To celebrate National Developmental Disabilities Month, JJ’s List had the chance to spotlight one of our own Disability Awareness Players, John G. We are grateful for John’s willingness to tell us his story and excited to share with our community. John shares stories about independence and courage and shows the world how people with disabilities are just like everyone else.
Learn more about John below:
I am a 38 year old man who lives independently but loves being with people. In “normal” times, I am a volunteer at the Prospect Heights Library. I have been volunteering there since about 2015. I am also an original member of the jjslist.com Disability Awareness Players. I have been a Player since 2009! I love everything about being a Player, especially travelling around the area with the other Players. I really miss being with people and hanging out with friends. I hope I can go back to camp because I love it. I also enjoy writing stories, journaling, working out, going to the movies, and eating out. And I have cerebral palsy (CP).
Tell us about your independence:
I have been living in my condo for about 14 years. It recently was rehabbed and looks great! I live on the ground floor so I don’t have to use stairs. I had a personal assistant for several years but I don’t any more. My mom supports me by driving me places, taking me shopping, and preparing meals for me. But I do a lot on my own, like laundry, light cleaning, shopping online, Zooming, scheduling my paratransit rides and heating up prepared meals.
How does CP affect you?:
CP affects my balance and my speech. Walking more than short distances can be difficult, and people sometimes have a difficult time understanding me.
But once they get to know me, it’s not a problem understanding me.
What are your goals in life?
I want to meet someone special to share my life with.
What do you want people to know about you and other people with disabilities?
People with disabilities are like everybody else. We have the same feelings and ideas. We have strengths and weaknesses. We deserve to be treated like everyone else because we are like everyone else.
Any advice to others with disabilities or those just learning to be independent?
Have confidence that you can do it. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.