Thank you to the A! Board, Leadership Team, and Staff for once again hosting a fabulous Holiday Feast. Special thanks to Dr. Helen Pridmore, Faculty of Media, Arts, and Performance, University of Regina for leading us in holiday songs. Dr. Pridmore is one of the research leaders in the VOICE Lab (Vocally Oriented Investigations in Creative Expression) will be a studio space where people with disabilities can think about and develop methods of creative self expression while having the support of people and technology.
Corrie Van Burgsteden, Pagan Racette, Stephanie Ikekhuamen, Kaitlyn Hoar, Alix Norum (Astonished! Leadership Team), and Katherine Taylor (Astonished! Program Coordinator) were not daunted by blowing snow and icy streets. On November 5th they met, as they do the first Monday of every month, to organize events for the Astonished! Social Club. Last month was a scary cookie bake-off to celebrate Halloween, this month will be a Regina Cougars hockey game. They plan a variety of social and recreational events in response to the diverse interests of the Astonished! Core Members. For every event they attend to the details of accessibility, transportation, food and beverages, and of course fun. Thanks to this wonderful group of six for keeping the A! Social Club vibrant.
Photo: Corrie Van Burgsteden, Pagan Racette, Stephanie Ikekhuamen, Katherine Taylor, Kaitlyn Hoar, Alix Norum.
Thank you to Kelsey Culbert for her dedicated work on the A! Leadership Team . We wish her well in her expanding theatre adventures and are happy we will continue to see her at the Astonished! Teaching and Learning Centre. Thank you to Courtney Bailey for her steadfast work on the A! Leadership Team. Courtney has been a team member since the beginning. We wish her joy as she balances life with her family, which includes three young children, a business, and her volunteer life. We are delighted to welcome Pagan Racette and Alix Norum to the Leadership team. We look forward to their contributions to future A! Social Club events. Be sure to check out upcoming A! Social Club events on our Events Calendar.
When I think about the Astonished! Core Members one word that comes to mind is ‘resilient’ able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. The process of aging can be especially challenging when you have a complex physical disability. For many of the A! Core Members their wheelchairs are always part of their inclusion in daily life. Having a chair that supports your body as you age, and provides mobility and comfort is essential.
Recently Astonished! Leadership Team member Erin Hilts had a little taste of life on wheels. As part of her Therapeutic Recreation 447 class at the University of Regina she lived one day in a wheelchair. This is Erin’s reflection on her experience.
Today I experienced a different world; I was in a wheelchair for one full day! Only one day and I am not only physically sore but I am emotionally drained as well! Today was a huge eye opener for me; I realized that it is not just talk. People do act differently around you when you’re in a chair and the university is not as accessible as it may seem! I am so fortunate for this opportunity and have a greater respect for those who are starting tomorrow the same way I started today!
Thanks Erin, it is great to have you on the A! Team.