- Published on Saturday, 26 November 2011 03:51
The Site Creator
I was born in 1980 in Washington, D.C. On September 25, 1995, at the age of 15, while riding in the car with my mother and step-father, I was involved in a car accident. The car that hit us was running away from the police and ran a stop sign subsequently striking the car on the passenger's side. I had been laying down on the back seat with my head on the side where the impact occurred. The car split in two and I was thrown from the car. My neck was broken and I had sustained a C3/C4 spinal cord injury. I spent the next nine-months recovering. During this time I gave birth to my oldest daughter in March of 1996. And with the help of physical and occupational therapy, my functional level improved to a C7 level.
The next school year I returned to finish high school and the Emergency Medical Technician training I had started prior to the accident. Despite missing an entire school year out of school, I was able to graduate on time by attending night school. I had hoped to attain a job as an Emergency Dispatcher after graduating but because accessibility wasn't as big an issue then, accessing the job would've been very difficult so I turned the job down.
I spent the next 7-months at home raising my three-year-old daughter. In January 1999, the Department of Rehabilitation Services supplied me with a wheelchair accessible vehicle that I could drive and in that same month I started attending Prince Georges County Community College for Architectural Design. After two semesters, I took a break from school to start a car stereo sales and installation business, which I maintained for two years. During this time, in May of 2001, I gave birth to my second daughter.
In January of 2003 I started community college again with the hope of raising my GPA enough to be accepted into the University of Maryland and their School of Architecture. All of my professors told me not to try it. They told me to enroll in a school that was easier to get into. They said "even if you get accepted into the University, you'll never get accepted into the Architecture School. It's limited enrollment, they get 150 applicants a year and they accept 50 to 75 of them." Much to my delight I was accepted into the University of Maryland. I started taking th year worth of classes required to even apply to the Architecture program. That first year was a killer. I had to take calculus, two physics classes, two architectural history, intense drawing classes, and a few introductory classes. I didn't do very well. So unfortunately my first application to the School of Architecture was denied. Because I had so many credits I was told that I wouldn't be able to reapply because I had to declare a major. But I was determined. I declared archeology as my major and took some classes associated with it and retook some classes that I hadn't done well. The next year, with supporters from the Architecture faculty behind me, I reapplied. This time I was placed on the waitlist, which meant I could only be accepted if someone dropped out and I passed a summer drawing course. I started Architecture school that September and received my Bachelors of Science in Architecture in May of 2008. I decided to take a few years off after that to raise the newest addition to my family. She was born in December 2008. Now I am back out there in the business world starting my own architecture firm which specializes in disabled design.
Throughout my life I have been faced with many discriminations and disappointments because of my disability. But I have also been able to overcome a lot of barriers. I wanted to start this site in order to help myself and others gain the information, encouragement, and resources they need in order to conquer the barriers that come with having a disability.
I, along with a staff of knowledgeable writers including:
work to bring you timely News, Information and Resources that support the Disabled community.