Washington Post: Electrical Simulation Helps Paralyzed Man

May 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm Leave a comment

David BurdsDear Mr. Stein,

In response to your article, Paralyzed Man Helped By Implants, as an active 66 year old man who sustained a spinal cord injury (C-6/7 quadriplegic) 34 years ago, I certainly hope there will be a cure for many people with spinal cord injuries.

Meanwhile, I ask you and other journalists to refrain from language like “After Rob Summers was struck by a hit-and-run driver in 2006 and left paralyzed from the chest down, he faced the grim prospect of spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair.” Yes, it’s grim for someone to realize that he or she may not walk but it does not mean that one will “…spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair.” That does make the picture grim.

Also, “Summers, an Oregon State University championship pitcher before he was struck, remains mostly bound to his wheelchair.” Please. He is not bound to his wheelchair. He is a wheelchair user and as a “user” is liberated to freely come and go and become a very active and productive member of society in a world that has become much more accessible in the last 30 years.

Below find a picture of my friend John Hudson as it appeared in his obituary in the Washington Post, Dec. 23, 2009.

John Hudson

John R. Hudson used this image of himself to scold journalists who used the phrase “wheelchair-bound,” suggesting “wheelchair users.”

Photo Credit: Family Photo
Related Article: Quadriplegic advocated for services for disabled

By David Burds, ECNV Executive Director

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Entry filed under: Advocacy. Tags: , .

Celebrate Communication Fair White House Monthly Disability Call

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