Communication and accessibility are basic human rights.
Will you join me in the fight for equality?
Will you join me in the fight for equality?
I've decided to start a series called "Disability Storytime"; in this series I plan to share my real-life experiences as a person with disabilities. I intend to share both good and bad experiences. The experience I'm sharing today, however, is a bad one.
The disability I'm referring to in this story is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). While my TBI is not formally diagnosed, there is no denying that I have significant short and long term memory loss, along with other cognitive issues, directly following a medical procedure. Sometimes I need people to rephrase or repeat information so that I can fully understand. As you can imagine, not all people are as accommodating as I'd like.
It was a quiet day at work. I was sitting at my desk organizing a few things when a woman walked in and asked to order books for the book club. I was still relatively new at my job and I hadn't encountered this task yet. I politely asked the woman to elaborate, and she was appalled that I didn't know anything about her book club. She kept saying "It's for the book club!" raising her voice a little bit each time she said it.
By this point I had been able to piece together a little bit of information based on this woman's rambling. I realized I needed to order multiple copies of the same book (which makes sense, but I was so flustered by the woman's tone and her rambling). First, I thought the woman wanted me to order multiple copies of the book under her name. But, when I started that process, she became more irate.
By piecing together bits of information from the woman, I was able to figure out that she wanted me to order a copy of the book for each person in the book club. As long as she provided the information, I was happy to do that. Before giving me the names, she said "maybe you should just wait until someone else gets here who can do this right."
At this point, my brain was completely overwhelmed and I was on the verge of tears. And now it was time write down all the different names and make sure they were spelled correctly. I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen. The woman started spelling the names far too fast for me to remember. When I politely asked her to repeat herself, she became frustrated. At this point, I said to her "I'm sorry, but I have a disability and I need you to go slower so I can get the names spelled correctly." My goal was to be vague enough to maintain my privacy, but to also get this woman to be a little more accommodating. Her response? "Oh, everyone has a disability!" She then continued to make it very difficult for me to complete the task.
This went on for about a half hour. By the time the woman left, I was choking back tears. I began to cry a little after she left. I was feeling so inadequate, yet so angry that people can be so insensitive. Since this incident, I have complied a list of all the people in the book club and placed it somewhere where I can pull it out each time this woman comes in; that way, I don't have to have her spell the names each time. Now, I write down the book she wants, and then get them all ordered at my own pace so I don't feel pressured and, as a result, get distracted. This is one of many accommodations I've created for myself at my job to help me be more efficient as a person with disabilities.
In November, I posted a video about my experience with a very unethical doctor. If you haven't seen that video yet, check it out here. This video is an update about what has happened since I filed a formal complaint. I am not at all satisfied and plan to pursue this issue further. This video is in English and has Closed Captions. I will also provide a transcript of the video below for anyone who may need it.
Hey everyone! So, some of you may remember that, in November, I posted a video about
my experience with a very unethical GI doctor.
If you haven't seen that video yet, it's pretty crucial to understanding this
video, so I will link it in the description box down below.
You should probably go watch that first before you watch this because this is a follow up.
I did file a formal complaint and I got this fabulously frustrating letter back from them.
Now, I'm not gonna show you the actual front of the letter because
I don't want to get in trouble for, like, sharing confidential information or
using the facility's name. I don't know. But I am going to tell you
what they said and talk about how I plan to continue to pursue this issue
because this is this is definitely not satisfying at all, because almost
everything they said is wrong. So, as for the doctor, we'll just call him doctor unethical.
We'll just call him doctor unethical so that he may remain anonymous.
So, this is the letter that I got from the manager of
digestive diseases and network endoscopy.
This is what she said: "I am writing in follow-up to
you and your mother's complaint regarding your visit with Dr. Unethical on 11/8/17.
I completed a review of your concern on 12/ 6/2017."
Ok, good you reviewed it. Let's see what happens now.
So, "your input gives us the opportunity to review our services and make changes when necessary"
Except that you're not going to make any changes.
"Your complete satisfaction is very important to us."
Obviously not, as you will see later in the letter.
"Upon reviewing your appointment time and the associated registration times on two occasions
with Dr. Unethical, it appears you arrived a few minutes late each time."
Okay, let's stop there for a moment. I was not late on either of these occasions.
