Dear Beloved Blog Readers,
I am happy that the days are getting lighter and that spring is around the corner. I am happy to say that I made it to Disability Awareness Day at the Vermont Statehouse this year and there are so many good things to say about it.
A highlight for me was graduating from the leadership series with Thomas Caswell.
Then in the evening I was on a panel where I delivered this presentation on the topic of what barriers have I overcome and which ones do I still have. Here you see your friend give you his big news:
I hope you all had a great day and am happy that you are here with us this evening.
I am Mark Utter. I live in Colchester, Vermont.
I am someone who types to communicate with the assistance of a trained facilitator.
When I speak I don't often say what I really mean.
I also do not accurately show my thoughts with my gestures. I really need my thinking to be accessed through my typing.
I made a movie about this called 'I am in here; a view of my daily life with suggestions for improvement from my intelligent mind' that illustrates that well. Was really happy to use it as a way to tell people that I am intelligent. Up until then they thought I had the mind of a child.
I am so happy I am able to now share this movie with people and talk with them afterwards. I also have a blog that I use to communicate with an audience of about 400 longtime loyal readers of mine.
I am a somewhat hopeful worker for change in my life.
The existing barriers I have are not having a good circle of communication in my life and trained facilitators in it. I am unable to rise up to my potential without it.
Up until now artist and educator Emily Anderson has been a dedicated facilitator of my typing. It is time for her to move forward with some projects so she will be phasing out her work with me.
Joyful I am for her and completely frightful I am about finding new sources of communication support. I know this is a test of my ability to say what I need.
The challenge with that, as you see, is that I not only get up the gumption to say what I need but also that I have trained facilitators with which to say it.
I am thankful to have an opportunity to share my experience with you and look forward to taking my questions after this panel finishes presenting.
Hope you are wildly excited for me. I am going to grow.
I’m thinking of the seeds in the ground. I will grow with them as this slow change goes into effect just as summer starts.
Please send good thoughts.
The Growing Flower