Friday, December 04, 2009


Tonight is my coming out.

No, no, not as gay, that news is pretty stale.

For the first time, because I'm usually away lecturing, I'm able to attend Vita's Christmas party. And I've arranged to get there via WheelTrans bus because I want to go with both Henry and Joe. This way, Joe will be able to have a beer or two. I will be able to scoot around independantly in my wheelchair.

When I first began working at Vita I was just adapting to the use of my wheelchair. At that time I would be dropped off at work and walk into the building and up to my desk. I would walk into the kitchen at lunch time and make something in the microwave. These things were really beyond my capability, these things caused me pain, but I was a bit afraid of showing up at work in my wheelchair. Odd as an employee of an agency that works with disabled people, but true nonetheless.

Finally, I gave in and came to work in the wheelchair but still walked to the kitchen. That ended soon after. I simply need my wheelchair to get around, no big deal. And, in fact, it was no big deal. It didn't affect my work, my ability to perform. In truth I think my work has been deepened by the experiences I've had as someone with a disability rather than as before being someone viewing disability, but that's something altogether different for an entirely different post.

Now, Vita (whole) will see me in my power wheelchair, the ultimate statement of 'Yep, I'm a crip'. I've run into a couple of Vita employees in my power chair, I've been to one Vita event in my chair but this will be my formal 'coming out'. I embrace who I am as a disabled guy, I am comfortable as being seen as such. What I wonder is, will they notice how the power chair makes me a little different. A little more outgoing? A little more like Dave before? Will they notice that in am more able rather than more disabled ... I hope so, because that will mean that they understand what disability is and what disability isn't.

Well, we'll see tonight.

Think I should drape the chair in tinsel?


Andrea S. said...

I thought you didn't like tinsel?

If it were me, I would suggest blinking Christmas lights!

Belinda said...

Yes, tinsel--and Andrea's blinking lights too! And mistletoe on a branch over your head. :)

Merry Christmas to all at Vita!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, tinsel, lights, mistletoe and lots of cheer!
Have fun...

Kristin said...

Merry Christmas! I wonder if you could run Christmas lights off the chairs power?

Anonymous said...

Happy Holiday Season to you Dave! :)

I admit, I was a grumbler at work this year when we made the transition... but recognizing the diversity and all of the wonderful holidays opened my eyes, and I too found my part in the inclusion equation.

About your reference to coming out, with Henry - have you read about the Affirmation Model of Disability?


RV Birds of a Feather said...

Darling, I think you should add sequins to that list!