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My Introduction

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  • Stephen Allman
    It s important to share experiences with others so we can learn from each other and encourage people that we must live the best lives we can I have been pretty
    Message 1 of 4 , May 27, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      It's important to share experiences with others so we can learn from
      each other and encourage people that we must live the best lives we
      can

      I have been pretty busy with school, the two disabled groups I
      belong to and work. I am taking courses at Neumann College during the
      last semester in Human Potential in the Arts and I received a 4.0
      GPA. So far at Neumann College I have 24 credits and a 3.7 GPA. I
      will continue as long as I'm doing pretty good and can afford it.

      I'm a Volunteer for Citizen Advocates Inc in Swarthmore. This group
      helps people with disabilities in Delaware County. The Director
      matches people that have disabilities to someone that is not
      disabled. Citizen Advocates helps people from ages 18-38 because many
      people with disabilities are completely dropped from many services at
      21 years old. We call them protégés that can be just friendship or
      help them reach a goal. I am on the Citizen Advocates Board of
      Directors which is voluntary to help the Director reach her goals.

      I have become more involved with Handicapped Encounter Christ (HEC).
      HEC is a religious group that gives people with disabilities to have
      a religious experience. HEC has 3 retreats a year at Variety Club
      Camp because its accessible to people in wheelchairs and people that
      have difficulty walking. I go to Villanova about 7 weeks before the
      retreat and plan the weekend. During Friday night of the retreat we
      have a play that sets the weekends theme. Pay It Forward was the
      theme for the weekend and I wrote my second play that went pretty
      good. My first play was a twisted version of the Wizard of OZ. The
      plays went well for the spirit of HEC but I am no writer.

      I have been a member of Handicapped Encounter Christ since 1984.
      Father Shawn Tracy is the religious leader of our HEC Community.
      Father Shawn is an amazing man that has been a great leader for
      people with disabilities. This group gives people with disabilities
      an opportunity to have a religious experience. There are many
      churches that are not accessible to wheelchairs and there are others
      that do not feel included. Everyone is important on our retreats and
      this is what Christianity is all about. I'm considered able-bodied on
      HEC retreats because I help feed, dress, bathroom needs met and
      whatever people need on the retreats. I do this because everyone
      needs to be treated with respect and I treat people the way I want to
      be treated.

      I try to educate people about the disabled. I explain to people how
      I became disabled. When I was a year old I had a cardiac arrest that
      left me blind, deaf and very spastic. The doctors did not know why
      this happened because I was going to be discharged from the hospital
      the same day. I was in the hospital because I had bronchitis but I
      was a healthy baby before that incident. I am very fortunate that my
      hearing and eyesight came back to me a few months later but I was
      still very spastic. When the cardiac arrest happened several doctors
      told my parents that I suffered severe brain damage and I will not
      live much longer. If I do I will not improve and they should
      consider putting me in an institution.

      There were many organizations that did not think they could help me
      but the Easter Seal Society helped me get therapy right away. When I
      was two years old I went to one of their schools for more therapy and
      testing. I went there for three years and then I went to Widener
      Memorial School that is a school for the disabled. The first six
      years there I was in the severely disabled classes, which meant most
      of the time I was in physical therapy, occupational therapy and
      speech therapy. I gradually began to walk better without falling
      down a lot. A teacher helped me stop drooling. People including my
      parents and brothers began to understand me better. Then I went
      through Grade School and High School and graduated in 1981.

      After graduating High School I needed to get some job training to get
      a decent job. I had to go through the state agency, which was the
      Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), for the disabled to get
      any financial aid or job training. I was given the run around several
      times and then I decided I could not rely on them. In November of
      1983 I began volunteering at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital. As a
      volunteer I did filing, escorting patients to their rooms, pushing
      patients in wheelchairs and on stretchers for their different tests.
      I did almost anything asked of me and I learned a lot about myself.
      I was a volunteer for 7,000 hours and most of them hours were in the
      Employee Health Office and Pre- Admission Testing that were in the
      same area. My first job was in the Laboratory as a Lab Charter. As a
      Lab Charter I would put Laboratory test results in each individual
      patient's chart. My hours were two hours a day for five days a week
      and some weekends. I realized when I took the job the hours were
      bad, but I took the job and continued to volunteer. I did this
      because I did not know if I would get the chance to become employed
      again. Then I got the job in the Employee Health Office.