The reason that this manager thinks I was late is because their system doesn't show you as checking in
until they finish checking you in and getting you all registered for the appointment.
And every single time that I've gone to this office, they take at least 15 to 20 minutes to check me in.
I think it may have even been around a half hour one time,
because they cannot seem to manage to get my insurance information and my
name correct. So I'm not sure how that's my fault.
My name changed a little over a year ago so you think they'd have that under control right now.
My insurance changed, I think, almost a year ago so they should have that under control by now too.
Let's continue: "It's important for patients to be on time. . . "
blah blah blah blah I was on time so I already know that.
So, the first occasion that I was supposedly late,
which I'm pretty sure is the time that they took about a half an hour to check me in,
"Dr. unethical did fit you back into his schedule." Wow, what a hero.
"Unfortunately it was after a patient who had a 60 minute appointment this is what caused the delay."
No, no, that is not what caused the delay. Because I remember that particular day,
and I had my mom there with me. So, even though my memory is not-so-hot
I have someone to back me up on this one.
for at least a half an hour, maybe even 45 minutes, I was sitting in "the little room" as I like to call it.
You know, after they call you out of the waiting room and you're in the exam room.
I sat in the exam room and Dr. unethical was sitting at his little desk on his computer for 30 to 45 minutes;
Probably about 45 minutes. And, I had waited in the waiting room for almost an hour before that so that just doesn't add up.
He wasn't with a patient. He was sitting at a desk
and he didn't even look like he was really on the computer. He didn't look like he was doing anything.
So, he was not in with a patient and I wasn't late, so those are both wrong.
"In regards to the second occasion on 11/ 8/2017"--this is the day I had the major issue and walked out
as you can see in the video down below. if you haven't seen it yet.
"It was reported to me you were yelling at the provider upon overhearing doctor Dr. unethical
talking to a nurse about your late arrival."
Ok, two things about this. First of all, I did not "overhear" him.
He whipped opened the door and started screaming at the nurse that was in the room with us.
There was no "overhearing". He was not, like, in the hallway saying I was late--
even if he was that still wouldn't really be okay, but no. I was changing into a gown
and he burst in the room and started yelling about how we were late.
And, in regards to me yelling at him, uh yeah I did yell at him.
Yeah, that's the only thing in here that they're right about. I did yell at him because he was yelling at me
where here they say I was yelling, and it was "also reported that
Dr. unethical did not raise his voice at all." Oh, he's so wonderful isn't he? No!
He came in the room screaming at the nurse right in front of me; burst in the room
opened the door, slammed the door, started screaming right in front of me.
I did not "overhear" and he most certainly raised his voice. And then yes I did raise mine,
which is the only thing they're right about in this letter.
And then they always like to wrap these things up with, like, a nice little sentence at the end,
Like it's supposed to make you, you know, satisfied again.
"It is our commitment to do everything possible to ensure your experience at this Center--
I won't name it I don't want to get in trouble--is positive in every way."
Yeah, obviously that's not your commitment since you told, I think, like three or four lies
in this thing here and you're not doing anything about this doctor. So, I actually
plan to appeal this further to the medical director of the facility, and I
will let you all know how that goes. And, I realize that they may not do anything,
but I intend to take this as far as I possibly can, simply because I don't want
other people to have to have this experience.
And other ways that I plan to try to help other people to avoid this kind of experience
is writing online reviews for this particular doctor. I know that when I need a new provider,
I typically go online and look at the reviews, and if they have some bad
reviews, sometimes it can cause you to kind of look twice. And I definitely want
to make people look twice before they go to this guy and possibly get treated the
way I did. So, that's what's happening with that.
Thanks for watching my video. I'm gonna try to start posting here more often.
It'll be a mix of English videos and ASL videos but everything is always captioned in English,
regardless of if I'm speaking or if I'm signing.
And you can click that subscribe button down there. And ,next to the subscribe button, there's a little bell.
And if you click that bell you'll get notified every time I post the new video.
And, sooner or later-- probably later because it's a doctor's office-- you can find out how
this whole thing is going. But, in the mean-time, I'll have some other content for you guys as well.
Thank you for watching, bye!
It's been awhile since I've done a video post. So, I decided to continue my series "The Chronic Chronicles" by addressing the topic of unethical doctors. (This video is in English and is Closed Captioned).
