January 20, 2019
Hello. My name is John Baker. I was born with a form of Cerebral Palsy.
I have started this website not for myself, but so others like me will be seen this way, and given opportunities and rights.
Especially when they may not have the support system that i am lucky enough to have! And after all, it seems to be the age
of the hashtag— for better or worse...
It is true that I have never been much of a “joiner.” Groups, including those designed for people deemed by others
to have “disabilities” never interested me. Most times they were put together by well meaning professionals, who
truly want to help those they deemed less fortunate or disadvantaged. Ie. disabled)
For me, though as I said they had honorable and sincere motivation. They missed the point. Until my junior year in High School,
I attended schools and Summer Camps specifically for physically disabled young people. There is nothing wrong with that. In
fact, I enjoyed it for the most part. I even organized a Miss Camp Indian Head Pageant.
The point is we were already grouped together. What we really wanted was to explore the world....experience life.... engaging
in society with all our peers, not just ones like us!
I am fortunate to have come from a family who encouraged me to follow my passions and dreams, allowing to make very supportive
friends from many diverse walks of life.
Many others are not as lucky.
So, although I’m now in my fifties, and many of those school friends have passed away, l am inspired by my younger friends,
particularly those in the pageant industry. These young women use their titles to inspire and create awareness for a variety
And, although, I sometimes worry that hashtags have become over used, and may in somewhat trivialize important issues. Because
I of my Communication/Public Relations degree, must concede the power of hashtag in gain the attention of social and traditional
I also want to say that I worry that some may use this hashtag in a negative way, as some others are. #DisabledNotUnable should
not be used in an adversarial way, but instead to promote diversity, discussion, understanding and inclusion. Physical, emotional,
and mental conditions know no gender, ethnicity, racial, or sexuality.
These are issues which effect us all!