Understanding Disabilities

These articles are to help allow those who are not disabled,understand what someone who is,may go through.
Thanks to those who have allowed me to post them.

A Personal View :A Different Perspective on the Field of Combat

By Jerry Maples

The rules that I worked out for combat in Calon were very simple. First no changes needed to be made as far as armor and weapon requirements. If the person like myself fights from a chair they start out as "legged" and cannot move except for a few feet at a time or with assistance. this is very close to the standing rules of movement after being legged in Calon. Especially since when holding weapons and or a shield and wearing gauntlets it is darn hard to move more than a little at a time to begin with.

All shots to the legs or the chair from the waist down count as leg shots against already taken legs... non-shots. All shots to the backrest of the chair count as clean shots and a kill. Unless the wheels protrude high above the seat which most dont, a wheel shot is same as leg shot.Therefore a non-shot since you start out legged. For safety sake, upon death, there is no "falling" out of chair. Sword arm goes over head with sword tip pointing down to ground, and you "yell like hell" that you're dead. Its not a perfect system but everyone I have fought and many that has only seen me fight approve of it in Calon as well as Ansteorra (where I am also a Warranted Marshal).

My only limits personally are weapon types, for instance Greatsword and Bastard sword and Polearm (halberd/spear) have been a pain due to being thrown off balance when using them.But it varies greatly on the Kingdom fighting style of such weapons. I can effectively use Halberd or spear in Anst. where movement does not play as large a factor in the style. Unlike Calon, where if you cant move very fast, you die quickly using such weapons.

Weapon systems really are not something I feel should be limited, if you can use a weapon safely then use it otherwise dont. Like I said above though, this varies depending on the style used to fight the weapon.

Melees are a whole breed unto themselves. I have had mixed reviews on if I should fight in melees. But no one has said a final "no". It has to do a lot with how I was taught to fight long ago. 1)Give no quarter, take no quarter. 2)The final authority on my personal safety and my opponents safety is me. Kind of odd I know but that is how we have always policed ourselves, marshal's notwithstanding.

One major problem that faces a para when fighting IS how honorable or dishonarable an oponnent is. It is easy to corkscrew a man on his knees or in the chair or setting on the ground. Hence rules against it in the rules of the list for everyone. A spearman/ polearm or great weapn fighter can stand back and snipe, its annoying as heck but legal to do. In melees, its part of the game and everyone is vulnarable to a spearman coming at you down the line on an angle.

Luckily for me I have a great bunch of guys I fight with in the Calon and Anst. armies and to a man have never had one just set back and snipe me in 1-on-1 combat. My only changes I have made thus far to the rules was/is trying to mandate maximum leg armor such as a 3/4 steel leg harness with extra padding at thigh for a wheelchair fightrs legs. since the thigh is perpendicular to the fight, a great or mass weapon coming down solidly on the leg has a good chance of snapping the thigh bone. I realized this after going 1-on-4 in a melee at Northern Regional Warlord in Anst. this year, The 4 men I was taking on were all using greatswords. I also have suggested that they mandate shoulder and collar bone protection for the same reasoning.

Ld. Tristan de Rochebrune is the Seneschal of the Shire or Bois d'Arc in the Kingdom of Calontir He is also a man-at-arms in the Calon Army.He has been in a T-11 paraplegic since December 1986 due to bruising from a tumor and a left leg amputee due to a bone infection a few years back. He fought a few years in the mid-80's before the chair and returned back into the SCA full time about 2 years ago after a 5 year on again off again vacation from 1992 to 1997 due to continuing health problems. Just over a year ago he decided to pick his weapons and armor back up and fight once more. Outside of the SCA he is known as Jerry Mapes from the Pittsburg Kansas area.

Disabilities in the SCA or"Chivalry is bowing when the other person can't see it."

by Juanita de Tighan, with Colin of Tighan

Good Gentles, There are many gentles in the SCA who have disabilities, from back pain to
the lack of one of the five senses. I write here from what I know, which
is blindness. However, any of these are easily adapted to any gentle with
any disability.You will find much humor and silliness in what I write. This is on
purpose. If we can't laugh at ourselves, then what are we?