      I have been an employee in the Health Office for 14 years and feel
      fortunate to have a job. I know with my disability I have
      limitations but that does not mean I cannot improve. I am a File
      Clerk and I work two days a week for 15 hours. I file all day and
      feel brain dead after working for 7.5 hours a day. I do not use the
      computer in the hospital because the nurse does not have enough
      nursing work to do. I do the computer work that is on my Resume at
      home. I do this because it keeps my computer skills sharp and this
      helped me to get a temporary job at Citizen Advocates last year I
      would like something more challenging and I hope it is working in the
      computer field and or helping people with disabilities. I feel that
      because of my disability I am treated different and that is not what
      I want. Some people treat me like a child and some people I work
      with confuse me with another person that has Downs-Syndrome. That
      really concerns me because I have tried to educate people about the
      disabled. It looks like they are putting us into one category and
      that's wrong. We are all different individuals disabled or not. I
      also ran into some people that feel I should be satisfied what I am
      doing. I did more as a volunteer than I am doing now and that really
      bothers me. I may walk a little funny and talk with a speech defect
      but I do have a brain. There are some people that are not aware of
      the disabled but there are other's that are not open to anything.
      I can only speak for myself but the disabled community does not want
      pity but respect and dignity. I want to earn my money and hopefully
      one day make people aware that the disabled like myself has dreams
      and desires like anyone else.

      Please feel free to ask me anything you want to know about me and I
      am willing to help others improve their lives.



      Stephen Allman
    • lm murray
      Hello Stephen, I m very curious about the advocacy group and protegees you work with. How and when did this group come about? Please tell me more, too, about
      Message 2 of 4 , May 30, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Hello Stephen,
         
        I'm very curious about the advocacy group and protegees you work with.  How and when did this group come about?  Please tell me more, too, about service cut-offs for people with disabilities when they turn 21 in Delaware.  Is this unique to Delaware?
         
        Louise 

        Stephen Allman <stjodo@...> wrote:
        It's important to share experiences with others so we can learn from
        each other and encourage people that we must live the best lives we
        can

        I have been pretty busy with school, the two disabled groups I
        belong to and work. I am taking courses at Neumann College during the
        last semester in Human Potential in the Arts and I received a 4.0
        GPA. So far at Neumann College I have 24 credits and a 3.7 GPA. I
        will continue as long as I'm doing pretty good and can afford it.

        I'm a Volunteer for Citizen Advocates Inc in Swarthmore. This group
        helps people with disabilities in Delaware County. The Director
        matches people that have disabilities to someone that is not
        disabled. Citizen Advocates helps people from ages 18-38 because many
        people with disabilities are completely dropped from many services at
        21 years old. We call them prot�g�s that can be just friendship or
        help them reach a goal. I am on the Citizen Advocates Board of
        Directors which is voluntary to help the Director reach her goals.

        I have become more involved with Handicapped Encounter Christ (HEC).
        HEC is a religious group that gives people with disabilities to have
        a religious experience. HEC has 3 retreats a year at Variety Club
        Camp because its accessible to people in wheelchairs and people that
        have difficulty walking. I go to Villanova about 7 weeks before the
        retreat and plan the weekend. During Friday night of the retreat we
        have a play that sets the weekends theme. Pay It Forward was the
        theme for the weekend and I wrote my second play that went pretty
        good. My first play was a twisted version of the Wizard of OZ. The
        plays went well for the spirit of HEC but I am no writer.

