- TBI -- Traumatic Brain Injury
- ADA -- Americans with Disabilities Act.
- DSS -- Disabled Student Services at UC Santa Cruz.
- DSPS - Disabled Student Programs and Services at Cabrillo College.
- DRC -- Disabled Resource Center at UC Santa Cruz.
- DSS became DRC after I graduated from UC Santa Cruz.
drawn by me at Kresge college
UC Santa Cruz, Winter 1982
ADA and Head Injury
While my experience consists of two schools in California, the lack of services for TBI survivors was evident
wherever I happened to look. I
contacted the following schools (if possible) around April 20, 2011 by email: Rutgers University, University of Notre Dame, Harvard
University, Princeton University,
University of Virginia, University of Iowa, University of Washington, University of Oregon, University of Nevada,
University of Montana,
Indiana University, University of Florida, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Georgia Institute of
Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
and University of Hawaii with the following request for information:
Do you supply note-takers? Do you supply lab assistants? What criteria do these people
have to meet? What is the feedback mechanism so that the disabled student's needs are met? Do you supply writing
assistance for homework? If
you do, how much time are they allowed to work with a disabled student? Do you supply help with the lab write-up?
If you do, how much time are
they allowed? How are these people compensated?
Of 16 requests, I had two replies. The first was from the University of Notre Dame. It was well written and through.
I got the impression that
they take access to education seriously, making real effort to provide the TBI survivor with the tools he/she can use,
and need, to obtain a quality education in a timely manner. I have personal experience with not having accommodation.
It took me 24 years to acquire the knowledge that, had I not been disabled, would have taken me three years.
The second reply from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was not encouraging. The respondent would not write
what services they would provide etc.
He wanted me to call him. I got
the idea, so there would be no written record of what they failed to provide.
The University of Hawaii website was really hostile to helping disabled people get an education.
I got the definite impression that they think disabled people are putting on an act, that we are not disabled, just lazy.
Consequently they strive
to make education
as difficult as possible for the disabled student. Is that an effort to get us to 'drop' the pretense of disability?
I do not know.
External links open in a new window. The page that sent them should be immediately behind the new window.
This was done so the reader can see the incident, video or picture; close them and be on the page, at the place
that sent the new window.
Access links are in pages one, four and nine. These links go directly to the named page, whether it be
in Access 1, Access 2 or Access 3.
Repetition is intentional. It is necessary so that page, it is part of, makes sense.
Formal lab report
Physics 4B, Fall 2005
(Electricity and Magnetism)
Safer Technology for Nuclear Power
The nuclear disasters in Fukushima, Japan (loss of power caused by the tsunami) and the Chernobyl
meltdown (caused by human blunders) illustrates the dangers
inherent with deriving power from nuclear fission (splitting atoms). Nuclear fusion is a much safer technology being
the source of energy for our Sun. While energy derived from nuclear fusion does not generate the long lived and
very dangerous radioactive by-products of nuclear fission, it is
much more complex then fission.
I wrote a formal lab
report for a Physics class (Electricity and Magnetism) on the subject of nuclear fusion (creation of a helium atom
from the fusing of two hydrogen atoms).
The fusion reaction is incapable of 'melting down". Loss of power means the reaction ceases, it will not "run away",
but it is a subject that still requires much research.
Fusion is a spontaneous process, but we have no way to replicate the conditions under which it is spontaneous.
Estimates of pressure at the center of the Sun ranges from 3.4 × 108 atm (340 million atmospheres)
to 2.25 × 1011 atm (225 billion atmospheres) depending upon the source. To harness the power of nuclear fusion
will require extensive research
into various methods and theories, before anyone can create and maintain a spontaneous fusion reaction at one atmosphere pressure.
My lab report on Nuclear Fusion may be viewed by clicking Formal Lab Report (close the pdf document to return to this page).
