Oh man, am I having trouble writing this post!
I am in Quebec City and I couldn`t get my computer to hook on-line when we checked in last night. I was too tired to come down and write something in the hotel business center so I thought I`d just wait until the morning. And here I am, sitting in the business center with people all around me quickly typing and getting things done, and me ... well not quite the same picture.
You see the keyboard has a French configuration, which makes sense because I`m in Quebec but it took me ten minutes of searching before I gave up finding the @ symbol. Oh, it`s there on the keyboard but when you press it you get " not @. This means I cannot check my email, I cannot sign on to Blogger. I can do very little of what I want to do. I tried asking the person next to me but he just smiled a nice smile and indicated that he didn`t speak English.
The fellow on the other side just stared hard at his computer, I could tell he wasn`t in to being asked. So I called the front desk and they were very busy but would come and help. Finally, I found where the @ was. But for that whole time I sat feeling quite incompetent while surrounded with competence. I felt what it was like to have to wait for help while others did things independently.
I wonder at the amazing spirit of people with intellectual disabilities who seem to cope with this situation which has me screaming inside. I wonder if their `coping` so well sometimes leaves me forgetting how big a deal it is to have a disability that reduces ability to do some very basic things. I wonder if their patience with the rest of us leaves me without appreciation for what that patience costs.
(I just did spell check on this and as the computer is set to a French configuration, it highlighted every word as spelled wrong ... funny or what)