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‘Breaking Down Barriers’: Handicap This! Productions plans training sessions

Posted: Monday, Jan 28th, 2013

Mike Berkson and Tim Wambach from Handicap This! Productions will stir your senses, challenge your thinking and wake up your attitude.

The two will offer training, “Breaking Down Barriers,” at three different sessions on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Crossroads. Sessions will be from 9 to 10:15 a.m., 10:45 a.m. to noon; or 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.

Everyone is welcome. There is a small fee to participate.

The training offered by Berkson and Wambach is sponsored by the Center for Independence.

The men share a true story that pushes the envelope and encourages everyone to examine the concept of their own abilities. It creates empathy and understanding of differences and enables you to understand the power and benefit of community service.

Berkson and Wambach will raise awareness about people living with severe physical handicaps and inspire any individual to achieve their own goals and dreams.

It all started in the spring of 2001 when Wambach stopped by a school district office in Glenview, Ill., on a whim, put in an application to be a substitute teacher — and the wheel of fate began to roll.

He soon found himself face-to-face with a 12-year-old kid named Mike Berkson, a warm, funny, optimistic genius trapped in a body challenged by cerebral palsy.

The teacher was in for the biggest lesson of his life.

Teacher and child formed a friendship at that middle school which continues to this day.

Besides an aspiring film-maker, Berksom is a founding member of Handicap This, and he is in the midst of finishing his first novel.

Weeks after he was born, the doctors told his parents not to expect much, that he wouldn’t be able to talk. At 3 ˝, not only was he talking up a storm, but he had a thirst for vocabulary. His razor sharp wit is a force to be reckoned with. Although born with cerebral palsy, you quickly see he was born to be on stage.

For the complete article see the 01-27-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-27-2013 paper.

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