March 10, 2013

College update part two!

I am very happy to say I am away from my computer for five whole days!!!! Now that does not mean I am not connected, I still have my IPad and IPhone. Traveling on a girls mini vacation without my computer is a baby step towards independence, one thing at a time please.

I mentioned in a previous post that Alex has returned from her second interview at The College of New Jersey. She was wait-listed last year. So I thought I would use this time to get everyone up to speed about Alex and her insistence she attend college, just like her siblings and just like her peers.

Here is catch-up number two:

Fringe - the college tour - Part 1

There is a show on the Fox network on Friday nights that I love called Fringe. Fringe’s premise is that there is a “parallel universe that mostly mirrors the prime universe, but with numerous historical idiosyncrasies. This parallel universe shows how small choices that you make define you as a person and can change your life in large ways down the line”. In other words, our worlds are filled with the same people but life is entirely different.

Ever since Alex was born I have always felt I wanted to live in another universe, one were people were inclusive and education was geared for all learners. In this alternate universe people of all abilities go to college, work, live where they want to live and have the support they need to live fulfilling lives.

The universe we currently live in is moving in this direction. People with disabilities are more and more accepted in their communities, special education has come a long way, and community based housing options are evolving.

However, in the universe we live in today equal opportunity employment for all people with disabilities does not exist, but it is evolving. I often see people with disabilities in the work force, but many of these people are paid below minimum wage. This is due to a clause in the minimum wage ruling stating that your wage can be adjusted based on the amount of work done in a “regular” hour. And most importantly many many people with disabilities who want to go to college can not to prepare for fulfilling jobs and perhaps not be in minimum wage jobs. I am sure this is not the case in my alternative universe where everyone is equal.

This past week, although I walked around in my current universe for the first time in a long while, I felt like I was the alternate Gary. This other Gary does not fight for opportunities for Alex, nor does she bite her tongue to refrain from losing her temper (although this week I was not so successful). In this universe Alex realizes her dream to go to college, the right every person who wants to go to college should have.

Alex wearing her Princeton sweatshirt at Penn!

Yes, this past week Alex and I went on a college tour, just like all her peers. We saw Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Mercer County Community College and The College of New Jersey.

TO BE CONTINUED in the alternative universe

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