        I have been a member of Handicapped Encounter Christ since 1984.
        Father Shawn Tracy is the religious leader of our HEC Community.
        Father Shawn is an amazing man that has been a great leader for
        people with disabilities. This group gives people with disabilities
        an opportunity to have a religious experience. There are many
        churches that are not accessible to wheelchairs and there are others
        that do not feel included. Everyone is important on our retreats and
        this is what Christianity is all about. I'm considered able-bodied on
        HEC retreats because I help feed, dress, bathroom needs met and
        whatever people need on the retreats. I do this because everyone
        needs to be treated with respect and I treat people the way I want to
        be treated.

        I try to educate people about the disabled. I explain to people how
        I became disabled. When I was a year old I had a cardiac arrest that
        left me blind, deaf and very spastic. The doctors did not know why
        this happened because I was going to be discharged from the hospital
        the same day. I was in the hospital because I had bronchitis but I
        was a healthy baby before that incident. I am very fortunate that my
        hearing and eyesight came back to me a few months later but I was
        still very spastic. When the cardiac arrest happened several doctors
        told my parents that I suffered severe brain damage and I will not
        live much longer. If I do I will not improve and they should
        consider putting me in an institution.

        There were many organizations that did not think they could help me
        but the Easter Seal Society helped me get therapy right away. When I
        was two years old I went to one of their schools for more therapy and
        testing. I went there for three years and then I went to Widener
        Memorial School that is a school for the disabled. The first six
        years there I was in the severely disabled classes, which meant most
        of the time I was in physical therapy, occupational therapy and
        speech therapy. I gradually began to walk better without falling
        down a lot. A teacher helped me stop drooling. People including my
        parents and brothers began to understand me better. Then I went
        through Grade School and High School and graduated in 1981.

        After graduating High School I needed to get some job training to get
        a decent job. I had to go through the state agency, which was the
        Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), for the disabled to get
        any financial aid or job training. I was given the run around several
        times and then I decided I could not rely on them. In November of
        1983 I began volunteering at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital. As a
        volunteer I did filing, escorting patients to their rooms, pushing
        patients in wheelchairs and on stretchers for their different tests.
        I did almost anything asked of me and I learned a lot about myself.
        I was a volunteer for 7,000 hours and most of them hours were in the
        Employee Health Office and Pre- Admission Testing that were in the
        same area. My first job was in the Laboratory as a Lab Charter. As a
        Lab Charter I would put Laboratory test results in each individual
        patient's chart. My hours were two hours a day for five days a week
        and some weekends. I realized when I took the job the hours were
        bad, but I took the job and continued to volunteer. I did this
        because I did not know if I would get the chance to become employed
        again. Then I got the job in the Employee Health Office.

        I have been an employee in the Health Office for 14 years and feel
        fortunate to have a job. I know with my disability I have
        limitations but that does not mean I cannot improve. I am a File
        Clerk and I work two days a week for 15 hours. I file all day and
        feel brain dead after working for 7.5 hours a day. I do not use the
        computer in the hospital because the nurse does not have enough
        nursing work to do. I do the computer work that is on my Resume at
        home. I do this because it keeps my computer skills sharp and this
        helped me to get a temporary job at Citizen Advocates last year I
        would like something more challenging and I hope it is working in the
        computer field and or helping people with disabilities. I feel that
        because of my disability I am treated different and that is not what
        I want. Some people treat me like a child and some people I work
        with confuse me with another person that has Downs-Syndrome. That
        really concerns me because I have tried to educate people about the
        disabled. It looks like they are putting us into one category and
        that's wrong. We are all different individuals disabled or not. I
        also ran into some people that feel I should be satisfied what I am
        doing. I did more as a volunteer than I am doing now and that really
        bothers me. I may walk a little funny and talk with a speech defect
        but I do have a brain. There are some people that are not aware of
        the disabled but there are other's that are not open to anything.
        I can only speak for myself but the disabled community does not want
        pity but respect and dignity. I want to earn my money and hopefully
        one day make people aware that the disabled like myself has dreams
        and desires like anyone else.

        Please feel free to ask me anything you want to know about me and I
        am willing to help others improve their lives.



