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Damn Bunch of Cripples: My Politically Incorrect Education in Disability Awareness

by Lew Shaver

I was sitting in a small upstairs room attempting to write this narrative of my education in disability awareness. For over 30 years I have been involved in working with individuals with disabilities as a coach and administrator on the intercollegiate, national and international levels. When I started this journey, at a small, Midwestern University, I had no idea of what I was getting myself into. Now that I have traveled this educational path I have come to realize that it may have been one of the most important learning experiences of my life, an experience I feel needs to be shared. In putting this narrative together, one very real issue I struggled with was how to deal with the present climate of political correctness. My decision was to tell the stories as I remember them, in the language as I remember. To do differently would change and compromise the actual experience. Thus, this is a sharing of feelings and experiences that a coach and his athletes spent in timeless hours in a gym practicing and competing, of thousands of miles traveled throughout the United States and beyond, and days and nights spent together in laughter and frustration.

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