Celebrating International Day of Persons With Disabilities

It's International Day of Persons with Disabilities and residents in Rochester are coming out to learn what it's like to live with an impairment.

Posted: Dec 3, 2018 8:42 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Shelly Maciujec has dealt with two brain tumors in her lifetime. She uses a wheelchair and she also has to re-learn basic skills with a new hand.

"I had to learn how to eat, drink and do a lot of things with my left side that I had been doing with my right," Maciujec said.

Now, she is sharing her story at the 2nd Annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities at the Rochester Civic Theatre Company. Participants got to take part in learning simulations where they learned about what it is like to live life with a disability -- like pretending to buy groceries using a walker and using a stylus to communicate with others.

The keynote speaker, James Langevin has lived with amputations since he was an infant and said he hopes people will better understand what he and millions of others have to endure every day.

"Unless you have a family member or friend or loved one who has lived with a disability, I think it's really hard to understand it," Langevin said.

Maciujec believes that there everyone needs to embrace any situation or stage of recovery they might be in.

"There's more to life than just getting better and you can fix certain things but some things aren't meant to be fixed," Maciujec said. "You can grow in different ways.

It's just another step towards celebrating the uniqueness of every individual.

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