Posts Tagged ‘physical disability’

An excellent resource (and writer): Cerebral Palsy Guidance and Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados, Miami-based freelance writer, online reviewer, aspiring novelist and regular contributor to Cerebral Palsy Guidance

Alex Diaz-Granados, Miami-based freelance writer, online reviewer, aspiring novelist and regular contributor to Cerebral Palsy Guidance

As a career development and diversity (all areas but with an LGBT – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) deep expertise, I often get community contacts via people who discover my website and blog. One particular recent fascinating contact is Alex Diaz-Granados, a writer for the website “Cerebral Palsy Guidance.” Since “people with disabilities” is one the critical diversity constituencies in need to more full inclusion, I discussed cerebral palsy, including its intersection with the LGBT community, with Alex.

STAN: Alex, can you give me a brief description of what Cerebral Palsy Guidance is about?
ALEX: Cerebral Palsy Guidance (CPG) is a website that provides information about cerebral palsy (CP), a disability that affects approximately 764,000 children and the adults in the U.S. alone. CPG was created primarily as a resource for parents of children with CP to give them information about the disability, what treatments are available, what kinds of medical and legal assistance exist, and to dispel some of the myths that surround CP. That having been said, though, we also want to reach the general public and increase awareness about cerebral palsy, which is the most common movement disorder that affects kids.


STAN: Wow, 764,000 people affected is a huge number! Alex, Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got involved in this work?
ALEX: Well, I’m a Miami-based freelance writer, online reviewer, and aspiring novelist – and I happen to have cerebral palsy. I was a preemie, and I acquired CP shortly after birth when a nurse placed me in an incubator – and took a bit too long to turn on the oxygen supply. It was only a momentary lapse, but thus, there was some damage in the motor control region of my brain. Luckily, I fell in love with the written word as a young boy, and I decided that I’d be a writer when I was 14.

As to how I got involved with CPG: I was asked to write a blog for the site in January of 2016. I was writing movie and book reviews for the now-closed Examiner.com at the time, plus I was gearing up to start writing my first novel. But CPG’s chief writer, Leigh Egan, emailed me not long after the New Year and asked me if I would like to be a regular blogger and share with readers what it’s like to live with CP. I’m not a researcher or a legal expert, mind you, but I do know about the challenges of daily existence as a disabled person in 21st Century America. So, I said “yes,” and here we are.


STAN: Alex, could you tell me more about the intersectionality of Cerebral Palsy with being LGB or T? Why is this important to discuss?
ALEX: I’m not LGB or T, but some of my friends are, so I am aware of the challenges they face today. I can identify with the LGBT community’s struggles to gain acceptance in a society where some people still believe that sexual orientation is an anomalous “lifestyle” or “choice” rather than an innate trait. People with CP, whether they’re gay or straight, are still sometimes looked upon as freaks or “damaged” individuals who should be shunned. Disabled people, of course, aren’t vilified or – as in the Pulse shooting in Orlando – targeted by zealots as LGB and T people are, but we still face discrimination and mockery. Look at that disabled New York Times reporter that President-elect Donald Trump made fun of during the campaign. Trump scornfully mimicked his physical disability because he didn’t like the man’s reporting or his probing questions! So for me, the intersectionality of individuals with CP and the LGBT community isn’t about sexual orientation. It’s about human rights.


Alex Diaz-Granados (second from the left) enjoys a dinner party for a close friend

Alex Diaz-Granados (second from the left) enjoys a dinner party for a close friend

STAN: What can allies do to educate themselves about the Cerebral Palsy / LGBT intersection and what actions can they take?
ALEX: I think that dialogue and participative interaction is the best way for people to understand each other. I’m not sure that disabled people in general have a negative worldview about the LGBT community – some people with CP are LGB or T, too. Maybe a small percentage of individuals with CP may have some prejudices about gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender persons, mostly because of their religious upbringing, but others, especially millennials, are more accepting. But by and large I think both groups (disabled and LGBT) get along well.


STAN: How can people learn more?
ALEX: If anyone wants more information about cerebral palsy, its causes, treatments, and what resources are available, there is Cerebral Palsy Guidance. CPG is one of the best sites on the Web, with well-written and researched articles by a dedicated staff. You can find it at https://www.cerebralpalsyguidance.com/


STAN: Thank you for the insights, Alex. Keep up your great work and I look forward to staying in touch and seeing your first novel.

* * * *

NOTE: FYI – here is a link to Alex’s LinkedIn Profile to learn more about him.

Why Highlight Someone’s Diversity? Aren’t we all Humans?

Michael Sam was co-SEC conference defensive player of the year in 2013 at the University of Missouri and was the first active NCAA college football player to come out as gay.  (Photo from nbcnews.com)

Michael Sam was co-SEC conference defensive player of the year in 2013 at the University of Missouri and was the first active NCAA college football player to come out as gay. (Photo from nbcnews.com)

NOTE: This blog does contain several links to other interesting pertinent blog entries – please do explore them!

When I publish blogs like my recent “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating,” I always sit back and shudder, waiting for the comments like “Why do you have to point out that they are gay? It’s completely irrelevant.” I received several comments in that vein when I wrote a blog (link)about the coming out of college football star Michael Sam. One person wrote on my Facebook page about the post, “Who cares if this dude is gay?” And another more outrageous comment: “This people making more of a deal out of gay sports stars than being a Christian is getting old ! We are a nation built on god guns and freedom, not giving a broke **** if you’re gay or straight.”

So I am going to ask a few questions:
• Is it important to highlight women who become CEOs of major global corporations?

Ginni Rometty as CEO of the highly respected huge global company of IBM serves as an excellent role model for women aspiring to senior leadership roles in the corporate world.

Ginni Rometty as CEO of the highly respected huge global company of IBM serves as an excellent role model for women aspiring to senior leadership roles in the corporate world.


• How about African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans or Asian-Americans who achieve great accomplishments in business or government?
• How about a person who overcomes a major physical disability to excel in a sport or in the business world? I am a big fan of a local group here in North Carolina called “Bridge II Sports” which I highlighted in a past blog “My 2014 National Disability Employment Awareness Month Blog – Bridge II Sports.”
• How about people with learning disabilities who become fully productive members of our society?
"Bridge II Sports" is an excellent organization demonstrating that people with physical disabilities can participate in rigorous activities.

“Bridge II Sports” is an excellent organization demonstrating that people with physical disabilities can participate in rigorous activities.


I feel there are two very important reasons to highlight a person’s diversity in this way:

1) It is great to have a wide range of diverse role models so that children growing up will get the strong message that nothing should hold you back from achieving your dreams. With all the negative messages out there around various diverse groups, we all need these positive role models and examples.

2) And it highlights the strengths and advantages of diversity. Companies, teams, countries are stronger when they can embrace the wide diversity that each unique person can contribute to the group.

And we should also remember when highlighting diversity, that straight white men are also a critical part of our rich diversity mix! (see my blog “Diversity and Straight White Men – 4 Key Thoughts”)

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