Shon Cook Law

Shon Cook Law
The Good Witch of the Law!

Muskegon Area District Library

Muskegon Area District Library
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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Meet Nicole Kary - Living Life Past Limits

I got to know Nicole Kary a while ago thru No More Sidelines in Muskegon.  She was much younger and participating with all the other kids in the events they hold.  She likes music, sports, and everything else kids like and she was always glad to see me, which is always a welcome feeling.  Time passed and she grew.  I always stayed in touch with her and her parents on social media and would see them around town at different events.  

As Nicole went from being one of the No More Sidelines kid to a young woman it was apparent that she was becoming quite a force.  Nicole has a hard time speaking, she's got Cerebral Palsy but she's not one to let her limitations keep her from doing amazing things.  She communicates thru a device and now works for the Muskegon Area ISD to help others learn about her communication device.  She's even gone as far as to find bugs in the program she works with to communicate with and get the programmers in line to fix it!  She's been awarded by Health West for her willingness to achieve goals way past anyone's limit.  She speaks to college age kids who are in in the process of learning ho to help people with disabilities like hers and she's even gone as far as Florida to compete in a beauty and talent competition as the representative from Muskegon!  Her CP makes it a little difficult for her to talk, so I sent her them and she's answered thru her device.  Here's our chat!

Nicole, thanks for taking a few minutes to be on Positively Muskegon to talk about some of the things you have done and plan on doing!

"It's my pleasure Andy!"

Let's talk a little about you.  You do some great work with the ISD and have spoken to many groups about how you communicate with your device.  Tell us a little about the device and how it helps you out when it comes to talking to folks.

"The device I'm using with the MAISD uses a sequence of symbols whereas my old device primarily uses spelling for communication.   The new device really does seem faster than my old device."

You've also got a pretty wonderful family who help you out with a lot of things.  I imagine support from them and your friends is pretty important.  Would you like to talk about that a little?

"I truly have the best support system and family.  They'll literally do anything for me!"

I've known you since you were a teeny bopper and now that you are 21 and an adult, can you talk a little bit about what you hope people will see in you?

"I just hope people see me as an inspiration.  Like "if she can do it, why can't I?"

Talk about your work!  I know that you are really good with your communication device, are you still teaching others the proper use of it and how they too can be more free to communicate with one?

"The device I'm using is called Unity.  The lesson book that came with it is for the sixty button page set and once I'm done with that, there's a 84 and a 144 page set with their own lesson book."

 Recently, you were awarded  by Health West for your achievements.  Tell us a little about the award and what it means to you. 

"The award was such a surprise; I literally had no idea.  It's just so nice when all your hard work is recognized and appreciated, you know?"

Tell us about your beauty pageant visit to Florida a couple years ago.  Was it the dream come true you expected?

"Omg Florida was amazing!  Disney World is truly the happiest place in the world!"

What's next?  What kind of plans do you have for helping others with their device or learning to manage life with CP?

"Well hopefully I'll go back to Muskegon Community College in the fall and finish my two years there and go to GVSU to get my degree in either social work or psychology.  I'm not sure which."

Is there anything you'd like to share with the readers of Positively Muskegon about your outlook on life?  Is there anything that drive you kinda nuts or anything you REALLY like doing?

"I would just like to say to the people who'll read this to just treat people with disabilities normal unless told otherwise.  You don't know whether the person's disability is physical or mental."

What advise would you give young people who may have a limitation and their families?

"My advice to people with disabilities; DON'T GIVE UP!  YOU DO MATTER! "

1 comment:

  1. Nice article! Congratulations Nicole! I always knew you would do well. You have always been in inspiration to others. Good luck with your future plans in furthering your education. (Michelle)