Erica Henderson’s award winning speechDecember 13, 2011 By sdennison
Scott Key Center’s Erica Henderson won the 2012 Ms. Wheelchair Maryland award held on November 5, 2011. Here is a copy of her award winning platform speech.
“My name is Erica Henderson. My platform is about assistive technology because I want to raise awareness of communication opportunities for adults and kids who are in the same situation as me. Some people think that people who are in a wheelchair and can’t talk, must have a mental disability too. But that isn’t the case. I think with the right augmentative communication device or communication board everyone could express themselves better. I remember when I was little and I hadn’t gotten a communication device yet and I was at summer camp and we went out to a restaurant. The staff who was with me, just ordered my food for me with out even asking me what did I want. That made me feel frustrated and sad! But now since I have a communication device, I feel important and unforgettable. I am a big sports fan and people are always surprised when I can tell them stats and who plays on what team. This device allows me to take part in the general public and to express my opinion. Most people take communication for granted however the others like me know how important communication really is. Having the opportunity to get my opinion across, allows me to show people the real me. I have my own thoughts and my own words and I want my personality be my own not somebody else’s. each of us deserves the right to say what we want in life. My communication device gives me the chance to say what I want to eat at a restaurant or what I want to wear. I appreciate the people who care for me but I want the world to know my cares and thoughts. Having the device as an everyday tool shows the world the real person that I am. Once again my name is Erica Henderson.”