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Chapter 6: Reflections on Life, Career
15:32:19:05 - 15:33:47:10
Lisa: Janet, when you look back on your life what gives you the most sense of pride? What are you proudest of? What has been your greatest accomplishment, do you think?
Janet: I lived my life the way it was supposed to be lived. I told people I was gonna' get out of the institution but I realize also that they were meant for me to learn how to live with people and to enjoy life. And I look back on my life is, it wasn't a bad life like people thought, they thought I struggled. I didn't struggle. I was, showed them I needed a wheelchair or when I was going to school I needed a motorized chair and when I wanted to go to the store or anything I wanted to do I needed a lift and all you have to do is ask, come up with a solution, work with people who have the money and guess what, you've got everything you need, so.
15:33:48:00 - 15:34:19:05
Lisa: Janet, those are all the questions I have for you today but is there anything that you would like to add?
Janet: Not really 'cause I'm hoping this is a good history of someone's life and how she looks at it as a positive and not a negative and that's the way I was brought up, to be a positive person. So thank you.
Lisa: Thank you.
15:34:34:00 - 15:37:18:15
Lisa: Janet, you're a very established self-advocate. Have you been recognized for your work in self-advocacy?
Janet: Yes. Okay, it started in, um, it started, I think, '78 when I won the Rival of the Year Award and then back in, sometime in the early '90s I won the Advocate Award for UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) and then in '09 I won the TRCIL Award and then, I forgot what it was, I'll come back to that but recently I won, I won the Service Award from United Cerebral Palsy now CLASS called the Service Award, Co-, Eugene Cohen and Frank Bolden Service Award. There's another word but I can't pronounce it but I'm real proud of that. Um, Georgian has it on her camera, what it is, is a cherry wood plaque with a big gold clock here and then they, for the award they, the award was for and my name in gold letters and the year I won it. And to me that was real special. You know, I think of my life as normal and I've done everything I was asked to do for it because I'm an advocate. Um, I do a lot of things in the community, I also have my own business and that's why I got the award because even though I do depend on help but I don't live in an institution and I just live in, in somebody's neighborhood, smiling and doing whatever I do.
15:37:19:00 - 15:38:21:10
Lisa: Janet, one of the reasons people award other people is because they think they're leaders. Obviously many people think of you as a leader, do you think of yourself in the same way?
Janet: Um, I think of myself as a leader now. Now, you know when they call people 'senior leaders'? I call myself a legendary, and that's what's gonna' be whoever takes care of my ashes, they're gonna have something written somewhere that this was a legend in her own time. But I'm happy with my awards and I seem to pick them as I go along so who knows what's gonna happen next.
AVS School, Boards, Cerebral palsy, HMS School, Institutions, Marriage, Mental retardation, Self-advocacy
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