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Haydee Beckles, Self-advocate

I met Inclusion International in 1998. My name is Haydee Beckles and I come from Panama, a beautiful Latin country that is a joy and love. Because I am a person with disabilities I have to live with painful things but my father has taught me to smile rather than cry.

Nobody knows because I always smile and try to see the good side of life but when I am alone in my room the reality comes to me. I want to tell you about something that happened to me in the place where I work.

A secretary asked me if she could borrow my radio. The next day I couldn't go to work because of an asthma attack, but when I went back she gave me the radio but it did not have any batteries in it. So I took her batteries and put them in my radio. When I next saw her she asked me to give the radio back so I asked her "Did we buy the radio together?" She said "Who told you to say that to me?"

I pointed to my head and told her that I have a mind for thinking and no one tells me what to think! I have to deal with things like that every day.

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