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Trisha Lynn Sprayberry Headshot

Applying Current Technology to Positively Change Disability for Tomorrow

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We need to be doing more for those with disabilities to accommodate them and their NEEDS now.

To accommodate those with disabilities should be a priority WHILE we are waiting for the "cure" or other medical treatments for research to find. Don't get me wrong, I am all for research and currently support the work that is being done along that coarse. But we can't just be planning for the future of the cure and the elimination of the disease, if those who are currently affected are being ignored, passed over and denied help for their disabilities in the mean time.

Our society prides itself on our advancements and breakthroughs that can and have revolutionized medicine and man kind.

If you need a wheelchair, we have them. If you need a hand, we can 3-D print one, if you need transportation we have vehicles, and ramps, and electronic doors. We have gadgets we can use with a simple blink of an eye, we have voices for those who cannot talk, hearing devices for those who are deaf, we can drive a vehicle while simply moving an eye brow, a pill that can stabilize your mood or your heart condition, and pretty much anything else we could need to accommodate the demands of any disability within our technology pool now.

But while we as a society were dreaming of that better future for all, one without injury, disease, or disability, we completely dropped the ball for those with disabilities now, who aren't fortunate enough to be rich and/or famous.

With about 40 million people with disabilities in the U.S. alone, we certainly can do better than hoarding the medicines, treatments, and equipment we have now for only the few of those people who can afford what they need.

Just because research is working on finding a cure, and, that it may be a reality in the next ten years or so ( which is a sentiment I've heard all my life), doesn't mean it will happen. A cure for what is currently un-curable shouldn't be the only way we try and solve this problem of the disease/disability itself for the people who have it.

Am I really to expect, because I am poor and on a disability stipend, that the only way I will get help for my FSHD is when a cure is available? I, (and millions of others) in a 10-20 year span may not even be ALIVE for the cure if/when it's found and made available.

Am I really doomed to suffer with everything my FSHD will put me through simply because I don't have access to the technology we do have now because I am poor. I already know just how much impact having my disease accommodated by our current technology would have for me. It would minimize, if not eliminate the challenges my FSHD Muscular Dystrophy gives me altogether. But because I can't afford it, and because I am denied by the very services meant to help me, I may never be able to acquire the current tech. we have to overcome a disease I currently have.

What are we going to do in the meantime. So far, the answer has been if you can afford it, than you can overcome it.

What about the people who are currently suffering from the symptoms of a disability who CAN be treated for their current disability with current technology, but are denied access to what we currently DO have to relieve those challenges?

There's really no reason other than the blatant discrimination of those with disabilities and the lack of value our society has for these individuals categorized as disabled. We could be literally obliterate the personal and social issues that disability imposes over all of us. Simply accommodating a disability would revolutionize the world.

We would have more people able to get out of their homes, to get an education, employment, and would normalize disability and differences in mankind all by just by providing people what they need.

Disability is expensive. Yet the disabled are the most vulnerable ones, and with increasing cut to coverage's, and more denials to services, we are also the least helped in our society. Those with disabilities automatically have so many extra costs that a non-disabled person may NEVER have to be accommodated for.

In other words, someone who isn't disabled doesn't have the expense of a disability.

For example, purchasing and maintaining repairs for a wheelchair needed to make up for the inability to walk. And if you have a wheelchair, you need to have transportation for it, which means you can't just go out and buy any car, you have to buy one with a lift.

If your in a wheelchair, it also reduces your options for housing. You can't just go out a live in any place out there, you have to find one big enough for your wheelchair to fit into, First off, it must be one level and the halls and doorways must be wide enough, A bigger place means more expense. Now can you utilize everything in your home? Home modifications are yet another expense to make bathrooms and kitchens easier to use with lowered shelving or a roll in shower.

A non-disabled person may not have a caregiver or and aid that must be paid. A non-disabled person may have a pet, but not a service animal who needs expensive special training.

Those are just a few of the cost expenditures disability incurs for everyday living.

Disability is a whole spectrum, with some more or less affected than another, and all with unique needs. Maybe part of the issue is that we tend to be dealing is disability as a bulk term. Lumping all with a disability into the same perception, definition, and expectations of disability.

Research now does nothing to directly help someone who is disabled now. A disabled person with an incurable disease needs to have a wheelchair now, needs a medications or therapy now, or a wheelchair now, or a prosthetic foot. Now.

We need to simultaneously be providing those with disabilities currently everything they need to accommodate their needs until we find that miracle. Doing little to nothing only, increases the problems, increases the risks, and increases the expense of those with disabilities for themselves and the expense on society.

Just like homelessness, disability is better served by providing help, and is more costly on all of us when we doing nothing.