Conversations with Larry & Tracy
Our journey is rich with conversations from a seventh grader in New Hampshire to a film festival attendee at an international film festival in Europe.
Extraordinary Film Festival, Belgium The Fab 5, Larry, Tracy, Harvey, Pascal & our film director Gerry, were invited to this international film festival exclusively focused on the lives of those differently abled. We adjusted to the Belgian Beer and connected to our audience. This from our post film screening Q&A:
|Audience||Why does it seem easier to write than to speak?|
|Tracy||More than anything I want to talk but the words just won’t come out they get lost on the way to my mouth. Typing is truly hard work but I can type with touch that slows down my motor and focuses on one letter and one word at a time.|
|Larry||People make false speaking like Donald Trump. My mouth does not say words clearly and I can’t open the door to my minds because my voice has the wrong keys and probably its nonsense like many politicians who put their feet in their mouth.|
|Audience||How do you like Belgium so far?|
|Larry||Yes, like the beer. Opportunity was looking at me as movie star proud to become bald movie star.|
|Audience||What was a significant moment in your life?|
|Larry||Pascal put me in front opportunity to use a computer to make my ideas known to greater world over twenty years ago in long winters Vermont.|
Its lots of TV that I watched in the institution that taught me how to put letters together on a computer to plant my ideas in the land of people who could speak. People make noise speaking like Donald Trump. My mouth does not say words clearly and I can’t open the door to my mind because my voice has the wrong keys and probably it’s nonsense like many politicians who put their feet in their mouths.
Princeton University, 2015 Film director, Gerry Wurzburg, invited the Fab 4 to Princeton University, where she is the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow. Over several days, they met l groups of students, screened the film for the Princeton community and spent a long afternoon in conversation with Gerry’s class “History of Disabilities”
|Student||Tracy, wouldn’t you prefer to live with people like yourself?|
|Tracy||I now live in a home with a family and have my own space with that right now I am doing fine but I want a place of my own and really not interested in living with other people labeled with autism kind of like placing you with only white young women dark medium length hair same height and weight if you get the picture.|
Rivendell Academy Grade 7-12, New Hampshire Tracy and Larry's visit was part of a day-long staff and student retreat focused on the theme, visible and invisible disabilities, "More Like You Than Not" with the goal of building a more inclusive community in their school.
|High School Student||What would you do if you could talk?|
|Tracy||Yes, that is an interesting question. Likely I would be more like Bernie Sanders and dump Trump.|
|Larry||I talk like a parrot. I wish to talk like Obama. People learn from him the power in loud articulate words. Not the case for loud millionaire.|
Champlain College, Burlington, VT At Champlain College in Burlington, Vt., we spoke to undergraduates in Susan Krasnow's education course "Teaching Diverse Learners".
|College Student||What do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions that people in society have about people with autism?|
|Larry||Opening the door to a normal life is contingent on looking normal. When you meet one person with autism you have met one person with autism. We are more like you than not and want to be in the mix of life and not isolated.|
|College Student||How did typing change you?|
|Tracy||Typing unlocked years of pent up chaotic thoughts. My intelligence was masked by autistic looping of hurtful labeling.|
|College Student||How do you view I.D.E.A.(Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and inclusion?|
|Larry||Inclusion is a naturally learned behavior if we think about it as a part of the human condition and not a law to create and legislate.|
CalLutheran University Young Typers Event Larry and Tracy had an opportunity to get together with students (2nd grade to college) who type to communicate. Students came from neighboring communities in the southern California area. The conversation was lively with everyone posing questions to Tracy and Larry:
|Dan||How do you think I can stand up for myself with people who think I am stupid?|
|Tracy||I would say that you should laugh at them and walk away. You don’t need to waste your time and energy on stupid people.|
|Larry||People meeting you as ‘typer’ of great ideas probably will feel stupid themselves.|
|Dan||Thank you I love it.|
|Sam||Can you please tell me what you think about us young typers?|
|Tracy||Young typers are the future of changing the world’s view of disability to a positive and strong one.|
|Larry||Spot yourself as person of potential first. Look openly for opportunities to pursue your talents. Please plan on making yourself like Clark Kent and change in phone booth of communication into Superman of Intelligent words.|
|Luke||How scary is it to be an adult with our limitations?|
|Tracy||I would not focus on limitation but rather on strengths and needs type to get our needs met and find your purpose in life and you will be happy and life can be scary but that shouldn’t stop you from having a life.|
Brown's River Middle School, Underhill, VT This 7th grade class studied the civil rights movement in the United States. Classroom teacher, Jenny Magoon, asked Tracy and Larry to help students make the connection between the two social issues of inclusion of people with disabilities in school and civil rights.
|Student||How should we think about inclusion?|
|Larry||Approach inclusion like eating pizza. Everyone loves it. Look at picking out different toppings because looking at variety is normal.|
Creating a land of inclusion is planting of the idea that people all get to grow up with their peers in school, on an ice rink in Vermont or on a beach in Florida. It is a civil right to live, play, go to school, and work in a normal, peopled with many races and cultures, world.
|Student||When you first started to type what did you want to say?|
|Larry||Please cook my steak to perfection and hold the sushi.|
|Student||What was it like for you note being able to communicate the way we do?|
|Tracy||There are many things that are hard for me. I can’t talk or socialize like you do which leaves me on the sidelines, watching and listening but painfully wanting to be in the mix.|
Community Provider Network of Rhode Island
|Provider||How do you feel about the work you have accomplished so far?|
|Tracy||Possibly does feel like President Obama speaking on race relations on the road to Selma. We have made progress but lots of work still needs to be done on linking inclusion to people’s power to chose their destiny.|
|Larry||It’s difficult to describe the feelings I have with spreading our message of inclusion and world intelligence but maybe it’s like how Tom Brady felt winning the super bowl, what an accomplishment.|