May 9, 2011
This week, we have a story from the Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre, in Slave Lake, Alberta. The author, Frank Ward, is disabled and gets around with a walker. He was instrumental in getting a ramp built to get to the bridge from the sidewalk on the main street. He is taking literacy and computer classes at the Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre.
Frank attended the Literacy & Learning Symposium 2010 in Edmonton, a conference organized by Community Learning Network and Literacy Alberta on October 27 - 30, 2010.
Just getting up from a two hour power nap, and giving myself a self talk to what I needed to do. Step by step thinking it through what Frank needs to accomplish, first things first in order to be the best I can be as a person being born with a disability. Awakening from my thought process as I lay down on the bed, turning over to a sit up position on my bed as my feet find the floor and just as I am getting to my feet. A feeling of you better use the washroom Frankie boy so I do then I wash my hands and kindly put my head under the tap to put water on my hair and splash water on my face then wipe dry with a towel. Leaving the washroom hanging on to the wall so Frank can be able to walk. Hanging on to the wall and as I go further step by step until Frank gets to his walker, where it sits in the entrance of the living room of the apartment. Pushing the walker near a chair with wheels to sit on while Frank holds on to the walker and places himself in to the chair, while hanging on to the walker! And as I sit on the chair spinning myself towards the table and on the table was the things Frank needed to check his blood level, to check his blood level by poking the side of his finger. Where it told me it was time to eat because of the result of the test.
Support from A.S.L.S.
We took a minivan to the town hall meeting. We being Elaina, my in home support worker and me (Frank). She picked me up at six thirty to get Frank to the meeting at the town hall of Slave Lake, Alberta. The Slave Lake town hall meeting was supposed to start at 7:00 pm. The meeting was in the new building, next to the library. The door to the council chambers was locked, at this time six thirty. So Elaina suggested we go in the library and use a computer? Looking at her and responding with a yes please since still had a half an hour until the meeting! As we went in the library Frank walked in front of Elaina and asked the receptionist if he could use a computer. The receptionist's name was on her name tag and her name was Stephanie. Stephanie responded with you can use computer number four Frank. So I said thank you to Stephanie, and proceeded to walk in the library to find computer number four. Frank was using computer number four and looking up Friedrich Ataxia the disability which he was born with. The diagnosis was Friedrich Ataxia at an early age of five years of age in an Edmonton hospital for about a good month. Keeping an eye on the time while using the computer. Then at seven 0 clock Elena came and got me for the meeting, were she said the council door is open!
Feeling of belonging
Before leaving the computer Frank had to choose to turn off the computer number four. Happy was Frank on the inside and outside of his feelings, to be taking part of a Slave Lake Town Councel meeting where he could express his opinion on the issue with the town accessibility. While walking in from the library to the town council chambers, just as Frank entered the room looking around and noticing who is in the room. Following Frank was Elena as she was asking where I would like to sit? Because Frank was walking in front of her and thinking about where would be a good place to sit in the council chambers and get noticed and address my issue at hand. Saying hello and as we walked in the room getting some pretty good looks from people and a few how are you doing, back. Still looking around as the meeting has been started at 7:00 p.m. And as I noticed the clock on the wall behind us for I thought of sitting in the front row. The room had three rows chairs that were not connected together only beside each other. And two big comfortable chairs in the front of the first row of chairs. Where people go to sit and talk to the mayor and council of chambers as we go through an agenda. Receiving an agendas and noticing that Frank was second on the agenda, after listening for at least about twenty minutes of what the first person had to discuss with the town. Being called up next to express my issue with the council chambers as Elana and I got up from sitting and walk a few steps to our next set of chairs.