Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Beginning the Year
At home, I've been focusing more on keeping the house clean and more organized. This may, in part, be due to the addition of a Roomba to the house. This Christmas gift, from Mom and Dad, has made it far easier to keep my carpets and floors clean, and it's mesmerizing to watch. I keep following it around thinking, "Where's it gonna go next?!" It was also great fun to watch the cats react to it the first few times I let it work. (They've pretty much adjusted to it now.) Having a robotic vacuum cleaner in the house also forces me to put things where they belong, as opposed to leaving stray items on the floor, and as I move things like candle sticks and other obstacles out of the way, I find myself cleaning things that almost never get touched.
In my "professional" life, rather than waiting around for the phone to ring, I've reached out to several schools to see if they have any interest in me speaking to their students during Disability Awareness Month (March). My first presentation will be to the 8th grade students at Immaculate Heart, and I will also be speaking to students at UIndy later in the month. My hope is to speak to as many schools as possible during March, and I am especially interested in speaking to high school students, as it was a 16 year old driver who caused the accident that set me on this path. Please let me know (through the comments) if anyone knows of a school, or business, that would like to hear my story and the lessons I've learned through acquiring a disability.
As Disability Awareness Month draws closer, accessABILITY's fund development committee (one of the committees I chair for the non-profit) is preparing for an exciting kick-off event in Irvington. On March 1st we will be hosting a reception at the Irving Theatre and showing a short film, The Body Extended, which premiered at the Spirit & Place Festival in November. (Click on the link to see a short preview.) In addition to the movie, we will also have a silent auction and a short panel discussion with people, like me, who are featured in the film.
accessABILITY has also begun planning for the 2012 InclusionFest (the other committee that I chair), which will take place on September 22nd. Mark your calendars now for this great event. 2011 was our first year and we learned a lot. I look forward to seeing what the staff, and my fellow Board members and I, can come up with!
In January I also had the pleasure of taking part in the Indianapolis Mayor's Advisory Council on Disability's strategic planning session. I'm proud to continue in my role on the Executive Committee for the volunteer group. We have some new faces on the Council and a lot of good energy to start off the year. Hopefully this will be an impactful year for us.
Now, I'm off to a home owner's association meeting. I've never attended one before, but my association fees went up again. When I asked why, I was told that it was largely due to the fact that there had been too many foreclosures in the area. Now, it would seem to me that if a bank foreclosed on a house, then the bank is now the homeowner, and should be paying their fair share of the association fees. This is not only fair, but it would seem to me that banks would want to pay into the neighborhoods where they own houses, to help those neighborhoods improve and sell more homes. So, I'm going to go ask why this isn't happening.