I had my normal 3 month GI appointment scheduled for yesterday, but then refused my doctor's services after he treated me very unethically. In this video, I share my experience as well as advice on what to do if you have been or are being treated unethically by any doctor.
One of my goals for this blog is to start creating more content about mental illness. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. It is amazing that in our current time, there is still such a stigma surrounding mental illness; It is still a taboo topic. I want to be a part of changing that. I want people to know that discussing mental illness is no different from discussing any other kind of illness. Mental illness is a real illness; it's not a bad character trait or a personality flaw.
One of the reasons that it can be challenging to raise awareness about mental illness is that these illnesses are usually invisible. Most people with mental illness "look healthy". You can't tell I have depression and anxiety by looking at me. Most people with mental illness have been told they don't "look sick" more times than they can count. The only way we can make mental illness visible is if we speak out about it. We have to stop hiding behind the stigma that society has created and refuse to be treated as second class citizens.
So, in this post I'm going to share 10 things that happen to me when I'm in a particularly bad depressive episode. My depression never goes away completely, but there are times when it gets worse. These are some of the things that happen during the worst episodes (this list is, by no means, exhaustive)
1. I am depressed.
This seems obvious, right? The problem is that many people don't understand what depression really means. Many people think it is the same as feeling sad when the reality is that sadness is just one fragment of depression. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say "everyone gets depressed". That is not true. Everyone gets sad, but not everyone gets depressed. There are also differences between situational depression and clinical depression, but that topic will need a post of its own.
2. I am exhausted.
I'm pretty much always tired; that comes with the territory when you have major depression. But in particularly bad times, the fatigue gets even worse. It is overwhelming and anxiety-producing. Sometimes, l fear that I am literally going to fall asleep standing up.
3. I can't concentrate.
I have a hard time concentrating on just about anything. My daily Bible devotions, my job, blogging, reading a novel, etc. My mind wanders and usually produces thoughts that fill me with anxiety. I am too busy putting out those fires to have any head space left to concentrate on anything else.
4. I can't run simple errands.
Simple things like going to the store, the pharmacy, the post office, etc. seem impossible. I can't possibly get dressed and go out in public. What if I run into someone I know and I have to talk to them? Am I awake enough to drive? The list of thoughts surrounding going out for any reason is pretty much endless.
5. I cut back on, or stop, engaging in my hobbies.
I find myself reading less, blogging less, and practicing signing less, among other things. Partially because I can't concentrate on them and partially because, even when I do get engaged in them, they don't bring me the joy and satisfaction that they typically do.
6. I cut back on socializing--a lot.
Just like getting out of the house to run errands, the list of reasons my mind can come up with for not leaving the house to socialize is daunting. What if they get mad because you can't pay attention? What if you just start crying for no reason? What if you get sucked in and they you can't leave when you feel like you need to? Do people even want to be around you?
7.I am more irritable.
Things that normally wouldn't bother me make me incredibly anxious or angry. This is not only unpleasant for me, but for all those around me.
8. I don't cook for myself.
Breakfast for dinner happens a lot. Cereal, toaster waffles, etc. Pizza on a wrap that can be put in the toaster oven for 5 minutes is also on the menu frequently. I have zero motivation to cook a full, balanced meal.
9. I clean significantly less.
Just like with cooking, I have no motivation to clean my house. The mess will start to make me anxious, but I still feel I can't possibly get up and clean. And, cleaning and leaving the house on the same day? Forget it!
10. I feel guilty.
I feel guilty because of the burden I put on the people in my life when I'm in a bad depressive episode. I need a lot of help with things that I feel I shouldn't need help with, and that is an unpleasant feeling.
Do you struggle with mental illness? Are you a caregiver of someone with a mental illness? What do you wish people understood about your struggle?
I shared this post in the linky down below. Check it out to find some other blog pages that you might enjoy!
I apologize for the delay in getting this video out. I filmed it several days ago, but it took me awhile to finish the captioning. I am working on getting more efficient with captioning and any tips are welcomed and will be much appreciated! I will continue to stick to my guns and not make any videos live without captions; if everyone doesn't get access at the same time, it's not equal access. And, if you've been following me for any length of time, you know I'm all about equal access!