        Stephen Allman








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      • Steve Allman
        Louise Thank you for your interest. Citizen Advocates Inc has been in existence for over 20 years. This group is in Pennsylvania and the group helps people
        Message 3 of 4 , May 30, 2005
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          Louise
           
          Thank you for your interest. Citizen Advocates Inc has been in existence for over 20 years. This group is in Pennsylvania and the group helps people with disabilities in Delaware County. Many services are cut when a young person becomes 21 years old and has nowhere to turn. We help people through their 30's because they had nowhere to turn. We help build friendships and we help people reach goals. We do not hire people but try to open doors through connections they may never get themselves. We reach people on a person to person basis but we do not advertise on a large scale.
           
          Here are a few examples of what Citizen Advocates has done or tried to do.
           
          We helped a young woman that has Spina Bifida find a place to live and go to school because her mom did not want anything to do with her. The young woman is living in a good group home in a community and she's getting the quality care she needs. She will graduate High School in a couple of weeks and there are plans for her to get a job or job training.
           
          We are helping several people have friendships and something to look forward to.
           
          We are helping a couple of people to find employment by giving them suggestions and encouragement. We help each person see their potential.
           
          The Director matches people who have a disability to someone that is not disabled and they are called protégés.I help the Director with advice as a person with a disability and sharing my experiences. I also go to meetings every month and get updates and make suggestions on improving lives.
           
          I hope I answered your questions and please feel free to ask me anything
           
          Stephen Allman
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: lm murray
          Sent: Monday, May 30, 2005 11:49 PM
          Subject: Re: [disabilitystudies] My Introduction

          Hello Stephen,
           
          I'm very curious about the advocacy group and protegees you work with.  How and when did this group come about?  Please tell me more, too, about service cut-offs for people with disabilities when they turn 21 in Delaware.  Is this unique to Delaware?
           
          Louise 

          Stephen Allman <stjodo@...> wrote:
          It's important to share experiences with others so we can learn from
          each other and encourage people that we must live the best lives we
          can

          I have been pretty busy with school, the two disabled groups I
          belong to and work. I am taking courses at Neumann College during the
          last semester in Human Potential in the Arts and I received a 4.0
          GPA. So far at Neumann College I have 24 credits and a 3.7 GPA. I
          will continue as long as I'm doing pretty good and can afford it.

          I'm a Volunteer for Citizen Advocates Inc in Swarthmore. This group
          helps people with disabilities in Delaware County. The Director
          matches people that have disabilities to someone that is not
          disabled. Citizen Advocates helps people from ages 18-38 because many
          people with disabilities are completely dropped from many services at
          21 years old. We call them protégés that can be just friendship or
          help them reach a goal. I am on the Citizen Advocates Board of
          Directors which is voluntary to help the Director reach her goals.

          I have become more involved with Handicapped Encounter Christ (HEC).
          HEC is a religious group that gives people with disabilities to have
          a religious experience. HEC has 3 retreats a year at Variety Club
          Camp because its accessible to people in wheelchairs and people that
          have difficulty walking. I go to Villanova about 7 weeks before the
          retreat and plan the weekend. During Friday night of the retreat we
          have a play that sets the weekends theme. Pay It Forward was the
          theme for the weekend and I wrote my second play that went pretty
          good. My first play was a twisted version of the Wizard of OZ. The
          plays went well for the spirit of HEC but I am no writer.

          I have been a member of Handicapped Encounter Christ since 1984.
          Father Shawn Tracy is the religious leader of our HEC Community.
          Father Shawn is an amazing man that has been a great leader for
          people with disabilities. This group gives people with disabilities
          an opportunity to have a religious experience. There are many
          churches that are not accessible to wheelchairs and there are others
          that do not feel included. Everyone is important on our retreats and
          this is what Christianity is all about. I'm considered able-bodied on
          HEC retreats because I help feed, dress, bathroom needs met and
          whatever people need on the retreats. I do this because everyone
          needs to be treated with respect and I treat people the way I want to
          be treated.

