Lou Ann Colyer, a coordinator in SKIL’s Pittsburg branch office, was presented the 2012 Michael Lechner Advocacy Award from the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns (KCDC) Nov. 13 during the Pittsburg Disability Mentoring Day festivities.
The award also was presented to the Pittsburg DMD Committee, of which Colyer is the coordinator, during a ceremony at Pittsburg’s Memorial Auditorium.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), also known as FDR, was our 32nd President. He was an immensely popular public figure, being elected to the Presidency four consecutive times. He is still regarded as one of our nation’s greatest leaders. FDR led our nation through some of its greatest upheaval and distress. He came into office during the Great Depression and died still in office near the end of World War II.
But before he was President, at age 39, FDR contracted polio, causing him permanent paralysis from the waist down. Eleanor Roosevelt, his wife, would later say “Franklin's illness gave him strength and courage he had not had before. He had to think out the fundamentals of living and learn the greatest of all lessons -- infinite patience and never-ending persistence."
FDR did not display his physical disability to the world but rather made efforts to conceal his condition. While the public was somewhat aware of his battle with polio, they were in large part unaware of the extent of his disability. It was only ‘behind the scenes’ that FDR was seen as having any sort of ailment. Only two photographs exist (one pictured on the right), of him using a wheelchair, and only one video exists of his method of walking.
FDR was able to walk short distances with the help of metal braces (pictured on left), a cane, and a companion’s arm. But for the most part, FDR used a wheelchair, one in fact, that he custom designed to meet his needs, by converting a dining room chair into a wheelchair. He even included a built-in ash tray. FDR also drove his own car, as evidenced in numerous photos, using hand controls. His living quarters were also, of course, adapted for accessibility.
FDR is a towering American historical figure, and while his disability greatly affected his daily life, it only served to further strengthen his spirit for life as a whole.
A benefit of NCIL membership
Volume 10 • Issue 36
November 15, 2012
It’s Time to Leverage the Disability Vote!
By Bruce Darling, NCIL Board Member and Chair of the NCIL PAS Subcommittee
In all, about $6 billion was spent on the election. And, on the face of it, we ended up where we started. We have the same President, and the same parties control the House and Senate. But not everything is the same. Although we may have returned most of the same people to Washington, including the President, the most interesting thing for me was how the President got re-elected.
Aaron “Skip” Smith is a familiar figure on the streets of Parsons, Kan.
He is most often seen carrying a camera which he uses to capture images that he recreates in his artwork and to document life as it happens.
He also uses his artistic ability to promote the disability movement through the SKIL Resource Center.
After moving back to his hometown of Parsons in 1998, it was his experiences as a part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s that drew him to come and work for SKIL.
Parsons, Kan. -- The SKIL Resource Center will be observing 20 years of Advocacy in Action at the Annual Meeting and My Home for the Holidays Celebration Dec. 7.
Everyone in the community is invited to attend the event at the Parsons VFW. A catered dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m.