I wrote this in 2006 when I was 19 years old:
I took a deep breath and the next thing I saw was a cloud of dust in the air where the clay pigeon had once been. Skeet shooting was, and still is, one of my favorite activities. My name is Bryan Evans. Most of my family would tell you I’m just a normal 19 year old kid, but not everyone see’s me as my family does. I was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida, which has left me unable to walk. However, I don’t see myself as unable to do the things an able-bodied person can, just in a different way. In today’s society many people take for granted the things that come so simple to them and see people with disabilities as incapable of functioning, when that’s simply not always the case. Many people, myself included, who are faced with a disability often live lives doing the same things everyone else can. Yet modern society has deemed people who are plagued with some form of defect as inferior or less of a human being because we look or do things different. Growing up I realized just how differently some able-bodied people looked at disabled people. If only they would educate themselves about the people around them I’d be willing to bet they wouldn’t see a wheelchair or crutches and would actually see the person behind the disability. Many people view disabled people differently only because of their ignorance towards those people. I consider myself fortunate to not have many of the medical complications associated with Spina Bifida, yet people today seem to place judgment on me and others like me simply without knowing us or our capabilities. I have many friends who are disabled and yet are successful and happy people, contrary to what some people think. Baseball great pitcher Orel Hershiser, who holds the Major League Baseball record for most consecutive scoreless innings, was born with Spina Bifida. So next time you see a person with a disability maybe try to get to know them. We aren’t all as different on the inside as we might be on the outside.