Born in 1946, I was diagnosed with CP in 1947. My parents accepted the diagnosis but rejected the prognosis which included my death by age 40 and the recommendation that they place me in an institution. Throughout my childhood my parents advocated for and pursued my full inclusion in all aspects of life into my college years despite resistance from the school systems, scouting and other youth activities, and American society in general during the 50’s and 60’s.
Following college I taught junior and senior high school social studies and served four years as an assistant principal. In 1977, I joined the staff of one of the first Centers for Independent Living and became fully immersed in the Disability Rights Movement. In 1980, I became the director of Consumer Activities for the National office of United Cerebral Palsy in New York City. In 1984, I returned to Michigan and held several positions over the next 27 years managing programs and services for persons with disabilities provided by Michigan state government.
My activities outside of employment have included being an athlete or staff at four Paralympic Games, teaching disability studies as adjunct faculty at Michigan State University, serving on the governing boards of several local, state and national organizations, and holding an officer position for UCPA, National Disability Rights Network, the International Paralympic Committee, and Peckham, Inc.
Although retired from state government, I continue my involvement with multiple organizations, including CPRN, from my home in Eagle Harbor, Michigan.
My association with CPRN is motivated by the life experiences cited in my BIO above. At age 75, my quality of life (longevity) flows from an exquisite matrix of great parents, self-affirming life activities, advocacy by others and myself through the Disability Rights Movement (first led by parents and after the mid 70’s by consumers), empowering education and an incredible mix of physicians, researchers and physical therapists who have consistently sought to enhance my health, wellness and functional engagement with my complex environment. I hope my contributions to CPRN will, in some small way, insure continuous progress in how we address the challenges presented by cerebral palsy.