          I try to educate people about the disabled. I explain to people how
          I became disabled. When I was a year old I had a cardiac arrest that
          left me blind, deaf and very spastic. The doctors did not know why
          this happened because I was going to be discharged from the hospital
          the same day. I was in the hospital because I had bronchitis but I
          was a healthy baby before that incident. I am very fortunate that my
          hearing and eyesight came back to me a few months later but I was
          still very spastic. When the cardiac arrest happened several doctors
          told my parents that I suffered severe brain damage and I will not
          live much longer. If I do I will not improve and they should
          consider putting me in an institution.

          There were many organizations that did not think they could help me
          but the Easter Seal Society helped me get therapy right away. When I
          was two years old I went to one of their schools for more therapy and
          testing. I went there for three years and then I went to Widener
          Memorial School that is a school for the disabled. The first six
          years there I was in the severely disabled classes, which meant most
          of the time I was in physical therapy, occupational therapy and
          speech therapy. I gradually began to walk better without falling
          down a lot. A teacher helped me stop drooling. People including my
          parents and brothers began to understand me better. Then I went
          through Grade School and High School and graduated in 1981.

          After graduating High School I needed to get some job training to get
          a decent job. I had to go through the state agency, which was the
          Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), for the disabled to get
          any financial aid or job training. I was given the run around several
          times and then I decided I could not rely on them. In November of
          1983 I began volunteering at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital. As a
          volunteer I did filing, escorting patients to their rooms, pushing
          patients in wheelchairs and on stretchers for their different tests.
          I did almost anything asked of me and I learned a lot about myself.
          I was a volunteer for 7,000 hours and most of them hours were in the
          Employee Health Office and Pre- Admission Testing that were in the
          same area. My first job was in the Laboratory as a Lab Charter. As a
          Lab Charter I would put Laboratory test results in each individual
          patient's chart. My hours were two hours a day for five days a week
          and some weekends. I realized when I took the job the hours were
          bad, but I took the job and continued to volunteer. I did this
          because I did not know if I would get the chance to become employed
          again. Then I got the job in the Employee Health Office.

          I have been an employee in the Health Office for 14 years and feel
          fortunate to have a job. I know with my disability I have
          limitations but that does not mean I cannot improve. I am a File
          Clerk and I work two days a week for 15 hours. I file all day and
          feel brain dead after working for 7.5 hours a day. I do not use the
          computer in the hospital because the nurse does not have enough
          nursing work to do. I do the computer work that is on my Resume at
          home. I do this because it keeps my computer skills sharp and this
          helped me to get a temporary job at Citizen Advocates last year I
          would like something more challenging and I hope it is working in the
          computer field and or helping people with disabilities. I feel that
          because of my disability I am treated different and that is not what
          I want. Some people treat me like a child and some people I work
          with confuse me with another person that has Downs-Syndrome. That
          really concerns me because I have tried to educate people about the
          disabled. It looks like they are putting us into one category and
          that's wrong. We are all different individuals disabled or not. I
          also ran into some people that feel I should be satisfied what I am
          doing. I did more as a volunteer than I am doing now and that really
          bothers me. I may walk a little funny and talk with a speech defect
          but I do have a brain. There are some people that are not aware of
          the disabled but there are other's that are not open to anything.
          I can only speak for myself but the disabled community does not want
          pity but respect and dignity. I want to earn my money and hopefully
          one day make people aware that the disabled like myself has dreams
          and desires like anyone else.

          Please feel free to ask me anything you want to know about me and I
          am willing to help others improve their lives.



          Stephen Allman








          ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~-->
          What would our lives be like without music, dance, and theater?
          Donate or volunteer in the arts today at Network for Good!
          http://us.click.yahoo.com/pkgkPB/SOnJAA/Zx0JAA/4xIolB/TM
          --------------------------------------------------------------------~->

          To Subscribe, please send a blank message to: disabilitystudies-subscribe@...

          To Unsubscribe, please send a blank message to: disabilitystudies-unsubscribe@...

          To Post a message, send it to: disabilitystudies@...


