Sometimes you use an expression and it becomes such a habit, you never stop to think what it means.
Until a few years ago, I said and wrote that someone who used a wheelchair was "wheelchair bound," never considering that it was inaccurate. I should have known better. But as is often the case with such things, it took being told by a person who uses a wheelchair to make me understand.
Which brings me to Eileen Coughlin. Children are now taught from the earliest age that people who have disabilities might not be able to walk or hear or see, but they're still people with the same hopes and fears we all have. That's Coughlin's simple message when she speaks to students in West Seneca and tells them her story.
Of course, the students already know that. But maybe now they understand.
--- Bruce Andriatch