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Speaking Event at
Carnegie Mellon University

Event - Can the Severely Disabled have a Meaningful Life?

Life Matters is hosting Dawn Parkot, national inspirational speaker and disabilities advocate! Dawn’s presentation has two aims: to demonstrate how people with multiple disabilities are shut out of society and to prove beyond a doubt that those living with disabilities can have a meaningful life. As is obvious from her amazing bio (see below), Dawn is living proof that the disabled—and in particular the severely disabled—can have a successful, joyful, busy, and fulfilling life, if they are given a real chance.

 

Event details

  • Presentation by and Q&A with Dawn Parkot
  • Where: CMU campus, Doherty Hall 2210
  • When: Tuesday, April 5 @ 6:00pm
  • Free and open to the general public!
  • Free parking available in Morewood Parking Lot and East Campus Garage after 5pm

About Dawn Parkot:

Dawn Parkot was born with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy. As a result, her physical movements and speech are severely impaired. In 1979, she developed Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Then, nine years later at the age of 16, Dawn’s wheelchair hydroplaned off of a cliff, causing spinal cord trauma, more brain injury, and leaving her legally blind.

Despite all this, Dawn has accomplished much in her lifetime. In 1991, Dawn was an equestrienne on the Para NJ State team and served as an alternate for the Para-Olympic team that competed in Spain. Dawn attended the University of Notre Dame, where she was the first student with multiple-disabilities in the university’s history. She graduated cum laude with a BS in Mathematics and magna cum laude with a Masters Degree in Computer Science & Engineering. While studying in grad-school, Dawn became the first Ms. Wheelchair NJ winner with a speech disability.

Dawn has since spoken in front of countless children, many local area leaders, CEOs of major companies, and in front of stars.
 

 

 

 

 Life Matters.

No Matter What.

(Defending all life from conception to natural death.)

 

I found a response to one of our posters promoting Dawn’s presentation “Can the Severely Disabled Have a Meaningful Life?” The person (presumably a CMU student) simply wrote, “NO.” If only the writer had come to the talk, s/he would have heard of Dawn’s exciting life as a Para-Olympic equestrienne, two-time Notre Dame graduate, fiancee, Ms. Wheelchair NJ, and so forth—and then had the chance to ask her questions! But beyond that, regardless of Dawn’s many (impressive) accomplishments, here is an individual—a living, breathing human person—who is willing to share her perspective… only to have a student anonymously (and rather cowardly), carelessly, and callously say “NO.”

 

Why are we so quick to judge a person’s value? Why cannot we engage in a meaningful discussion about important topics such as these?

 

“My presentation on life as an American citizen with disabilities:

  • how the country is shutting the multiple disabled citizens out of society
  • the facts about Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
  • some of the nation's views about our citizens with disabilities
  • the  facts on the healthcare system with dealing with the disabled
  •  my personal experiences as an American citizen
  •  prove without a doubt that the disabled and in particular the severely disabled can have a full, successful, joyful, busy and meaningful life, if they are given a real chance
  • what you can do as caring individuals to make the world a better place to live

Dawn Parkot

 

Join CMU Life Matters for this educational and inspirational event! Happening on campus April 5.

 

Event details can be found on our Facebook Event Page. 

 Life Matters.

No Matter What.

(Defending all life from conception to natural death.)

 

Dawn Parkot, multiple disabilities advocate and inspirational speaker, with members of Life Matters. Taken after Ms. Parkot’s presentation “Can the Severely Disabled Have a Meaningful Life?”