of Maryland, based in Towson, is working on a project that will literally change the lives of over 600 million people with disabilities throughout the world at a cost of under five million dollars, but, ideas that don’t fit neatly into our preconceptions, also don’t fit into existing funding mechanisms.   The IMAGE Center doesn’t see disability the way you probably do. We see much of disability as a tools and techniques problem rather than a limitation you must learn to accept. What the woman paralyzed wants to know is, “How do I get my life back?” How do I raise my kids, drive the car and get back to work?” And unfortunately, there isn’t any place on the web for her to see people just like her do these simple things. She can go on the web and search for “wheel chair cooking” but think about it for a moment. Being in a wheelchair doesn’t really tell you much about her. How much leg movement does she still have? Can she stand some? Can she move one leg but not the other? And, how much arm or hand use does she have? Some fingers on one hand but not the other? Left arm but not right? Each of these is important if she’s really going to see people who are solving the problem she needs to solve.

Recognizing this, the IMAGE Center is developing an online web sharing and search tool so she can see people, dozens or hundreds of them just like her, successfully living their lives and how they do it.   Think about everything you know how to do. You learned it by observing and imitating. That’s the way humans learn. Unfortunately, most people with disabilities, whether temporary or permanent, have never seen anyone like them and how they solve daily life problems. So, hundreds of millions of people throughout the world struggle to make a life without the essential of imitation.   With the modern web it is possible to create a video sharing site where people can specify their exact set of limitations and see dozens or hundreds of people just like them and how they create solutions for everything. We call it the Aging & Disability Skills Gateway. Check it out at: www.disabilityskills.org   For most of us, disability means care. Disability means less of a life except for those few who succeed that we regard as heroes and amazing, not realizing that these are just the creative few who can make up a life without that all essential roadmap of people to imitate.

Medical professionals want to cure us. Disability professionals want to care for us. The press wants feel good stories about the disabled hero overcoming all odds, or pictures of the ice bucket challenge, while ignoring the actual challenges of the disability itself.   Slowly we are making progress. A recent TED talk profiled our project as one of the three primary challenges of disability in the 21st century.   We here at the IMAGE Center leave 2015 frustrated. We know that out there somewhere are people who see disability as a problem to be solved. We know there are those of you out there who will join us as we create this new vision of disability. But for the moment, like other minorities, we still feel like the power structure and those who work in it are well intentioned yet misguided.”

Categories
Teen Blog

How can we make technology easier to use for people with disabilities by Karissa Phillips

Technology is amazing these days! But for some people who have disabilities It can sometimes be a challenge to use. Take me for example it’s hard for me to use small things however does that stop me from doing what most teenagers love to do Nope! I put my mind to it and I Txt I’m on the social media sites just like all of my peers, I also can hold a camera and take pictures of things I enjoy! You can do anything you put your mind too!! Don’t let your disability define you!! However I wish they would come out with a easier way for me to type and login to my accounts when I try to Type my password in if I shake and hit a wrong key on accident it gives me trouble logging in.

Your’s truly,
Karissa Phillips

Categories
Teen Blog

Awesome Connections By Karissa Phillips


For many of you who came out to Connect in Harford County it was the first time you met Jonny Hudson. But I already had the privilege of knowing this amazing man! He was a Missionary at my church when I was little! I truly look up to him! He amazes me!  I’m proud to welcome Jonny into our Image Family and I’m glad he’ll be hanging out with us! You guys can learn alot from him I sure have!

Karissa Phillips

 

Categories
Teen Blog

Christmas shopping together by Karissa Phillips


we had a great time last night at the mall! Our friends at Image enjoyed eachothers company,buying gifts and learning how to be more independent. There was smIles and pure joy  going around our group last night!

KarIssa Phillips

Categories
Teen Blog

Power Of Music By Karissa Phillips

Have you ever had one of those days where your down? I have let me share with you what I do to make myself feel good again I turn my radio on to 95.1 Shine Fm! Shine Fm plays inspirational music! I laugh at the funny things they say and listen to the touching music! I love going to places to meet the DJ’S!! The lady who is on in the afternoons Erin is my mentor she takes time to talk to me and give me the best advice! Me having CP, Axitety,Depression I can turn it on when I’m having a tough day and after listening to it for awhile it changes my attitude and makes me feel happy I feel the same way when I meet one of the DJ’S! I would encourage you to check them out at WWW.95.1 ShineFm.com or just listen to Shine Fm for 30 minutes a day! It can truly change your life it has mine!

Yours Truly

Karissa Phillips

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