Tuesday, May 29, 2012

From Chapter 2 "TICKET to FREEDOM"

In Sept. 1972, the year the US Congress passed the Right to Education Law which allowed children with significant disabilities to attend public schools, I became an adjunct student at Penn State University’s Shenango Valley Campus. I excelled academically, making the Dean’s List, and that next fall, I began my undergraduate degree at that campus.  My academic advisor recommended that I be exempt from taking a language (something I later regretted), and she also thought I should not take the undergraduate speech requirement, which included giving public speeches. I went to talk to the instructor, who said “Annie, you have important things to say to the world so you might as well start in my class.”

Without a doubt, my college and graduate school education at Penn State is what I attribute my being able to sustain living and taveling independently in society.  Although my speech is impaired, I can articulate well enough to be understood about 80%, I am  told.  I instruct people to listen as if conversing with some one whose first language was something other this English.  This analogy came from a 3 year old child who  told her mother, "I can't understand Annie's language!"  It works every time and significantly improves communication, especially by telephone.


  1. Annie,
    You constantly continue to inspire me in ways I never thought possible. What you are doing with your life is a wonderful thing and I truly respect you. Just wanted to leave a little note saying how much I appreciate you and all that you do! Keep up the amazing work!
    Much Love and abundant blessings,

  2. Kimberly,
    Thank you so much. Encouraging notes like yours make the effort worthwhile and eases some of the difficulties. Look for more excerpts from my book. Feel free to share with friends