My name is Brantley G.B. I have Cerebral Palsy, which is a neurological disability. I was deprived of oxygen at birth. When my brain sends a message to my body it gets mixed up like when you play the telephone game. Due to Cerebral Palsy, I am also visionally impaired. My eyes move around, which makes it difficult for me to focus on small objects or fonts. I have a speech impediment as well. God has used me through out my life and enabled me to prosper and make a difference in my community.
I walked in a walker built out of PBC Pipe created by my dad from around age 3 until age 13, when I grew and lost many physical abilities. After this growth spurt I was left wheelchair bound. With Godís help and the use of the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill at Trek Physical Therapy, I am walking again in a Kaye Anterior Support Walkers with Forearm Supports. I now have a Pride G6 Edge® with tilt and seat-elevation. This chair raises me up to a standing height, which provides me with independence and social acceptance. I strive to socialize and contribute to society.
I am a member of the South Carolina Library for the Blind and Handicap® and Learning Ally®. I get books on CDí, four sided tapes, and downloads, which can be played at high speeds. With this technology, I have read novels at 350 words per minute. I also use Amazon Kindle for PC®. This program lets me enlarge ebooks, so I can see and navigate books on my computer. After I communicated with Amazon®, they added a Text-to-Speech feature to read the pages out loud. I used a piece of equipment called Clarity CCTV Deskmate® throughout my high school career. I graduated from high school in June of 2008 with a diploma and a major in Business Technology.
I am currently in the Phil Theta Kappa Honors Society® at my community college. I am getting Degrees in Internet, Database, and Application Programming. Voc Rehab took a Roller Plus Joystick® and added keyboard buttons to create a compact input device. Voc Rehab purchased Scientific Notebook® as well. I can now word process math problems on my computer, as well as graph and compute math work. I bought a DANE-ELEC Zpen®. Someone can write notes on regular paper. I can then upload them to my computer. I can also convert the notes to text. I also have a Surface Pro 3 with Bluestacks Android Emulator, EZSpeech, and PhraseExpress to help me communicate in public. I use the PointIt Bluetooth Joystick with my tablet. These devices enable me to contribute to society.
In 2013 a professor and I presented at a faculty in-service at my college on enhancing the classroom with disabled students to improve the comfort and acceptance of students with challenges. We made a video illustrating how easy and rewarding it is to interact with people like myself. I pray I will have more opportunities to enlighten people and bring comfort to interacting with disabled people.
I am also on the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board, (PAIDD). Protection and Advocacy, (P & A) is a great agency that provides legal and advocacy services for disabled people. They also educate the society on accommodating disabled people.
I own my own home and have assistants through United Cerebral Palsy, (UCP) who come in and assist me. I use the IRIS System to help make my house accessible. I never dreamed I would own a house and be independent. This is truly Godís work!
Many people assume if someone is physically disabled they are mentally challenged as well; however, this is a huge mistake. Many disabled people have a lot to offer. With determination, Godís help, and help from others, we can have outstanding accomplishments!