I may, from time to time, slip up and refer to walking as a universal activity. Please forgive me if I do.

I realize that not everyone walks. I realize that some people reading this may get around in a wheelchair or scooter, or with the help of prosthetics or crutches. I also realize that these appliances are instruments of freedom, not limitation.

This blog is about moving and eating and my quest to do a better job at both of them. If your way of moving in the world is something other than walking, then I hope you can find something applicable and helpful here anyway.

I may also refer to eating as a universal activity, although I am aware that some people have disabilities or disorders that render them (temporarily, I hope) unable to eat. Please understand that I am talking about the process of nourishment, whatever that may be for you.

I’m sensitive about terminology because I have a disability. I’m a stutterer. And yes, I do prefer “stutterer” to “communication disability.” A stutterer is what I, in fact, am. But my stutter has nothing whatsoever to do with my ability to communicate. I communicate just fine, thank you.

My favorite walker on the street where I live is a veteran who walks with the help of two arm-crutches. Yep, while able-bodied people are whizzing by in cars, he’s walking. The first time we met, I greeted him with a quick “hi” and a smile, but, to my surprise, he stopped and engaged me in conversation. As a stutterer, I’m always surprised that someone would voluntarily talk to me. But we had a great talk about the weather that ended in smiles.

He has a hard time walking, and I have a hard time talking, but we stood there on the sidewalk sharing our love of walking and talking.

Here’s to hard times and the people who have them.

– Winkie


2 Responses to “Accessibility”

  1. Linda Says:

    Winkie, how strange, I am a stutterer as well. Most people would be surprised to hear that, as I have it under pretty good control. However, I went from age 10 til around age 20 or so without it being so easy. I understand what it can do to you. I still have some problems with beginning a sentence with a certain vowel or consonant sound, or when I get very emotional.

    1. thewalkingwoman Says:

      Maybe our connecting was meant to be! It sounds like you control it really well. I think everybody who knows me knows that I stutter! But it doesn’t bother me…my parents did a great job raising me to feel normal. I have issues, but that’s not really one of them. It was tough during the middle and high school years, but then everything’s tough during that time!

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