About Glenda Watson Hyatt
Glenda’s Contact Info
Resulting from a lack of oxygen at birth, Glenda has cerebral palsy, mostly affecting her muscle coordination, balance and speech. However, labeled as functionally nonverbal and using a wheelchair for mobility hasn’t prevented Glenda from living her life to the fullest. Raised without the word can’t allowed, only try, her parents made a conscious effort to introduce Glenda to the world and the world to Glenda. As a family with her three younger brothers, they went to parades, camping, snowshoeing (with Glenda in a sled, wrapped in a rescue blanket to stay warm) and any other outings her parents could afford.
She began her school years in a small Special Education class, with much class time missed due to physical, occupational and speech therapy. Beginning in Grade Four, she was integrated part-time into a regular classroom, long before mainstream was a buzzword. By Grade Seven, she was ready for the regular class full-time. Grade Eight found her attending the neighbourhood high school with a full-time aide. Within a few months the aide was not needed and, except for classmates volunteering to be note-takers, Glenda flew solo through her remaining high school years. Through determination, perseverance, and sheer stubbornness, this I’ll-do-it-myself girl kept up with the regular academic curriculum, including Algebra Honours, by laboriously typing with only her left thumb on an electric typewriter. Along the way, she also earned her Canada Cord, the highest award in Girl Guides; won a gold medal in horseback riding; and was presented with the Outstanding Junior Student Award in Grade 10.
After attending an international camp in Finland and spending a couple years taking Certified General Accountant courses by correspondence, which proved not to be satisfactorily stimulating, Glenda continued onto Simon Fraser University. Living in residence, with a roommate the first semester, and then completely on her own, except for a homemaker four hours once a week to assist with basic cleaning and such, which was more of a hassle than a help at times. She used pre-typed notes, which she dubbed her talking papers, as her means of communication with her professors and teaching assistants. Taking one or two courses per semester because of the sheer workload, three semesters per year with only one summer off, Glenda finally completed her Bachelor of Arts degree after seven long years.
Now she is married to a wonderful man Darrell who also has cerebral palsy, making life that much more interesting. Together they struggle to find employers and business clients who see beyond their disabilities to see their skills, talents and God-given gifts. Their ambitions are as normal as any couple’s: pay off the mortgage, travel and save for retirement.If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a cafe mocha. Thanks kindly.