Kenneth Brown

Recent Articles

‘Special needs’ children? You must be joking.

Who and what is a “Special Needs Child”? Here we go again with some fool somewhere making up labels for people they have no concept of. First and foremost, the label dehumanizes the most precious of our human resources. This label confuses the populace and has them believe this labeled group needs to be told how, when, where, and who is important. I submit to you there is no one more important than a child with a disability/ies. Continue Reading →

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A call to action: Help your neighbor

The winter season 2013 through 2014 returned Minneapolis to the reality of Minnesota winters. We had been spoiled by the relatively mild winter seasons of the past few years

I own and operate a snow-removal company. This is the first season where I can say, “I got tired of snow.” I don’t mind snow, but for a while the snow was falling every three or four days. This put a strain on bodies, equipment and clients. We serve over 50 seniors and persons with disabilities. Continue Reading →

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Sensitivity to persons with disabilities

I am a volunteer member of the speakers’ bureau for the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance. I and one other speaker were asked to present our stories at the University of Minnesota—Mankato campus to a classroom of students taking a class titled as above. On one aspect of this class, I asked them: “Why does a college need to teach a class on sensitivity to persons with disabilities? On the other aspect, I applaud the instructor for recognizing the need to have such a class, and I applaud the students who selected the class for an education experience. The students were absolutely wonderful. Continue Reading →

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Living, surviving and thriving with a disability

What may be life-altering need not be life-ending
 
I recently had an opportunity to have a conversation with one of my peers, a friend and an excellent person. I was in the process of taking care of her lawn. She emerged from the garage and stood for a few moments watching me using the lawnmower. She was inspired by my ability to control the lawnmower with one arm/hand. She said: “I am always amazed at how you do some things. Continue Reading →

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Living, surviving and thriving with a disability

Current events: discrimination against persons with disabilities still alive and well
What do I know for sure about people with disabilities? We desire to be treated fairly and equitably in all aspects of our lives. We desire the playing field to be level and equitable. We have the nature and belief that we have to work at least twice as hard as does a “temporarily able-bodied” person to be accepted in many cases. With this knowledge in mind and the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] being passed in 1967 and reauthorized in 1991, why is employment discrimination against persons with disabilities alive and well in Minneapolis, MN? Continue Reading →

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Living, surviving and thriving with a disability — Are we equal yet?

 

 

 

There is something that I must be missing, or the ugly head of discrimination is alive and well in this democracy called the United States. The art of forgiveness appears alive and well for European Americans, while the appearance of unequal treatment for others brews under the surface. In one state, we have a European American male running for elected office and winning his party’s nomination to represent the state after previously vacating his governorship of the same state for several days under false pretenses. This person used taxpayer money to fly to another country to have an extramarital affair. No one in the state knew where the governor went. Continue Reading →

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Living, surviving and thriving with a disability Bring the disability skeleton out of the closet

What is a disability? This is a multifaceted question. My opinion: A disability alters the “natural” or “normal” state of something or someone. The qualifier for this is who is defining “natural or normal states,” and how the definitions are received and applied by the public. My disability: partial paralysis of my left side, to which most people would apply the above definition. Continue Reading →

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Living, surviving and thriving with a disability

Survival, accident, luck, miracle: I wouldn’t change any of it
 
As I consider the wonders of life with a disability, I find myself pondering the survival-miracle-accident-luck narrative. “Survive” is defined as “to remain alive after the occurrence of some event; 2. to endure or live through an affliction, adversity, or misery, etc.” 
“Miracle” is defined as “an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God; 2. a wonder/marvel; 3. an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.”

“Accident” is defined as “an unexpected or undesirable event often physically injurious.”

“Luck” is defined as “good fortune.”

Every person is different and will evaluate the narrative for themselves. Continue Reading →

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Living, surviving and thriving with a disability

Assistance, support from others vital to surviving with a disability
 
Why did I “survive” as a Black “crippled” child? I believe I survived so others can see it is possible. How did I “survive?” I believe I was born with the intestinal fortitude, true grit, and determination to survive. What did I survive? I survived a traumatic brain injury as well as severe internal injuries with resulting partial paralysis on my left side from head to toe. Continue Reading →

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