Woman Speaks Her Mind, But Not So Much To The Press
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 31, 2005
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA--The News-Record featured a story on May 24 about Ryan McGimpsey, a young woman who recently graduated from her high school and now has her sights set on North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
McGimpsey, who has cerebral palsy, communicates with the help of her Dynavox electronic communication device. She uses a headstick to type what she wants the computerized voice to say.
The 22-year-old plans to volunteer as a greeter at N.C. A&T campus events.
"She's displayed what she's interested in, and it happens," said her mother, Yvonne. "To see her take the baton and run with it . . . I'm just elated with this."
McGimpsey and her mother have every reason to be proud of her accomplishments and her 'can-do' attitude.
But what struck me was that, as often happens when a person with a disability is the subject of a news item, the writer of this story appears to have spoken little to McGimpsey herself.
While Ms. McGimpsey appears to be an articulate young woman, the writer includes just two short quotes from her ("My Dynavox is my voice" and "Aggie Pride to me means dedication to accomplishing your dreams. I am proud to be a part of the Aggie Family. Aggie Pride!"), but several quotes from her mother, teacher, and even a university official.
This is unfortunate. By not including her thoughts and comments, the writer implies that she has little to say.
My guess is that McGimpsey would have much more to say that would give readers a clearer insight into who she is than those around her.
"Ryan McGimpsey speaks her mind, despite not being able to speak" (News-Record)
"Media still leaves voices out" by Dave Reynolds (Ragged Edge Magazine)