Living with disability

Individuals with disabilities make up the largest minority in the United States, but misconceptions about their lives still exist.

Lizzie Ford, a senior psychology student at Ball State University, is the secretary of the Student Government Association, is involved in Sigma Kappa sorority, and was an RA her sophomore year.

For Lizzie, though, daily tasks like getting dressed in the morning take longer and can be difficult because she has cerebral palsy. Lizzie uses a wheelchair, which means she must also
find ramps wherever she goes and needs access to automatic doors—both around campus and for her dorm room. Lizzie’s room is arranged to accommodate her wheelchair, and she has a roll-in shower. A note-taker helps her in each of her classes.

Cerebral palsy characterizes a group of disorders that impact movement and muscle control, according to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. It is caused by damage to the brain during pregnancy or soon after birth.

While the experience is different for every person, people with disabilities face difficulties that many others never have to experience and often do not understand. But Lizzie’s disability doesn’t stop her from participating in the same activities as other college students.

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