Day Off-Olathe, KS

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The team woke up at 6:00AM what we consider to be late these days and enjoyed an omlette breakfast provided by members of the independent living resource center. We then had a guided tour of the Deaf Cultural Center which was right off campus and viewed a demo home for someone living with a hearing impairment. Some of the things I found really cool were the flickering lights for the doorbell, and a bed shaker as an alarm in case of severe weather.

Some photos of the demo home

A special weather tracker to alert individuals of incliment weather

A cool sign language alphabet made from plater sculptures lined the entryway

The team loaded up and headed off to Mark Cameron’s home who was kind enough to show us his state of the arm home for a quadriplegic. Mark is an amazing gentleman was responsible for the Texas Roadhouse dinner and all of the events we attended while in Olathe. Mark is truly inspiring and showed us how he uses a dot on his forehead to control his computer and controls on his chair to open doors and change light settings in his home.

Mark in his Home

His website and amazing story can be found here:

The team had a crew lunch and then headed downtown for a friendship visit with TLC (Therapeutic Learning Center) of Kansas City. The learning center is a preschool for children with disabilities and has on staff OT (occupational therapists), PT, and teachers with focus in special education that are responsible for 5 classes of children with various abilities. We were broken into groups of three and placed in classes to meet and interact with the children. I had the opportunity to work with children that were ages 2-3 with varying developmental disabilities. Jake, Deshawn, and Kaylee were quite the handful; I spent the most time with Deshawn who used sign language to communicate and really put me through the ringer during story time trying to keep him focused on the teacher Hygun.

Drayton and I with the 2's and 3's

After our visit we all headed to the vans drove to Union station Kansas City to kill some time before the evening festivities. Olathe really went all out for us and scheduled for us to be recognized on field at the Kansas City Royal MLB game against the Angels. We enjoyed an awesome tailgate with delicious brisket and pulled pork and then headed into the field to be prepped for our appearance. Mother nature unfortunately didn’t cooperate and we waited 2.5 hours in the pressroom for the game to be cancelled. They made the mistake of placing 27 young men in a room with an open microphone and the K-crew, the royals cheerleading squad and wound up having a Backstreet Boys concert, interviews, and impressions done to the microphone while killing time.

After the game was called we at least had an opportunity to go out and walk around the field before heading home, it’s a shame that it didn’t work out but we all had a great time waiting for our time in the spotlight.


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