This is video number 2 in my series "The Chronic Chronicles". In the first video, I talked about what it's like living with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. In this video, I show you my supplies that help me have a better quality of life!
Thanks for reading and watching!
About the event:
Last weekend, I was blessed to be able to attend Beth Moore's Living Proof conference in Springfield, Massachusetts. I have watched Beth speak on TV and online, so I knew that she is a powerhouse and that she's extremely passionate about speaking Truth into the lives of other women. Sadly, I have not had the chance to read any of her books yet, but I definitely will! I was so excited to see her live!
The event was incredible! It's hard for me to even explain it; but the Holy Spirit was very present and very active in that arena. There were 2,000 women attending the conference. To my surprise, Beth said this was the smallest conference that she has had on this year's tour. Seemed pretty crowded to me, so I said a quick prayer of thanks to God that this was the particular conference I found myself at!
Even though there were 2,000 women there, the event had a small-group Bible study vibe.I was not expecting that at all--and I loved it! Beth taught mainly from Colossians 4, adding in other scriptures throughout her teaching for additional support. Her theme was "Staying afloat the fellow ship." (Get it???) She talked about how important it is for us to be in constant fellowship with other believers and that, at the same time, our main goal is to reach outsiders, or non-believers.
I was seriously impressed with Beth's teaching skills! She used lots of visuals, which helped me remember her main points. She actually had a (filled) salt shaker in her hand constantly and would shake it when she was reminding us how to Biblically season our conversations with non-believers with salt! Everyone was cracking up! I plan to attend this event again next fall, and I can't wait!
Whenever I go to an event, I'm always scoping out how accessible it is to different needs. I like to continue to support events that are accessible and help events that are less accessible understand why accessibility is so important. Plus, I like reporting back to all of you! From what I could gather, Beth Moore's conference was very accessible. There was an ASL interpreter in the front of the arena. There were several areas of seats that were reserved for attendees with special needs. I saw a few people in wheelchairs that seemed to be able to get a good view of what was going on on the stage, as well as enter and exit the arena comfortably. So, Living Proof Ministries gets an A for accessibility from me!
My personal challenges:
I don't go to large events like this very often. One of the biggest reasons for that is the fact that my disabilities can make it challenging. In order for me to go, it has to be something/someone I am really interested in and I have to be able to plan a lot of things ahead of time (how long the days are going to be, when I can rest, a plan for an escape from visual and/or auditory stimulation if needed, etc.)
So, what challenges did I face at this event? First of all, crowds of any kind are difficult for me. I feel trapped and claustrophobic when there are too many people and I can't move around. Also, arena sitting is not typically my friend. My body protests those hard, squished together seats every time. By the time we left the 2 1/2 hour Friday night event, my back and my legs were SCREAMING at me! I couldn't wait to collapse into my hotel bed! And, the 2 1/2 hour car ride there did not do my body any favors either. Travel is also extremely hard on my body. And most events involve travel and those arena seats. So, yeah...
A large amount of visual and/or auditory stimulation can be challenging for me too. Of course, I mentally prepare to take in more stimulation than normal when going to an event like this, but I'm typically still exhausted and overjoyed by silence at the end! Crowds and high amounts of stimulation can make it difficult for me to focus on my surroundings. And, there were these "speed bump" like things on the floor of the arena. Yup, you guessed it. I tripped over one! Also, my hands were shaky and achy (didn't mean to rhyme that, but whatever works), so as I tried to open my iced tea, I ended up spilling a bunch of it.
Was it worth it?
Short answer: yes. This was a great event. Beth Moore is an amazing teacher. Her praise band is fantastic. I had good fellowship with family and friends. But, that being said, there's a reason I only do these types of things once a year or so! It typically takes me at least 3-4 days to get back to my "normal" energy level (which isn't normal anyway).
I highly recommend this event to all women who love Jesus: able-bodied and disabled people alike!
I've decided to get a new vlog series going. It's been awhile since I've done any vlogging, and I think it's about time I get back into it. This series, "The Chronic Chronicles", will discuss my experiences living with various chronic illnesses. This first video discusses what it's like to live with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (a rare, chronic disease with no known cure). These vlogs will be in ASL, but, even if you don't sign, I've got you covered. There will be an English transcript posted below the video here on the blog as well as in the comments section of the video on YouTube. Enjoy the new series and please feel free to ask questions or share any of your own experiences!
