In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, my friend and fellow-blogger, Ron Graham of AcessAbility shared about adjusting to life when everything around you is NOT "life as normal". Schools are out, electricity is still out for about a million people, grocery stores do not have most perishable items, and folks have damaged property.
In spite of the adjustments to be made, some folks are expected to jump back into work and function as if nothing happened, when in actuality, something traumatic has disrupted many lives. I think about Ron, who shared his experiences and a friend's experiences through this time right now - seeing places they love destroyed. Ron has his power back on and is beginning to catch up on life, but it is going to take awhile for his community to be up and running again.
As I read his post, I thought about how we met through blogging and what a friend he has become to me. I have been able to catch up with him from time to time with email, share stories and get advice for folks I meet that are visually impaired. Ron has a great heart and a story to match it.
The most interesting thing to me is that although Ron is blind, all the disruption of Ike in his life hasn't seemed to create any more stress or inconvenience for him than anyone else - and that is one of the reasons I admire him. He is an example of someone who has accommodated for his circumstances in life, adjusted and moved on with the same expectations on himself as he would have for anyone else - with or without an impairment. Definitely one who I would want on my side if I was in a place where I needed rehabilitation and someone to help me adjust to new changes in my lifestyle.
I have several students in my case load that have new changes in their lifestyle as they are coming back to school this fall. I hope that I can be a positive influence for change and help them with new accommodations as we use new assistive technology and work into a productive academic year. I hope that, like Ron, I can help them move through the "not so normal" stages and get to that place where they can settle in and feel they have something to look forward to every day. I hope you can make a difference for someone in a positive way too this week. So, if you are reading this on Monday - go out this week and use your skills to create a little more peace and blessing in someone else's life. I am sure you are doing that in ways that you have no idea about every day.
All the best to you!
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