WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS
When I first got out of rehab, all I wanted to do was stay at home, watch TV and hide from the world. It was too easy to do. I would make excuses as to why I wouldn’t venture out and become a living and productive person with a disability in an able-bodied world.
But several years have passed, and my life has continued on with help from many people; a podiatrist, a urologist, a psychologist/therapist, a psychiatrist, a gynecologist, a general physician, attendants, family members and countless friends.
My wheels are rolling as the Access Coordinator for the Webster Groves Parks & Recreation Dept. What started out as a summer position has now become year round. I have helped to integrate children with developmental disabilities into our programs, and have serviced both children and adults with disability awareness programs designed with the goal of breaking down attitudinal barriers. I have developed 4 types of presentations;
How it Feels to be On Wheels: I provide an overview of my disability and it’s impact on life. The participants see, feel and experience a "disability" using a wheelchair, cane, etc. This program can be geared to men, women and children of all ages.
Working your way through the ADA: (Americans with Disabilities Act) Information is provided on the law, its meaning and its impact on those with and without disabilities.
Attendant Care and Independence: Explains what Independent Living is and how to develop a cohesive team to make it successful. This is for people with disabilities and those who assist them.
Risky Business and Recreation: Discussion on spinal cord injuries and their occurrence. This allows the listener to learn about a population they can become a member of in a split second.
Katie Rodriguez Banister works with audiences to embrace diversity
through motivational speaking and disability education.