I used to be interested
in scientific research, particularly the Biochemistry of infectious disease; prevention and treatment. I have the intelligence, but have been repeatedly
denied the means that would allow me to use my
mind to solve complex problems.
Dedication of Strangers
Without the dedicated men and women, the air traffic controllers who guided the helicopters (2) that
rescued me from the foot of the cliff, without the helicopter and its crew who transported me to the hospital in Modesto,
without the training of the pilots,
without the training and professionalism
of the helicopter crews, without the men and women who deliver up-to-date trauma care, we would
not be having this discussion.
My accident (140 foot rock-climbing fall) should have killed me. People
that sustained the degree of injuries I did, usually died. To read more about my accident click
(close the window that opens to return to this page).
I really appreciate the fact that the first responders and the health care
professionals, that rescued and took care of me, did the best job they
were capable of. I was lucky to survive the fall, however I had broken my back.
If they had not done the best job they were capable of, I would be paralyzed.
My Introduction to TBI
Americans who are involved in traumatic accidents and
survive, will find their
right to education has been replaced by something else.
TBI survivors are treated to a facade of service. We are given service that isolates us from our peers, ruins our self-image,
makes us the recipients of bad note-taking and hostile note-takers.
by the student organizations helping us get an education
at the college and university level. If we complain about what is being done to us, we are attacked. See an example
of this by clicking denial-of-service (close the window that opens to
return to this page).
Imagine, not waking from a nightmare, but into one. The last 27 years of my life can only be described as nightmarish.
I had my first taste of what was to come when my girlfriend left me while I was in the 3rd hospital I stayed at.
I used to be angry about
the years of slights, insults and humiliation, but do not want to dwell on what was done to me because I
sought to better myself through education. Instead, I seek to educate people
about the way TBI survivors are
being treated. Most of my friendships have been destroyed and I am socially isolated because I chose to
continue with school after I had suffered
I have written to various people about my experience, nothing has happened yet. My experiences
and thoughts about the need to correct our educational system and ways to do it have not been heeded. I do not
want to be annoying, but I will continue to publicize this issue until it changes.
I want and need to bring attention to the subject TBI survivors and higher education.
People need to know how the beneficiaries of our advances in trauma care, TBI survivors, are being treated when
they seek to better themselves.
My best friend (I knew him 34 years) died on May 15, 2006. The camaraderie and brotherhood I felt with Ray can
not be described. I wrote a memorial for him too. Click his name to
Ray (his memorial will open in a new window. Close that window
to return to this page).
Visiting with Ray and his wife on a regular basis enabled me to endure the humiliation, the loss of most of my friendships,
and the enforced isolation from my classmates for
decades, but, now, he's gone. After 27 & 1/2 years of this disabled existence the effects of
denial-of-service by DSS, DSPS and DRC is
finally getting to me. These effects have devastated my life. Click
consequences to see what I am talking about (close the window that opens to return to this page).
I have been doing my best
for decades. What do I have to show for it? I do not feel empowered. I feel
As a disabled American I am well aware of the economic impact of being disabled. I thought
higher education a valid option for me
to get out of the poverty that is ruining my life. I have been doing my best for decades. I have finally
realized it does not matter how
hard I work. My determination to do well in class is irrelevant. I can never reach a PhD or Masters degree
in Biochemistry, because of the way access to
higher education is structured.
I graduated in 1989 with a degree in Biochemistry from UC Santa Cruz. However, due to denial of service by DSS,
there were significant
gaps in my knowledge.
I have spent years (almost two decades) learning what I should have known to graduate. I did not have this knowledge
because my disability was
never accommodated. I needed help writing, but I was denied service by the head of DSS in 1984.
Click denial of service to see the incident (close the window that opens
to return to this page).
I intended to apply to and earn an advanced degree in graduate school, but wanted to have to a solid
base of knowledge to work from (I take my level of academic knowledge seriously). I succeeded in annihilating my academic
record, in addition to gaining the knowledge,
I should have graduated with. Were DSS, DSPS and DRC correct in denying me accommodation? Maybe they thought
I was not disabled and, by denying me service, they would make me drop the ruse?
