Kevin B

I now have a much great understanding of what people with Cerebral Palsy go through on a daily basis. Though they need help in doing daily events, it doesn’t mean that they are living the easy life. It must be troubling for people with the affliction who have a complete comprehension of what is going on mentally to not be able to relate phsyically. It then causes them to act out in ways that in our eyes may seem inappropriate, but for them it is the only way to communicate.
I feel like I tried to help everyone I met at the agency. Though I was definetly more receptive to people who were receptive to me. Junior and I got along very well. He even wrote me a letter that I documented in my first entry. Jason and I would talk about the different comic book and cartoon characters we liked. I just tried to relate to the people there by what they were interested in not force myself upon them.
UCP really benefits all the people that attend, staff and clients alike. The clients get to spend time with other people that they might not see if they were at home or in a nursing facility. The staff gets to spend time with dynamic people, who if you get to know have a lot to offer.
It is really difficult for the members of UCP who are severly disabled and they must face a lot of issues within normative society. I think however for the less severly disabled they really can face society with the ability to succeed. Junior works at Giant on the weekends taking in carts and he is good at it. The more disabled clients probably have to deal with the “gaze” and questions which sometimes they may not be able to understand. This leads to a tough life if they don’t have people there to try to help them.
This experience has really helped me within my work for the class. By going to UCP I have been able to better understand the texts and concepts that are discussed in class. It is not easy to understand these concepts if you have not had to really deal with them before in your personal life. These experiences make it personal for me and should for most every student. I am really glad that I participated as I am with most all volunteer work I have done.

This was the last time I went to UCP it was about two weeks ago right after we returned from spring break. Nikki and I arrived at our usual time, but most of the members were there already. I began my usual routine saying “hi” to Junior and looking around to see what everyone was up to. I went in the back with a new member Dan that I had not met before. We made caladendars for April and I let Dan put on pink and blue stickers shaped like Easter eggs and bunnies. A few minutes after we were asked if we wanted to go for a walk. I said yes, we had about 9 members with us as we walked around the block due to the nice weather. I was in the back pushing Dan in his wheel chair and watching after a couple other members who kept walking way behind everyone. It was really frustrating. When we returned to UCP it was time for class.
I could not believe how frustrated and angry I was during the walk around the block. It was impossible to keep some of the members with the group. I did not want to have anything happen to them so I constantly looked over my shoulder while pushing Dan on rough concrete. It was a complete hassle. I would accidently bump Dan into steps or a sign and apologize profusely. It put me in an awkward spot that really upset me due to the lack of listening. I just waned to help these guys out and have them enjoy some time outside.
This really isn’t from our reading but I can’t imagine the care that goes into helping these people. I don’t know how thier caretakers do it full time. They have to bathe, dress, and watch them constantly to check for signs of trouble. It must put a huge strain on thier lives if it is family. I know we say that people of disability should have the same advantages as everyone else, but if they are in need of constant care, can you give the advantages to them?

The second time I went to UCP which just so happened to be over a month ago was quite an experience. Nikki and I went and when we arrived not all of the consumers were there yet. As they arrived I watched them put away thier things in a cubby and hang up thier jackets. In the meantime I was flipping through magazines with one customer. Later I went to go do puzzles with Sue which is always fun because she’s really good at them. Later I was working on another puzzle with Darlene, and as we were talking she mentioned she wanted to have sex with me. This was incredibly awkward, I just replied, “Thank you” to her and did not discuss the topic further. I left the table to go talk to some of the other members and struck up converastion with Jason. He likes to sit on the couch and we talked about Transformers it’s one of his favorite TV shows. It was also one of mine when I was a child I think we are probably close to the same age.
This experience at UCP had it’s good times and it’s bad times. I was really thrown off by the sexual advance by Darlene. I really found it off putting and uncomfortable. I didn’t mention it to anyone that worked there, but I figure she probably says things like that from time to time as the consumers have repetitive tendencies. I really enjoyed talking with Jason, he’s an interesting guy. He’s kinda shy but we seem to have some things and common and it’s just alittle more relaxing than dealing with some of the other members.
The sexuality of people with disability was discussed earlier in this semester and that’s what I really learned about that day. I realized that these people have sexual desires and needs just like the people who are not disabled. I can realize that this is the situation, but it still does not stop me from feeling uncomfortable. I do not know why except to say that maybe it is immaturity in dealing with the matter. Yet again I see that the people at UCP are just people living thier lives through the lense of diability.

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