"Obama declares we are crippled no more" | Teen Ink

"Obama declares we are crippled no more"

January 13, 2010
By CRASHBROWN BRONZE, Countryside, Illinois
CRASHBROWN BRONZE, Countryside, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Scene 1
Allison: Let’s all spend the afternoon downtown. I am tired of attending these boring sessions on the school trip.
Katherine: Let me call Carrie.
Allison: We hate her!
Katherine: Why’s that?
Allison: She’s in a wheelchair.
Katherine: That is very mean.
Allison: It’s not! You are the one who is crazy. You like hanging out with a wheelchair person. Who would want to do that? It’s so lame.
Katherine: Let me invite Carrie.
Allison: Whatever. Invite the loser.
(Later that day on bus?
Katherine: You will never believe what Allison said about you earlier.
Katherine (whispering): You mean nothing to them, since you use a wheelchair. She doesn’t know why I would ever want to hang out with you! Being a cripple makes you a bad person and someone who people should avoid.
Carrie: What did I ever do to make them hate me so much?
Katherine: Their answer was that you became a cripple, so that’s why they hate you.
Carrie: I didn’t become one. I have always been one.
Carrie: (talking to herself) Maybe all of these people are right. I must be a horrible person. I don’t understand what I ever did so wrong though. I thought I was nice, but obviously I’m not. Most of my peers hate me so much.
Scene 2
(Turns on television after arriving home)
Barack Obama: I am running for the President of the United States of America, and I hope to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. . I learned about living with a disability from my wife, Michelle, whose father struggled with one while trying to raise a family. He always was on time to work, even if it meant waking up 3 hours earlier than everyone else. Many people with disabilities are hard working but need some help to overcome the barriers that society places on them. I will fight with them, just like I did while serving as a civil rights lawyer in Chicago. I will provide incentives for companies to hire more disabled workers, and I will make sure more Federal employees with disabilities are hired.
Carrie: Steve, come here! (Her brother walks in.)
Carrie: Finally, there is a politician that understands what millions of Americans across the country with disabilities are going through, and he wants to help! Maybe he would support her idea of implementing an Ability Studies course.
Steve: I am so happy! Let’s go to Springfield!
(After drive to Springfield)
Carrie: : I am an 18 year old with a disability, and I think there is a great way that you can change many people’s perceptions while serving as President of the United States.
Barack Obama: Good morning, what can I do for you? (shakes her hand)
Carrie: I am an 18 year old with a disability, and I think there is a great way that you can change many people’s perceptions, if you are chosen to serve as President of the United States.
Barack Obama: I definitely would love to do just that.
Barack Obama (sat down across from Carrie): What is your idea?
Carrie: Senator, on many occasions my peers have been very cruel to me as a result of my disability. I feel that some of this cruelty stems from ignorance. They just don’t understand anything about disabilities. If we made a law that they had to be educated about these important topics in an “Ability Studies” course, we would be much better off. I have a written out plan for the class, if you would like a copy. (hands Barack a paper.)
Barack Obama: Carrie, this is such an amazing idea! I admire you a lot for trying to take initiative and taking advantage of your rights as a U.S. citizen. We will get this done as soon as possible, and you will be given credit for the results. Let’s meet again next week. Together, we will change America.
Carrie: Thanks, Senator. (shakes hands, exits.)
Scene 3
(2 years after Presidential Election)
Barack Obama: Now, I would like to introduce you to Carrie , the backbone of this historic milestone in disability history. I’ll turn it over to her and let her explain this great new mandate further.
Carrie: Thank you, President Obama. It is an honor to stand here today, representing centuries of great work by disability advocates across the United States. With this law, I hope that eventually children in wheelchairs will be able to go to school and take part in the community without worrying about getting knocked down by the barriers that their own peers throw in their way. This class will help us turn that dream into a reality. Children will finally learn about the nature of disabilities and how one should be treated with them. From experience, some children are just plain mean, but many are ignorant. They don’t know anything about disabilities, so they act rudely, because they are nervous. This will end with the institution of this class. The United States of America will be changed forever! I also want to take this time to thank the President of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama. He has worked with me on this change from day one. I know that he cares deeply about the disability community, and today he is celebrating our victory with us.
Scene 4 (A year after the implementation of Ability Studies)
(Carrie opens a letter from an address she doesn't recognize and begins to read it out loud to herself.
Carrie: Dear Carrie, I am 16 and have a disability. My family recently moved, so I had to start high school in a totally unfamiliar place. I was so scared about how people would respond to me, since I use a chair. However, I found that thanks to your class everyone acted in such a friendly way. I wanted you to share a play with you that I wrote about my experience.
Sincerely, Amy.
Carol: Hi, I’m Carol. Welcome to our school. How are you?
Amy: Hi. I feel pretty anxious about my first day.
Carol: Would you like to hang out with us at lunch today? You can pull up your chair to the end of our table or we can help you over to a seat.
Amy: Thanks. I have a key for the elevator, so we can all ride down together.
Carol: That will be cool!
Carol: Hi, Amy!
Amy: How are you doing? (Puts in the elevator key)
Carol: Amy, where would you like to sit? (Girls entering lunchroom)
Amy: I’ll sit in my chair right at the end.
(After talking and joking throughout most of the period.) Carol: Amy, would you like to spend the day at a mall with us this weekend? We try to go together every Saturday.
Amy: Thanks so much for inviting me.
Carol: No problem. You seem cool. Would your wheelchair be able to fit in my car?
Amy: My wheelchair folds. It should fit without a problem.
Carol: Great! We’ll see you tomorrow!

The author's comments:
The unjust treatment by my peers throughout junior high and high school inspired me to write this piece. I feel the lack of disability awareness is the main cause for such widespread discrimination. I hope people will take away with them that they should treat everyone with respect. People with disabilities should rally around this cause and make Ability Studies a reality.

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This article has 1 comment.

EmC725 SILVER said...
on Apr. 13 2010 at 9:49 am
EmC725 SILVER, Western Springs, Illinois
5 articles 11 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." -e.e. cummings


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