          Yahoo! Groups Links

          <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/disabilitystudies/

          <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          disabilitystudies-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

          <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
          http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/





          Post your free ad now! Yahoo! Canada Personals


          To Subscribe, please send a blank message to: disabilitystudies-subscribe@...

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          To Post a message, send it to:   disabilitystudies@...



        • lm murray
          Wonderful! What a great idea. Thanks, Steve, but please tell me more about the services that get cut. Are they health benefits, for instance, and if so,
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 2, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            Wonderful! What a great idea.  Thanks, Steve, but please tell me more about the services that get cut.  Are they health benefits, for instance, and if so, which ones?
             
            Louise

            Steve Allman <stjodo@...> wrote:
            Louise
             
            Thank you for your interest. Citizen Advocates Inc has been in existence for over 20 years. This group is in Pennsylvania and the group helps people with disabilities in Delaware County. Many services are cut when a young person becomes 21 years old and has nowhere to turn. We help people through their 30's because they had nowhere to turn. We help build friendships and we help people reach goals. We do not hire people but try to open doors through connections they may never get themselves. We reach people on a person to person basis but we do not advertise on a large scale.
             
            Here are a few examples of what Citizen Advocates has done or tried to do.
             
            We helped a young woman that has Spina Bifida find a place to live and go to school because her mom did not want anything to do with her. The young woman is living in a good group home in a community and she's getting the quality care she needs. She will graduate High School in a couple of weeks and there are plans for her to get a job or job training.
             
            We are helping several people have friendships and something to look forward to.
             
            We are helping a couple of people to find employment by giving them suggestions and encouragement. We help each person see their potential.
             
            The Director matches people who have a disability to someone that is not disabled and they are called protégés.I help the Director with advice as a person with a disability and sharing my experiences. I also go to meetings every month and get updates and make suggestions on improving lives.
             
            I hope I answered your questions and please feel free to ask me anything
             
            Stephen Allman
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: lm murray
            Sent: Monday, May 30, 2005 11:49 PM
            Subject: Re: [disabilitystudies] My Introduction

            Hello Stephen,
             
            I'm very curious about the advocacy group and protegees you work with.  How and when did this group come about?  Please tell me more, too, about service cut-offs for people with disabilities when they turn 21 in Delaware.  Is this unique to Delaware?
             
            Louise 

            Stephen Allman <stjodo@...> wrote:
            It's important to share experiences with others so we can learn from
            each other and encourage people that we must live the best lives we
            can

            I have been pretty busy with school, the two disabled groups I
            belong to and work. I am taking courses at Neumann College during the
            last semester in Human Potential in the Arts and I received a 4.0
            GPA. So far at Neumann College I have 24 credits and a 3.7 GPA. I
            will continue as long as I'm doing pretty good and can afford it.

            I'm a Volunteer for Citizen Advocates Inc in Swarthmore. This group
            helps people with disabilities in Delaware County. The Director
            matches people that have disabilities to someone that is not
            disabled. Citizen Advocates helps people from ages 18-38 because many
            people with disabilities are completely dropped from many services at
            21 years old. We call them protégés that can be just friendship or
            help them reach a goal. I am on the Citizen Advocates Board of
            Directors which is voluntary to help the Director reach her goals.

            I have become more involved with Handicapped Encounter Christ (HEC).
            HEC is a religious group that gives people with disabilities to have
            a religious experience. HEC has 3 retreats a year at Variety Club
            Camp because its accessible to people in wheelchairs and people that
            have difficulty walking. I go to Villanova about 7 weeks before the
            retreat and plan the weekend. During Friday night of the retreat we
            have a play that sets the weekends theme. Pay It Forward was the
            theme for the weekend and I wrote my second play that went pretty
            good. My first play was a twisted version of the Wizard of OZ. The
            plays went well for the spirit of HEC but I am no writer.

