Wednesday, April 15, 2009


What an interesting journey this has been. And we haven't even left yet. Joe and I are masters at getting around North America and the United Kingdom. We've conquered language (does anyone in the North America know what an 'estate car' is? have you Brits ever heard of a 'station wagon'?) and usually arrive to get exaclty what we need. So we were pretty cocky when we agreed to a series of three lectures in Israel this June. We were excited to be asked and agreed readily, but now we are working on things like transportation - getting me from A to B with my chair.

I have learned a great deal from this experience of disability - patience and a willingness to go over and over and over things again. The folks in Israel are working very diligently to make this a good experience and we are emailing back and forth with questions and answers. I think we are near through the planning and soon we can just get on with the anticipation.

What's cool about this is the simple fact that I am going to Israel ... oh not to mention the World Congress on Down Syndrome in Dublin ... at all. I remember when the wheelchair rolled into my hospital room that I wondered if, in some way, my career was soon to be over. I wondered what the changes would mean. I wondered what I would mean.

Years later I'm working at Vita on what may be the most important project of my life. I'm still travelling across North America and, with Israel, will travel the farthest I have ever travelled to give a lecture. All while sitting down.

That wheelchair rolled into my room and I rolled into my future.

The one that was still there.


Anonymous said...

I know you have considerable experience traveling with the W/C, but a useful source of info on the subject is if you encounter new or unusual questions in your planning.

Kate said...

Hi, I love your writing and your blogs, and I don't mean to be nitpicky, but I just thought I'd let you know that Israel is spelled, well, Israel, not Isreal. :)
Come to think of it.... it is real, though. Israel, I mean. It's really real. *ok lame attempt at a joke...*

Dave Hingsburger said...

Kate, ok, my face is red, thanks for noticing and correcting me so early. I've changed the spelling. Teach me to write late at night.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
It would be great if you can let us know the exact dates and the subject of your lectures in Israel.

Even though it would be a well worth trip even to Canada for your lectures, it is, umm, a bit far away. But Israel is really just a hop from Europe. I, for one, would love to participate if it fits in my schedule.

And hope to see you in Dublin. My son Robert (15 yo w/DS) and I will be there, too.

Christy said...

Hi Dave,
I have been reading your blog for a while now. I have a daughter with Down Syndrome, and have also worked in the field for a long time. I started as a job coach, finding employment in the community for individuals who are developmentally disabled. Most recently I have been working as a service coordinator for individuals with developmental disabilities; however on Feb. 20th things changed. I was in a car accident, and have been out of work. I am unable to walk at this time as I have a broken left heel. I had surgery, but am still unable to walk, and unable to work at this time, as I can not drive, climb stairs, etc. I often find myself wondering when I will be able to go back to work. This has changed my life in many ways, and I do find myself looking at accessibility a lot more than ever now that I need it! Thanks for your posts however, because I do feel that no matter what happens to my foot, I will be able to get back in the saddle and work again one day, even if I will have to figure out how to do it with a scooter/wheelchair, or whatever I need to do it with. I am glad to hear that you are able to travel and continue your work. You are an inspiration to many, and you are a great advocate for individuals with disabilities. I am so glad to hear that people in other countries are able to benefit from your knowledge. Keep up the great work and Thank You for your blog!! -Christy

rickismom said...

You should have no trouble in Israel. Half the population here speak English poorly, and a quarter speak pretty well. Not being a wheelchair user, I do not know too much about how accessible things are, but we have a large disability community, and from what I have seen, all newer buildings are accesible. It is the older buildings that are problamatic.
Where and when will you be speaking? (Conference Beit Issie Shapira perhaps? They made a conferance two years ago....)

CJ said...

I so hope to hear about your trip to Israel. WE plan to take out youngest son some time after his Bar Mitzvah.

Happy Travels, Dave & Joe.

CJ said...

Sorry for the typos. I should preview my posts.

Glee said...

It's interesting with all this talk about the R word over this past year. Off topic a bit here.

But some people on this blog and many other blogs use the L word. "Lame" to describe something that is not up to scratch or is stupid or off track, "ok lame attempt at a joke" meaning I presume that it's a crap attempt at a joke. Excuse me everyone but this the same as using the R word.

People who are "lame" are not inferior or stupid.

cheerily yours

Lame Glee

Kate said...

To the previous poster, I think you are being a bit too politically correct. Anyone could see or deduce that there wasnt any insult or harm meant from use of that very common phrase, and hell, if you really wanted to, you could think of a possible way just about any word in the english language is offensive to *someone.* I agree we need to watch our language and weed out the really bad ones, but there is a time and place for everything. Someone who is a regular reader of Dave's blog? Probably not so likely to be a major offender. Just my 2 cents.

I was trying to make a joke to lessen any possible feelings of embarassment from the spelling mistake that Dave might have had, is all.

Dave - please don't stop writing late at night - your blog is my bedtime treat - it's the only one that always seems to be updated late at night right before I go to bed, and it always leaves me with a smile on my face and something to chew on as I fall asleep. You might say it's a sleep aid, but NOT in the sense that it's boring :)


Kate said...

Addendum to previous poster:

Please look in the dictionary under the word lame.

You will find:

1. crippled or physically disabled, esp. in the foot or leg so as to limp or walk with difficulty.
2. impaired or disabled through defect or injury: a lame arm.
3. weak; inadequate; unsatisfactory; clumsy: a lame excuse.
4. Slang. out of touch with modern fads or trends; unsophisticated.

As you can see, according to the dictionary, lame by definition means unsatisfactory.

If you look up the definition for retard, you will find no such definition, except under the "offensive slang section," and it's far stronger than just "unsatisfactory."

One is the real meaning for a word; the other is a derogatory slang for a word.

There is a difference.

rickismom said...


Glee said...

I knew I would get a comment about political correctness gone mad.

And I did from someone who is not lame I believe.

If you compare the two words in the same context then you get the same definition from

Noun 1. retard - a person of subnormal intelligence
changeling, cretin, half-wit, idiot, imbecile, moron
mongoloid - a person suffering from Down syndrome (no longer used technically in this sense)
simpleton, simple - a person lacking intelligence or common sense

Noun 1. lame - someone who doesn't understand what is going on
simpleton, simple - a person lacking intelligence or common sense

Even tho the dictionary doesn't describe the use of lame as "offensive slang" I am. It offends me that a physical thing can be identified with stupidness or intellectual inadequateness.

It's all about using one word for another and that is what the use of "retard" used for "stupid" is and that is what using "lame" for "stupid" is too. Same same. You can split hairs if you like but it doesn't change the insult.

The point is, as a lame person, I am offended and that needs to be recognised and respected.


Anonymous said...

I would love to know when you are lecturing in Israel. I have been reading your blog for some time now and would love to hear you speak. No problem getting around in Israel with English. As far as wheelchair access, well like most countries, sometimes it's good but often it's not. Check the places you are going beforehand.

Anonymous said...

I would love to know when you are lecturing in Israel. I have been reading your blog for some time now and would love to hear you speak. No problem getting around in Israel with English. As far as wheelchair access, well like most countries, sometimes it's good but often it's not. Check the places you are going beforehand.

Adina, Israel