Individualized Assistive Technology Can Lead To More Independence
December 5, 2002
SALINAS, CALIFORNIA--Denika Dallimore, the Systems Change Coordinator for Central Coast Center for Independent Living, writes a monthly "Disability Awareness" column for the Salinas Valley Californian. The following four paragraphs are excerpts from the column that ran Wednesday:
It all started when I was fitted for a brace to support my left leg and take pressure off of my spine. To make a long story short, I have cerebral palsy and when I walk it looks sort of like I've been sipping too much eggnog (sorry, just a little holiday humor).
When I saw the brace for the first time, I thought: "You have got to be kidding; I'm not wearing that! I don't even care if it helps me walk. I can't wear it. I won't wear it and they can't make me."
Yep, that's right, I was 2 years old all over again. It's huge, it's ugly and don't even get me started on the Frankenstein-inspired footwear I have to wear with it.
I've been wearing the brace for a while now, and I can't say I'm thrilled about it, but I know that it has helped me. My back no longer hurts when I walk, and I don't fall as much as I used to. I don't wear out a pair of shoes every two weeks like I used to, either. Leg braces like mine are referred to as "Assistive Technology" or AT for short.