I think most every one would agree that having a good education is paramount in living in today’s society. This is especially true for those with complex disabilities. I was born with cerebral palsy at a time in history when institutionalization was the only option. Being African American and female made it even more unlikely that I would survive what society had to offer. However, my mother insisted that I be educated similarly to my able-bodied brother just 15 months older. In the 1950’s, there was no documented information to contradict what my mother said was possible. Therefore, the professionals did as my mother instructed. Contrary to the common practice at the time, the diagnosis of “mentally retarded” was not ascribed to me. When it was suggested, my mother said that he had taught me how to read. Her insistence that she was able to understand my very difficult speaking pattern kept that label absent from all records regarding my diagnosis of Athetoid Cerebral Palsy.
Beyond a Bachelor
Having excelled through all academic endeavors through a Masters Degree from the Pennsylvania State University, I accomplished many years of professional experience. I continue to emphasize those very early years because the United States sees to be going backwards, at least in any parts of the country.
In my self published memoir, It’s Easier to Dance – Living Beyond Boundaries https://www.amazon.com/Annie-Harris-Meachem/e/B06XK69F55, I emphasize the complexities of being disabled and of multicultural heritage. It is a reality that has yet to be addressed in our country.