RSSAuthor Archive for Barry Corbet

Our Imperfect Paradise

Our Imperfect Paradise

No celebration would be complete without a word from the guest of honor. Here is an excerpt from a speech, the 25th annual John Young Lecture–The Conquest of the Ordinary: Sermonettes from a Second Life–given by Barry Corbet at Craig Hospital on June 1, 2001. Picture this. It’s five in the morning. Your attendant hasn’t […]

Staying healthy and happy--and free of decubiti--has always been a struggle for wheelchair users. Innovative new seating systems make the ride a lot easier.

21st Century Seating

In the beginning was the wheelchair. It had a hard wicker or board seat, and maybe a towel to soak up our incontinence while we waited for progressive conditions, pressure sores or failing kidneys to abbreviate our lives. I’m guessing now, but the rubber donut probably came next, then foam and the BBD, the first […]

Physician Assisted Death: Are We Asking the Right Questions?

Physician Assisted Death: Are We Asking the Right Questions?

It’s so deceptive, this one simple question: Should we make it legal for people to secure a doctor’s assistance in hastening death? Yes or no? Ask, and you might get a definitive answer. Ask why, and what you’ll get is slippery, contentious, anything but definitive. Yet we hold to our polarized answers and we do, […]

Philip Simmons

Faith and Mystery

In 1993 Phil Simmons was teaching at a small Midwestern college. He was 35 years old, married, on the fast track to tenure and deferring his lifelong spiritual quest to meet the demands of the academic life. It was what college professors do. That year also brought him a diagnosis of ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. […]

Save Your Butt: Custom Orthotic Seating Can Do What Off-the-Shelf Cushions Sometimes Can’t

You get out of rehab, and you’re a flash on wheels. But you’re no fool–you know that pressure sores can become a problem so you use the best cushions money can buy and you do your weight shifts religiously. Ten or 20 years later, you’ve got your first sore. You nurse it. You spend a […]

Arches National Park

The National Parks Before and After …

The parks have always been my very own playgrounds. Growing up in British Columbia, I escaped childhood to the provincial parks, playing in Garibaldi, working in Manning. My parents exposed me to many of them, and they made sure I knew they were special. But from the age of 13, I had certain knowledge that […]

Jeff Charlebois and his disability schtick. "As I was coming into the club there was an old lady getting mugged by this guy, so I went over to help. But the guy got her purse, and all I got was this crummy wheelchair."

Sit-Down Comics:Speaking the Unspoken Words

What happens late at night in smoke-filled basement rooms and requires you to entertain drunk or hostile crowds and tell them things you’d never tell your mother? Stand-up comedy, of course. Now what if you have to be lifted onto the stage, in full view of the people you want to entertain? What if you’ve […]

An All-American Fourth of July

Craig Hospital, in Englewood, Colo., is a spinal cord injury rehabilitation facility, so there’s nothing unusual about seeing people using wheelchairs around the neighborhood. But on this early evening, their meanderings take on a discernible pattern. Wheelers, many with helpers pushing, are crossing the streets, lining the sidewalks. The movement is away from the bright-hot […]

Lorenzo Milam: Surviving Geezerhood

Lorenzo Milam: Surviving Geezerhood

I first met Lorenzo through his 1984 book, The Cripple Liberation Front Marching Band Blues. It was lyrical and angry as hell and not at all fit for polite society. I loved it. Meeting him in the flesh was quite different. It was in 1991, in the small town in Oaxaca where he spends his […]

A Disability In Full

A Disability In Full

Being an artist is the sole comfortable response of my being to its existence. –Artist’s statement, Axis Mundi Arts I’m not protesting. I don’t really have a political agenda. It’s such a simple thing, but it’s so socially deviant — just to spend a day traveling without the aid of a mechanical device. –Interview, the […]