            I have been a member of Handicapped Encounter Christ since 1984.
            Father Shawn Tracy is the religious leader of our HEC Community.
            Father Shawn is an amazing man that has been a great leader for
            people with disabilities. This group gives people with disabilities
            an opportunity to have a religious experience. There are many
            churches that are not accessible to wheelchairs and there are others
            that do not feel included. Everyone is important on our retreats and
            this is what Christianity is all about. I'm considered able-bodied on
            HEC retreats because I help feed, dress, bathroom needs met and
            whatever people need on the retreats. I do this because everyone
            needs to be treated with respect and I treat people the way I want to
            be treated.

            I try to educate people about the disabled. I explain to people how
            I became disabled. When I was a year old I had a cardiac arrest that
            left me blind, deaf and very spastic. The doctors did not know why
            this happened because I was going to be discharged from the hospital
            the same day. I was in the hospital because I had bronchitis but I
            was a healthy baby before that incident. I am very fortunate that my
            hearing and eyesight came back to me a few months later but I was
            still very spastic. When the cardiac arrest happened several doctors
            told my parents that I suffered severe brain damage and I will not
            live much longer. If I do I will not improve and they should
            consider putting me in an institution.

            There were many organizations that did not think they could help me
            but the Easter Seal Society helped me get therapy right away. When I
            was two years old I went to one of their schools for more therapy and
            testing. I went there for three years and then I went to Widener
            Memorial School that is a school for the disabled. The first six
            years there I was in the severely disabled classes, which meant most
            of the time I was in physical therapy, occupational therapy and
            speech therapy. I gradually began to walk better without falling
            down a lot. A teacher helped me stop drooling. People including my
            parents and brothers began to understand me better. Then I went
            through Grade School and High School and graduated in 1981.

            After graduating High School I needed to get some job training to get
            a decent job. I had to go through the state agency, which was the
            Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), for the disabled to get
            any financial aid or job training. I was given the run around several
            times and then I decided I could not rely on them. In November of
            1983 I began volunteering at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital. As a
            volunteer I did filing, escorting patients to their rooms, pushing
            patients in wheelchairs and on stretchers for their different tests.
            I did almost anything asked of me and I learned a lot about myself.
            I was a volunteer for 7,000 hours and most of them hours were in the
            Employee Health Office and Pre- Admission Testing that were in the
            same area. My first job was in the Laboratory as a Lab Charter. As a
            Lab Charter I would put Laboratory test results in each individual
            patient's chart. My hours were two hours a day for five days a week
            and some weekends. I realized when I took the job the hours were
            bad, but I took the job and continued to volunteer. I did this
            because I did not know if I would get the chance to become employed
            again. Then I got the job in the Employee Health Office.

            I have been an employee in the Health Office for 14 years and feel
            fortunate to have a job. I know with my disability I have
            limitations but that does not mean I cannot improve. I am a File
            Clerk and I work two days a week for 15 hours. I file all day and
            feel brain dead after working for 7.5 hours a day. I do not use the
            computer in the hospital because the nurse does not have enough
            nursing work to do. I do the computer work that is on my Resume at
            home. I do this because it keeps my computer skills sharp and this
            helped me to get a temporary job at Citizen Advocates last year I
            would like something more challenging and I hope it is working in the
            computer field and or helping people with disabilities. I feel that
            because of my disability I am treated different and that is not what
            I want. Some people treat me like a child and some people I work
            with confuse me with another person that has Downs-Syndrome. That
            really concerns me because I have tried to educate people about the
            disabled. It looks like they are putting us into one category and
            that's wrong. We are all different individuals disabled or not. I
            also ran into some people that feel I should be satisfied what I am
            doing. I did more as a volunteer than I am doing now and that really
            bothers me. I may walk a little funny and talk with a speech defect
            but I do have a brain. There are some people that are not aware of
            the disabled but there are other's that are not open to anything.
            I can only speak for myself but the disabled community does not want
            pity but respect and dignity. I want to earn my money and hopefully
            one day make people aware that the disabled like myself has dreams
            and desires like anyone else.

            Please feel free to ask me anything you want to know about me and I
            am willing to help others improve their lives.



            Stephen Allman








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