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  • Writer's pictureKyrby Brown

Churchill Fellowship Day’s Nine and Ten: Reflecting on Arizona

We just packed ready to head off the NYC tomorrow. So far the journey has been incredible, I have learnt so much and look forward to journeying onwards. Before we do just that I wanted to bullet point some reflections on our time in Arizona, so here goes:


Positives


  • The public transport here is truly accessible and easy to use, we could access most of Phoenix using a combination of the Metro and Bus system without worries of getting stuck due to inaccessibility. This was a first for me.

  • Flagstaff is a truly epic mountain town with a great laid back feel, beautiful surroundings and trails to explore. The mountain air and great outdoorsyness was a huge contrast the Phoenix.

  • We met some great people at the Move United Conference, many of whom are on the same or similar journeys to myself. It’s great seeing like-mindedness among the folk over here and learning from those who have ‘been there and done it’ too.

  • We overcame the driving side of things which feels like a bit of an accomplishment, the road system here is pretty different so I think we both deserve a pat on the back for that.

  • The Grand Canyon was a truly incredible experience which will provide a good point of comparison for the rest of the trip. This location truly is one of the world’s wonders and puts all the little worries into stark perspective, something to hold onto I think.

  • Buffalo and Ranch sauce, a winning combination.


Negatives


  • Some of the human suffering we have witnessed on our travels has been hard to stomach and even harder to understand. It’s hard to reconcile the image of the USA as a great superpower of the world with some of the things we have seen. The feelings of a community divided makes you feel pretty uncomfortable at times, particularly as it can arise so suddenly depending on where you are.

  • The conference for me lacked representation from all members of the Disability community. I was the only powerchair user present and the majority of the programs seemed to focus on acquired disability such as spinal cord injury or those injured in the military. I still firmly believe that for programs to be welcoming to all they have to be built by a range of Disabled people, each persons experience should be valued and catered for for anything to be called inclusive.

  • The US really needs to embrace the existence of the common tea kettle, everything is improved with a decent cup of tea!


All in all the last 9 days have been all I hoped for and more. Now we travel to the East coast where I hope to encounter more opportunities to learn.


Until then, I leave you with this interesting concept…


Image Description: Mobility scooters dressed up as various animals ready to take folk on a tour around Old Town Scottsdale.



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