Abilities United

Wheelchair Life = Death?

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    I just
caught a commercial on the E! channel for their show “Dr. 90210” and
the cosmetic doctor who is the focus of the reality show is in his karate
outfit talking about a upcoming fight or practice with an opponent that he is
already believing his is out matched and therefore will lose, and says, “I’m
going to get killed and wind up in a wheelchair.”

 
What? Is it me or when a person is killed don’t they end up in a
coffin not a wheelchair? Are we now transporting deceased people from
their location of death, to the morgue to the funeral home and then to the
grave in a wheelchair? Although I hear from some that a coffin can costs as
much if not more then a wheelchair this is ridiculous thinking and just goes to
prove the thoughts society in general has on life or in their opinion the lack
of life in a wheelchair.


I have gathered over the past 12+ years since my spinal cord injury that people
put public speaking and living in a wheelchair – even as a an active person in
a wheelchair like myself who despite having survived a complete severed spinal
cord at T-7 and having complete use of my upper body – they would rather die –
be dead then to live as a paraplegic or to address people in a public
speaking setting!


I always tell people who I hear say that that they would be surprised at what
they could do when put in a traumatic situation. Many don’t believe me and
maybe they are correct because they think that way and they think that way
because of the way Hollywood
and the media in general depicts those with a disability in a wheelchair – but
the majority of the people who I see that go through traumatic circumstance and
survive are positive, active people of society.


This is just another reason why I want to produce my screenplays into films to
help break the stereotypes and the thoughts that using a wheelchair for
mobility isn’t the end of life – only life as you knew it!


Interesting on the James Gandolfini HBO documentary program, which I highly
recommend about Iraq
war vets coming home after a serious near death experience that leaves them
disabled in one way or another – they call the day they survived their
experience as their “Alive Day”! I have always kind a
celebrated April 1, as a second birthday since that is the day back in 1995
when I survived my spinal cord injury and now LIVE LIFE as a para, but
never called it anything other then the day of my accident! But life does go on
for those who will believe in themselves like those returning soldiers in this
program hosted by James Gandolfini and I guess those like this Dr. Ray on the
E! show is not one of those who believes in himself – other wise life in a
wheelchair and death would not be associated in the same sentence as
equals! 


So listen up doc and the pessimistic out there, you are obviously blind or
ignorant, either way you are disabled in your thinking as I am not rolling
through life in my chair as a zombie in “Dawn of the Dead”! I am
still living life to the fullest. I am not saying it isn’t without its’
challenges and without compromising some things and doing others a little
different, learning the word adapt as a verb but just like everyone else there
are good times and bad – ups and downs and if it weren’t then it wouldn’t be
life at all! And just as I did prior to my accident I shake those down times as
quick as possible so that I can get on with the good times! If you don’t then
it doesn’t matter if you use a wheelchair for your primary mode of mobility or
not you will end up in a grey world of four walls in self pity and not living
life –  I and most whom I know that find themselves in
circumstances they didn’t think they could live through CHOOSE to LIVE LIFE
and I will promote that to the end of my days!

 

Can you see why it is
necessary to have movies where the disability isn’t the focus of the film?
Where it plays a part of the featured character, just as their gender, race or
creed does but not the whole of the person! It is past time to have
proper representation
of those with a disability in featured movies
from Hollywood!
Well as an indie producer, writer and director giving an honest and authentic
voice to those with a disability it would be great to have Hollywood’s support in funding, marketing and
distribution as I have detailed in my business plan so that the movie will have
the impact and exposure that it deserves!


Abilities United Productions will play a significant role in
“Breaking the Hollywood Stereotypes of Characters and People with a
Disability”
both in front of and behind the camera as history
will soon record as a “turning point”
for those with a
disability in Hollywood! But that time has a schedule (as my marketing and
distribution strategies need a 2009 theatrical release) as I have detailed and
we need it so that maybe in the future even cosmetic surgeons in Beverly Hills
will not automatically think and feel that life in a wheelchair is equal to
death and instead correctly know that those with a disability are active
members of today’s society!
But as far as public speaking goes…well
that will have to wait for someone else to address!

 

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