A Day Unplugged
A Day Unplugged
By: Christopher Russell, Activities Coordinator, CCA
So yesterday I did something we’ve all done before; I accidentally left my cell phone at home. The device that I text, email and call with but also, and perhaps most importantly, use my GPS with. I like to think I am pretty good with directions so I decided I should not go home and get my phone and try to get through my day without it.
Our trip to the Tufts University’s art galleries was going smoothly with no need for the phone until we got back to the van and I suddenly realized I was now the only staff member with my group of 9 participants and I HONESTLY DID NOT KNOW HOW TO GET BACK TO TRIANGLE. We were separated from the other group. I started thinking, “Should I try to find the other group?” “I could probably find my way back to Triangle if I drove around for a bit and recognized some roads….” But then it hit me; I am with 9 other fully capable adults, ask them! So I polled the group: “Does anyone know how to get back to Triangle?” And totally not to my surprise, but to my graciousness, one of my participants spoke right up. “I know!” He told me exactly how to get back Triangle, taking back roads and route 16, and let me tell you it was not a simple route. I was truly impressed and so thankful.
My participants will surprise me with things like this all the time but they shouldn’t. These young people are just that, people first, who happen to have a disability. But as we say all the time here at Triangle, that does not define who they are as a person. They may be hindered in some areas but are far more capable and knowledgeable in others and this may surprise you but it shouldn’t. I was in a bind and one of my participants helped me out. In that moment, as it should be in every moment of, not only their life but perhaps more so in the way we interact with them, the fact that they had a disability was entirely irrelevant.