The Indiana Empowerment Challenge
Notes to the People from Onecandream.
Declarations of a twenty two year old

I was going through some old files.... and found a letter I wrote to my parents when I was in college.This was a time before ICOIL, and before I had ever really travelled anywhere by myself outside of the state of Indiana. This was even before I really knew what a CIL was and what it was supposed to be about...

At the age of 22 , my parents were pushing me to only apply to schools that were close enough so that they could drive to where I was if I needed it. I wrote a letter to my parents trying to gain their support for my expanding my horizon. Below you will find exerpts from this letter:

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I don't think it is in my own best interest to narrow my choices down to just the schools to which you can drive. The idea of going somewhere where you aren't there to protect me and help me in many of the ways you do now scares me, but it doesn't scare me as much as the thought of never getting a chance to see what the rest of the world is like.

I know that I can't do a lot of things by myself (More things than some people) but I am not sure that anybody can do everything completely and totally by themselves. I don't know where I am going (I could very well be going to a school in KY) but I want you support no matter where I am going to go whether it be on the east coast, west coast or 3 hours away from home.

I miss everyone a whole lot being away from home, and I hate not seeing everyone, but I want to have a place of my own where I can come and go whenever we want and I don't have to be around smoke at all if I don't want to.

I don't want to have to live somewhere that I can't enter and leave at my own will. I don't want to end up trapped somewhere and I know you don't want that either.

I know that it would be hard to go very far away to graduate school, but if I do that than I am sure there will be people their to help me, and it seems to me it would be a lot safer for me to go to some new place for the first time while I am still going to school than after I get out.

I know four languages and have hardly been anywhere in my entire life. I realize that I am only 22 and that I have plenty of time to see things later -- but when else would I have a better opportunity?

All these people are telling me that all of these other places are different then Indiana. They say that the people are different, and that they have a better attitude towards the disabled in a lot of other places than here, but to be honest I have no clue if they are lying or telling the truth,

but I do know if I get an opportunity to go somewhere and find out I would like the chance to see for myself. I love Indiana a lot and the idea of leaving it frightens me.

Please trust me to consider all of the stuff that you worry I am not.

...but there are some things I have to do and some things I have to sacrifice. I am under a lot of stress and pressure at this point in my life, but I want to keep my options open. And in order to keep my options open I must at least consider other places...even if they don't let me in (I don't want to ever wonder what if).

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I loved the idea of travelling, but I lived in corn country, my family had no money, and I had a disability... so I knew it would be hard, and dangerious. But still a part of me wanted to believe that it was possible, and wanted to see the world for myself regardless of whether or not I had a disability.

Life is still not perfect, the situation in Indiana is still very bad for people with disabilities, but I continue to believe that people with disabilities matter.... Guess that is why when I came back I decided to get involved and try to improve things in the entire state for people with disabilities Indiana

Still working on that, but I continue to believe onecandream

2007-05-30 17:04:50 GMT
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