I Can – With Your Help

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You’re Churchill.

The Lufwaffe has been raining down bombs on London for days. For most Londoners, a stiff upper lip is no match for such terror.

But you’re the Prime Minister. You stand before the House of Commons, shake your fist, and proclaim, “Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.”

No, you’re not Churchill. You don’t stand, either. You can’t.

You’ve been bound to a wheelchair since you were six and your dad hit a patch of ice on I-69.

And you don’t give up. Somedays, though, you can use a hand.

We’re all in this together, whether we have disabilities or not. That’s why it’s a great idea for any group that organizes a workshop or an exhibition to connect persons with disabilities with resources and inspiring stories.

April 10, my city, Fort Wayne, will host just such an event at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. It’s sponsored by Turnstone, which gives all manner of folk with a disability and their families a helping hand. The event will be a first here.

The brochure promises workshops and has more than 60 exhibitors signed up to hawk their wares or tell the story of their business or their agency.

To be sure, the primary audience will be those with physical disabilities. But agencies that serve persons with other kinds of disabilities, such as mental illness, are expected to be on hand.

That makes a lot of sense. Those who are blind, wheelchair-bound, hearing impaired and developmentally disabled often suffer from depression or other forms of mental illness.

I know the Carriage House, a rehabilitation center for those with mental illness, will have people at the expo to explain that highly effective program. NAMI, a family support group, should be there, too.

Indeed, such an event can help people make connections with all kinds of services in a community, services they may never have heard of.

You forget. You forget how many others or their families are in the same boat. Turnstone’s expo reminds you that you’re not alone. You don’t have to even think about giving up. Not when somebody offers to give you a hand.

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