Transcript: Hi Everyone! Today I'm going to discuss a chronic illness that I have called Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. That name is long, I know, here it is again. The short name is CVS, so I'll use that now. Ok, CVS sucks. You have probably never heard of CVS because it's rare and most doctors haven't even heard of it. I have gone to the doctor and told them "I have CVS" and they say "what's that?" and get very confused. It's very frustrating! I was born with CVS. When I was a baby, I had problems with vomiting. All babies do vomit, but mine was very severe. The doctor tried many different things, but none of them worked. My mom stopped breastfeeding and tried many different formulas, but that didn't work. I got diagnosed when I was 22 years old. Yes, for 22 years I had no name for my illness. A few doctors tried, but they couldn't come up with anything. What is CVS? It's kind of like migraines in your stomach; it's weird. It's also connected to migraines in your head; I have both. Sometimes, I have them at the same time, and sometimes they're separate. There is very little research done on CVS because it's rare and there's not a lot of funding. Nobody wants to pay for more research; it sucks! Some of the research has caused some doctors to think that CVS might be a mitochondrial disease. That makes sense to me because I'm always very tired, and mitochondrial diseases cause tiredness. Doctors used to think that only kids could have CVS, but that's not true. Now they know that adults can have it too. Sometimes kids grow out of it, but sometimes they don't. Like me; I've had it my whole life. What happens when I have a CVS attack? Obviously, one thing is vomiting. But, sometimes, if I take my medicine early enough, I can prevent the vomiting. I will still feel sick, but I won't vomit. It definitely helps some. Other symptoms include: headaches (like I said before, the headaches and the stomachaches are connected), nausea, pain in my arms and legs--especially my legs; they will hurt a lot! When my legs start hurting, I know I need my medicine because a CVS attack is coming. Also, my hands get really weak. I can't hold anything; my hands are useless. Also, my eyes are very sensitive to light. If I'm on the computer for a long time, sometimes I will get a headache and my eyes will get blurry. Also, this can happen if I am in a room with too much light or flashing lights. Then, I have to rest my eyes. Sometimes I use my eye mask to help my eyes rest. I'll show you. It's beautiful right? I got that at the dollar store! CVS in unpredictable. One week I will be fine and be doing all my normal activities: work, socializing, church, etc. Then, other weeks, I will be exhausted! I will nap in the afternoon for 4 hours sometimes when I'm having a CVS attack. If I'm sleeping that much, I know that an attack is coming and I need my medicine. I'm always more tired than most people, but sometimes it's worse, and I know an attack is coming. When I have a bad week, I can't leave the house much. I'll only do the things I have to do. I will go to work and then come back home and sleep, and that's it. No socializing, no going to the store, which is annoying, and I can't get any errands done, which is also annoying. My hope is that more people like me, living with CVS, will express their feelings and encourage more awareness so that people can get diagnosed sooner than I did. 22 years, wow! Now, I'm 27. Yeah, I've known for 5 years now. Also, I hope that the research can get more funding. I don't know if that sign (research) is conceptually accurate. Yeah, I wanted to share my chronic illness experience. Thanks for watching, bye!
Here’s a list of things I “should” do today:
Here's a list of things that will most likely occur today:
Sometimes, we have to put our "shoulds" off to the side for a time and give our bodies, our minds, and our spirits the rest that they need.
I’m weak today. It’s been a long, tiring week, physically and emotionally. But, this verse helps me to remember that, in my weakness, He is strong! So, here I am, admitting my weakness and praying for Christ’s power to rest on me today! I know that my weakness is covered in His grace, and for that I give God praise, glory, and honor!
Hopefully by next week, I’ll have my next post done. It is outlined, but it is an ASL post, so I need to film it, caption it, and get feedback from Deaf friends on it before posting it. ASL posts take a more time and effort, but I believe they’re important for me to include since the principles of this blog include acknowledging communication differences and creating accessibility. It’s important to me to expose my readers/viewers to sign language in order to promote awareness and sensitivity. So, stay tuned! God bless!
How does the above picture make you feel? Frustrated? Angry? Trapped? Anxious?Those are all words that came to mind for me. I chose this picture because I feel it accurately depicts the frustration associated with having a disability (or disabilities) that affect your ability to communicate expressively, receptively, or both. For me, both areas of communication are affected. This means I have trouble with expressing myself as well as processing what another person is telling me.
