I wanted to take a few moments to talk with you about the founding principles of the Guardians of Hope Academic Advsing Philosophy. I subscribe to the ideology that disability is a social construct, meaning it is created by humans. The collection of physical manifestations associated with disability as a label are ascribed, not inherent. What this means is that the “limitations” society informs people with disabilities that they have are subjective. These are PERCEIVED limitations. The necessity of accommodations for facilitating educational accessibility does not signify any kind of weakness or lack of ability.
Because I believe we all have the right to accessible, inclusive education, I am dedicated to advocating for nothing less than equal. The self-confidence I developed throughout my school years empowered me to never think twice about asking for what I needed. The mentality of motivation and self-image can be crucial in the trajectory of your college experience. Do you believe you deserve to have equal access, education and success in college? YES! You do! I am here for you, every step of the way.
Email me to schedule a complimentary conversation at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guardians of Hope
BIG NEWS FRIENDS! Guardians of Hope now has a website! After researching for a couple of months, creating content and preparation, we now have a one stop shop for all things GUARDIAN! Check out our growing services, meet and greet with award recipients, access resources for self-advocacy and be sure to check out our blog, Guardian Gab! You might recognize some of your dearest friends from the online chronic illness community! Including your photos, your voices, your visions is crucial to our mission.
Honestly, I believed that creating a website was beyond my ability level. But, I did it! We are doing this; modeling supportive Community health solutions! AND… I am so excited to announce that we will soon be providing parent to parent supportive sessions! Please follow @guardiansofhopeinc for updates! What do you all think of the website?
Guardians of Hope
With more than 40 million Americans with disabilities (2016 statistics) and federally mandated accessibility laws, you might be surprised to learn that a disproportionately low number of people with disabilities have a college degree. Individuals age 25 and older with a disability who have a college degree comprise 16.4% of the population in comparison with 34.6% of people without a disability (Bureau of Labor.).
Societal standards and expectations for people with disabilities make it difficult to pursue higher education. Not only are there few public role models to demonstrate a path toward this journey, there is resistance from bureaucratic institutions toward people with disabilities in pursuing their aspirations. We are here to tell you that you can pursue your dreams of higher education! No matter what the circumstances of your ability levels or health, you deserve equal access, reasonable accommodations and support. In addition to validating your educational aspirations, we can provide advocacy and education to facilitate your progress in a higher education. Whether you’re interested in online classes or attending school on campus, there are a variety of tools available to empower your success. Let’s connect with a complimentary conversation! Message us to schedule an appointment or email us at email@example.com
Social media has a way of concealing aspects of us that are otherwise unapparent in daily life. Unless pertinent to disability awareness or advocacy, I don’t often talk about having a physical disability, mostly, because it’s not important in my self image. However, in an unexpected way, bringing this up in conversation with somebody over the phone, can be an immediate, revealing snapshot of their true colors. Unlike chronic illness, people take a much more aggressive stance about physical disability; they either acknowledge it and move on or they say something blatantly offensive. The latter is something I experienced in a phone conversation last night. I somehow suspected this person would fall into this category despite other indications of integrity and charm; there was just something not right. And then, there was something very not right when he projected offensive, immature and amoral commentary about cerebral palsy. And just like that, I knew I would not waste any more time getting to know him. Funny how one sentence can change everything.
And yet, in the seconds that lapsed between what he said and my brain scrambling to believe it, I tried to make excuses for him. Maybe I had misunderstood. Maybe this was some kind of inappropriate but well intentioned commentary. But then I knew. The fact that anybody would actually even think this way, is offensive and demoralizing.
Follow me @brianabeaver1