1. _Offer, don't give, your aid._
If you see me about to walk off a bluff, yell "HOLD!" However, five people all yelling directions to the door is distracting, and it's dangerous, too! Ask me if I need help, and I will tell you. I may say yes, or I may say no, but I will thank you for your kindness and courtesy just the same.
2. _Don't be afraid to ask questions._
Many of you learned not to ask questions when, as a child, you were reprimanded for asking about the Lady in the Wheelchair. Now you are an adult who doesn't know what to do about the Lady in the Wheelchair. Break the cycle: Learn! It's OK if kids ask questions too. I like kids. I like answering their questions.

3. _It's my responsibility first._
A competent person who knows they need accomodations should ask for them politely--and give enough advance notice that they need them.
4. _I'm a Lady, not a Thing._
Especially not a Poor, Sweet, Innocent Little Thing! Please don't pity me, or "mother" me. I am and wish to remain your equal. It's OK to laugh with me, too. Sometimes, it's funny being blind!
5. _Every Person is Unique._
I'm not like any other blind person I know! What was difficult for your blind friend in school may be easy for me. Or impossible.
6. _My Cane/Wheelchair is part of my body._
If you wouldn't grope *me*, don't play with my "eyes". Or even if you would!
7. _Some disabilities are invisible._
My Lord has hidden disabilities that can be fatal, but everyone worries about me? Don't judge a book by its cover. I don't!
8. _Walk a mile with your eyes closed._
Or put a pebble in your shoe and walk that mile with a cane. Just, please be careful! I have a lifetime of training. You are an amateur!
9. _Let me go at my own pace._
I have proven I can wash more dishes by hand than six *men* can with a dishwasher. ;) Don't slow me down. I take longer to find my way around. Don't hurry me.
10. _Sometimes, it's an advantage._
*pout* Nobody wants to play Blind Man's Bluff with me anymore....
If this seems like alot, just remember to practice courtesy, patience, and a sense of humor. The last most of all!
In Service,
Juana Maria Francesca de Tighan, called "Juanita"
(modified slightly from the original by her husband, Colin of Tighan, with

Taking care of a Disabled Child

by Keidale and Fanora

I never really understood how those with some kind of disability,dealt with daily living.Parents of any disabled child I thought were some of the toughest folks on the planet.Every day living and with these kids I thought must have been hell.The extra care that a disabled child required I thought was more than I could handle. Well,my thoughts have changed in a lot of ways.

My son Alex has endured much even before he was born.In the labor room,our doctor had told us that he had a bowel movement after she had broke my wife's water.She had informed us that he was in some real danger and could not survive unless some action was taken right there.The end result was that Alex had contracted Toxicimia and had to spend five days plus in the hospital.It is a very scary expirence to know that you could lose you child within that short of time. Alex has also endured a host of viruses and sicknesses,any one of these a contributing factor to his developing Autism.

As a baby, Alex was very quiet.He would never cry unless he really wanted something.He didn't want to be held a lot and was very happy doing his "baby thing".When he got to be a little older he did not speak as much as a normal children his age should.At play time, Alex would always organize his blocks in patterns and always had his toys organized(as best as he could for his age).If he was watching television,Alex would ignore the program that was on,but would stop what he was doing when a commerical came on(I think it was the jingle of the commerical that really caught his attention).His first actual word was "Jif".He kept saying it over and over and we couldn't understand what he was talking about.So Sondra picked him up and he directed her to the kitchen where a jar of "Jif" peanut butter laid in the cabinet.

We decided to have him checked out,our doctor recommended that he be checked for Autism.We took him to the University of Louisville Child Evaluation Center and after his testing we were told that he did indeed have Autism.At that point,as parents,we were not prepared for what was to come next.We knew absolutely nothing about it,or how to take care of a disabled child.It was very "eye opening". The doctor at the C.E.C told us that Alex was "High Functioning",and had an iq of 118.We were amazed!

We than began to do some research on Autism and how it related to our son.We understood that Alex was very lucky.He is,for lack of a better phrase, "on the high end of the stick",meaning that Alex is more apt to be closer to a "normal"child,than those who have severe cases.
Those with Autism are more to be by themselves,not wanting to interact with others.Alex was exactly that,not really caring to play or interact with other people. He liked(and still does) video games and other electronic devices and spent as much time as he could get away with playing his games then going outside with his sister
Another aspect of Autism is having to do with speech.Alex's speech at a young age amounted to" gibberish".When he could not figure out how to pronouce a word or could figure out what word to use,he would use multiple sounds inplace of them.