1) Tell us about
My name is Darrell Wahl. I was born on August 17, 1949 in
Harvey, North Dakota. I was diagnosed with Stage III Cerebral Palsy at
childbirth and my disability affects my mobility.
2.) Tell us the story of your disability (how did it affect your life,
your relationships, your living situation).
At age 13, I was admitted to Grafton State School and
lived there 12 years. In 1975, the school began releasing people with
disabilities that could live independently. Afterwards, I moved to Grand Forks
and lived in a group home as I developed the independent living skills needed
to transition into the community.
When I was young, I used to view my disability as an
obstacle. However, I now live my life with a more positive attitude because my
disability is just part of who I am. My disability has allowed me to connect
with other people with disabilities and develop lasting friendships.
3.) What are some of the barriers you have overcome and are proudest of?
Some of the
achievements I am proudest of include living independently in my own home for
the past 42 years and cooking meals at home. I am also an active member on
several boards throughout the state of North Dakota. I currently serve on the
board of the North Dakota State Council on Developmental Disabilities, the
Tenant Association at Milton Young Towers and I am the Board Vice-President of
4.) How has Independence, Inc. benefited your life?
The services offered by this organization have been off
the charts. Independence, Inc. has assisted me in improving my independence. I
would not be on the state board today without the assistance of Independence,
Inc. They are the ones that really supported me throughout the application
5.) What message would you like to send to other people with
Don't be scared to get some assistance if you need it
because it will enrich your life. Don't give up on your goals and aspirations
because you have a disability. You can still achieve great things in your life
despite the barriers you will overcome.