From the Editor…

Vicki Leeper

The Subject of Independence

When you broach the subject of independence, you realize how individual the meaning of that word is. We’ve all experienced a toddler who “wants to do it for myself”. And we proudly stand back, let them work at, watch them fail sometimes, and are understandably proud when they
succeed. Or we have seen the teenager who defies conventional wisdom, rebels against their parents in their fight for independence.

We look at those things with nods of understanding, we’ve all been there, it’s a part of life, etc. But when an individual with a disability does the exact same thing, why do we view that differently? Why is it not ok to let them try and possibly fail, to not step in until asked to help? As individuals, they want to do for themselves without judgement and intervention. At some point they may ask for help, and they may not. It’s important to respect that people want to do as much as they can for themselves, even if they can’t do everything. These things can make them proud about being independent, things they would miss if they were no longer independent.

“I was thrilled to play Louis Canning (The Good Wife), a lawyer who uses his Parkinson’s-like symptoms to manipulate juries. He was so crass – I loved the idea that disabled people can be a–holes, too.” ~ Michael J. Fox, who is living with Parkinsons.