Breaking New Ground

DO-IT Scholar Isaiah

My disability first reared its ugly head when I was three years old. From then on, doctors have been stumped by my disability. They can't even name it. They have tried gate labs to genetic tests in an effort to give it a name. To this day they have made no progress. One may also assume that since my disability can't be associated with a set pattern, that my future is up in the air. As far as I know I am the oldest person with what is loosely called spinal-cerebellar degeneration. So every day is full of challenge as well as anxiety at what may happen.

When I was first "diagnosed" with my disability, my mother vowed to make my life as "normal" as possible. I'm sure it has been. I have attended regular schools all my life and have tackled the obstacles of normal kids as well as my disability, obstacles. I attended a science and technology high school. It was a magnet program that just started 6 to 7 years ago. I was the first disabled person in the program. After graduating, I continued my education at a private university. Many of my teachers haven't dealt with a disabled person before. I basically take the challenges presented one day at a time. My teachers have been very flexible; for example, they have changed activities sometimes while they're going on. But sometimes I have asked for accommodations early on, which I will have to do more and more in the future.