Alumni Michael Delson and Bryan Dooley and student Logan Wilson, each of whom lives with cerebral palsy, shared their experiences and wisdom at a panel discussion Thursday on access and social justice.
Bryan is a well-known advocate for people with disabilities as well as a journalist and columnist with a weekly blog, “Observations from Below,” for the Huffington Post. He is a board member for The Adaptables Center for Independent Living and Disability Rights North Carolina.
“There are many things that advocates new to disability rights can do, depending on how involved they want to be,” Bryan said. “Probably the easiest and maybe the most influential is to befriend people with disabilities.
“That way people can learn the issues firsthand. We can begin helping each other.”
Rob Young, Assistant Director of Guilford’s Department of Disability Resources, moderated the panel, which was part of Peace Week 2016.
View the full Peace Week calendar.
Logan, a sophomore studying sports management, was involved in a lawsuit with the North Carolina DMV to help people with disabilities gain equal access to driving privileges. He is an avid swimmer and an active member of the Paralympic Movement.
Many people have a visual stereotype of what an athlete should look like, Logan said, but internal qualities are much more important. “In order to be a good athlete, it takes smarts, determination and passion,” he said.
Michael is an accountant, freelance writer and motivational speaker. He has traveled the world extensively, and he loves skiing and spending time at Starbucks.
“Fight for what you believe in and never give up on your cause,” he urged the panel’s audience.
Michael also shared a poem he wrote in 2011, which reads, in part:
“Doctor said at birth I wouldn’t walk or talk
Parents looked at him and shook their head
Dad grabbed him and said
‘You are MD, not G-O-D’
They believed in me”