You decide. See examples of
my disability by clicking Disability (close
the window that opens to return to this page).
Until my accident I assumed that all disabled students were guaranteed access
to higher education. It
never occurred to me that the organizations that existed to help disabled students, were actually a facade.
To the observer it
appeared they were helping the student. To the user (me, a TBI survivor) the experience has been far different.
Because I continued with school my self-image
became very negative, I was humiliated constantly and I did not have time to maintain my friendships. My girlfriend
had left me while I was still in the third hospital and I was still reeling from that, though it had been six months.
The policies of DSS, their denial-of-service, while
ensuring I was isolated from my fellow students also seriously damaged my self-image. I did not have time
to make new friends. The effect of the social isolation,
caused by their denial-of-service was catastrophic for me.
consequences to see what I mean (close the window that opens to return to this page).
This is my experience as an exceptional and highly motivated student who survived an accident with a TBI. As
I was already a university student, I
thought to continue with higher education.
Click Determination to see
some examples of my drive and determination (close the window that opens to return to this page).
I did not realize that, while medicine in general, trauma care in
particular, was continuously evolving,
the organizations to support a new type of disabled student, the TBI survivor, had evolved in way no one had expected.
As a permanently disabled student I soon discovered, and became used to, constant humiliation, isolation from my fellow students,
a steadily decreasing number of friendships and social isolation.
Maybe they thought I was a stand-off-ish prick. What my fellow students did not
know, was a fact of which, I had been unaware, until I became permanently disabled. Until then, the few disabled people I had seen
were always stand-off-ish, which puzzled me. I would try to talk to them and they would just look past me and not answer.
I had no idea of the
humiliation they went through every day they were at school. I never even heard of, or thought about, the effects of
denial-of-service. It was not an experience I was familiar with - yet.
Rights & Expectations
The Declaration of Independence:
"all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The Bill of Rights, Amendment VIII:
"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."
The Bill of Rights, Amendment IX:
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
The Bill of Rights, Amendment X:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are
reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
Social isolation is torture. It is cruel and unusual punishment. Long after the initial incidents transpired,
my everyday reality is colored by its long lasting effects. To see what I live 24/7, click
consequences (close the window that opens to return to this page).
not accidentally happen to me and I was not a criminal. I was deliberately isolated from my friends, family and fellow students
because I was a pemanently disabled student. I was a client of DSS (Disabled Student Services at UC Santa Cruz),
Student Programs and Services at Cabrillo College) and DRC
(Disabled Resource Center at UC Santa Cruz).
This phenomena is not
unique to the college and a university I attended. Wherever I looked on the Internet, this same attitude toward TBI survivors was evident. Some
College and University
websites claimed compliance with the ADA. I emailed some of them to ask for details and got two responses to 16 requests for further
information. By clicking
Here you can see the questions I emailed and the schools I sent them to
(close the window that opens to return to this page). To be fair, sometimes I could not email them as there was no contact
information or the links were broken.
Did the people who rescued me; the Park Service rangers, the helicopter pilots and
crews (from Alameda and Modesto) expect me to survive? If they had not done the best job they were capable of, I would be paralyzed, for
I had broken my back.
Were they aware of how this person they were rescuing was
going to be treated?
How about the people who saved my life and cared for me as I recovered? The doctors, nurses, nurse's assistants, physical therapists,
occupational therapists, speech therapists,
EMTs, ambulance personnel and others. Did they know how their hard work and dedication were going to be repaid?
I am a TBI survivor only because of the hard work and dedication of many people. Is my treatment and reality just compensation for their
efforts? Was this just a random occurrence?
I was told, when I stopped by DSPS in October 2009, that what they had been doing to me was deliberate.
Click here to go to Access 3