The Cat Comes Out of the Bag

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:

Hello everyone.

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.

 Thank you.

Hope you are wildly excited for me. I am going to grow.

Iā€™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