My anxiety, depression, and brain injury all play a role in making communicating a bit more challenging for me than for people without disabilities. First, I'll talk about expressive communication. The very nature of depression and anxiety is very hard to explain, which creates frustration when it comes to expressive communication. When you're not feeling well, it's natural for people to ask why. The problem with depression and anxiety is it's often impossible to pinpoint the reason. People assume that you have to have a reason, other than imbalanced brain chemicals, to feel anxious and/or depressed. So, people with these conditions (like me) attempt to explain something in a way that really can't be explained, which can be extremely frustrating.
In addition to the frustration of trying to assign fake, arbitrary reasons to anxiety and depression, my brain injury makes expressive communication even more complicated for me. Often, things that would be easy for typical people to explain are difficult for me to explain. It's particularly difficult for me to explain things to people that I don't know well. When I need to make "important" phone calls or go to the doctor, I often have to have someone helping me because I have trouble explaining what I need. It will often come out in a way that will make no sense to someone who doesn't know me well. This happens because, first, my anxiety makes me nervous, and then my brain injury doesn't let me formulate what I need to say in my brain at the right speed or in the right order. Needless to say, it is very emotionally taxing to know what you need and not be able to express it. I don't like to admit that I need someone to help me communicate, but the truth is sometimes I do. While I try to be as independent as possible, if it's a matter of me getting critical needs met or not, I ask for help.
And then there's receptive communication, which is a whole separate struggle Again, receptive communication is how you understand what someone else is telling you. Receptive communication was less of a struggle for me before my brain injury. Now, my brain takes longer to process things. When someone gives me multiple step directions, for example, I often have to repeat back what they’re saying, close my eyes and visualize, use hands gestures and/or sign language to “imprint” what they’re saying in my brain. And then comes the most critical step—write it down!!!
This may not sound very complicated but, believe me, there are glitches in the “system” I’ve created. For example, there are times I don’t have something to write with. Yes, I should always keep something with me, but I’m human and things happen. Also, there are situations where I’m around people that I don’t know very well and I’m embarrassed to take out my small notebook and take notes. As much as I try to be open about my disability and share my story so that it can possibly help others, again, I’m human. Sometimes I just want people to think I’m “normal”. So, I try to process the information without any techniques that would be visible to the other person. Then, I usually end up forgetting at least a chunk of the information, as I’m sure you could predict.
One other example of receptive communication being a source of frustration for me is when I was helping at a church dinner one night. As I’ve already mentioned, it takes me longer to process information than most people. I was partnered with another person and we were both responsible for making sure everyone dining in the dining room had gotten their food and drinks and for cleaning up the tables and setting new places when people were finished. I, of course, didn’t initially realize that I was moving slower than the other person. I was just doing the best I could with the resources I have. But soon, I started realizing that when I went to refill someone’s drink, she was already doing it. At one point, she was almost done clearing a table by the time I noticed it needed clearing. I walked over to help her finish clearing the table. Then, I noticed her frustration with me. She said, in an annoyed tone, “Can you clean off that other table since I’ve done the last two?” I tried to apologize, but I don’t think any words actually came out. I went over and cleaned off the other table trying to blink back the tears that were forming in my eyes; I felt embarrassed and ashamed. Every time I find myself in those situations, my initial reaction is shame. I feel ashamed that I can’t do things at the same speed or with the same efficiency as “normal" people. But, I’ve started to let that shame lead to advocacy. People need to stop assuming everyone around them is able-bodied just because they don’t look like they have a disability. I try to respond to these situations now by politely apologizing and saying that I have some medical issues that make it a little harder for me to process things, but that I’m doing the best I can and I am willing to help them if they can just let me know what they need. My hope is that this doesn’t just make the current situation easier for me, but that it makes the situation easier for the next person with any type of disability who encounters this individual. I hope that my explanation helps that person to not assume everyone is exactly like them. Sometimes this happens, and sometimes it doesn’t. But, I have to remember, that I can only plant seeds. It’s God’s job to change hearts. So, I will keep doing my part to plant seeds through education and pray that compassion and empathy for people with disabilities will continue to spread throughout our world.