Practical Access Podcast

S3 E5: Self-Advocacy with Lindsey Massengale, Ph.D.

October 12, 2020 Photo by Julie Molliver on Unsplash
Practical Access Podcast
S3 E5: Self-Advocacy with Lindsey Massengale, Ph.D.
Chapters
Practical Access Podcast
S3 E5: Self-Advocacy with Lindsey Massengale, Ph.D.
Oct 12, 2020
Photo by Julie Molliver on Unsplash

In today's episode, Drs. Rebecca Hines and Lisa Dieker sit down with Dr. Lindsey Massengale. Dr. Lindsey is currently an instructor and virtual tutor. In today’s podcast, Lindsey opens up about her own unique mobility challenges and shares her experiences with self-advocacy. 

Show Notes Transcript

In today's episode, Drs. Rebecca Hines and Lisa Dieker sit down with Dr. Lindsey Massengale. Dr. Lindsey is currently an instructor and virtual tutor. In today’s podcast, Lindsey opens up about her own unique mobility challenges and shares her experiences with self-advocacy. 

Lisa Dieker:

Welcome to practical access. I'm Lisa Dieker.

Rebecca Hines:

And I'm Rebecca Hines. And Lisa, tell us a little bit about what to expect in this episode.

Lisa Dieker:

Yeah. So we're really excited. We have a great guest with us today that can talk about a lot of topics we have with us Dr. Lindsey Massengale who is an instructor of virtual tutor. And we have to thank her for being a military spouse, and thank her husband for his service to this country. But Lindsey also was very open about having her own unique mobility challenges in life. And she's

Rebecca Hines:

Hi, Lindsey. Hi, Becky. So I'm wondering, you know, that I have a nephew with cerebral palsy. And he has significant mobility issues and lots of you know, communications issues, etc. So So as a family member, you know, it's always interesting to me to hear the stories of others and kind of the kinds of considerations as you navigate a world that wasn't necessarily designed for people

Lindsey Massengale:

Well, first and foremost, with my experience, I navigate with my eyes before I really go to navigate. And I, a lot of times, I will go test out something before I actually have to engage in that area, whether I'm by myself, or with a trusted friend or family member in case I run into a I need help. I'm I in the United States, it's pretty easy. And I know how to use my voice to teachers knew me so I was pretty much okay, but she was there to help me navigate the halls and the stairways and everything like that because I couldn't do it independently. Now when I traveled for trips. I've had a buddy with me, be or meet me there because I could navigate the airport with wheelchairs. But what do I do to get out into the parking lot and the language barrier and I don't like

Rebecca Hines:

So there's a big difference just in, in not only in the the architecture and design for people with differences. There's a wide difference internationally, but also, just just in terms of beliefs and understanding and inclusivity, I'm sure, yes, yeah. And so you mentioned, you know, that you that idea of using your eyes first to really to come up literally with a plan for for for

Lindsey Massengale:

in that was not something that came up with just me, that was actually something I learned, Becky, in PT, they would set up different, let's just say obstacle courses, because a lot of things are obstacle courses to me that you might think are a walk in the park. And then they'd say, Okay, before you move around, how are you going to navigate? Tell me what you're going to do

Rebecca Hines:

Great suggestion.

Lisa Dieker:

So one of the things I do is you've had some unique, as you said, being out in society looked at a little differently, do you have any unique stories, because one of the things I know about you, you're a three time UCF Knight, and we're very proud of that fact, having got your doctorate here. You don't lack for the ability to advocate, I would say that your parents created a lion

Lindsey Massengale:

Well, one of the things starting from the very, very beginning before I even realized that I was different because I was not raised as a different individual as we were. I don't remember which trip to Russia. It was my dad was only supposed to be there for two years, but then they can couldn't find anybody to replace him. So they asked him to stay for two more. And yeah, that

Lisa Dieker:

Yeah, and that's who you are. So that's kind of taking you not only through four to eight year olds, but let's fast forward to today. You are an advocate you do virtual tutoring you teach online. What is your message to others that maybe aren't as comfortable with who they are because you may be the most comfortable person I've ever met it accepting your differences as a strength and

Lindsey Massengale:

First and foremost, my suggestion is disclose when you feel that it is absolutely necessary. I look at it as a as a need to know basis, even the school that I taught out previously, my principal didn't know until I shook his hand. And then he literally goes, mmm.

Unknown:

Whoa.

Lindsey Massengale:

So it's a need to know. And it's also I have to remind myself, it's a need to know for your own safety. Do they need to know? Because Okay, I'm going mountain climbing and I'm off balance, and I'm going to need help with something. Is it a need to know for your own safety? And is it a need to know? Let's just say, isn't it a need to know for your benefit?

Unknown:

Right, and you'll benefit them?

Lisa Dieker:

What if somebody were discriminating against you? That's something I know about you. Let's let's take like the bus loop that doesn't work. What what is what is your first step of action that you recommend people do for discriminating? Yes,

Lindsey Massengale:

I would friendly conversation say, Hey, this is how you have made me feel. This is what I would this is what I would rather you do? Because each there is a society's eyes and the society's voice. But then there's the individuals voice. It is your instinct, but then it is your the individuals preference? Like I know, I've had some conversations with you that you've learned some

Rebecca Hines:

Well, I think that's actually great, great advice. And to kind of start to transition into some areas that are actually your expertise and your interests. I know that you're your mom actually wrote a book. My daughter taught me to walk. And I believe that she she actually told some of the stories and some of the some of the struggles and, you know, different encounters that you've

Lindsey Massengale:

My mom's book was, I did not know she wrote the book, until it was almost finished. Because she had some questions for me they had every name that you use your head to get permission to use. And reading through the book after it was published. I learned a lot because I didn't realize I knew my parents fought for me, but I didn't realize the advocacy that they did for me

Unknown:

And

Lindsey Massengale:

then they asked me questions about it because it sparks where we've been all over the world. Some, one of my friends has similar has had similar stories to what's in it. So that was a really neat, common ground with it. I I learned a lot from it. And my mom taught me actually how to write from the very, very, very young age and I've fallen in love with writing ever since

Lisa Dieker:

Well, and I think you've really taken that passion for writing and advocacy that's in your mom's book and kind of made it your professional career. Share with us advice of how families might use writing, whether their child has the ability to write maybe they they need to use speech to text. How do you see writing as a way to advocate and to communicate for people with a range of

Lindsey Massengale:

I see writing as First and foremost, an outlet. If you can't say it with your voice, write it down, I have always one of the phrases I started using with my students is you always have a voice. in this classroom, your voice might be your voice. And your voice might be your pencil, especially if you were taking a test and they wanted to raise their hand and shout at the answer.

Lisa Dieker:

And as a classroom teacher, and this is kind of my last question, Becky, if you have any other wrap up questions, as a classroom teacher, how do I give voice to kids who maybe are silent in both writing and in speaking in my classroom, what are some of your tips, practical tips to give kids a voice,

Unknown:

I would say drawing is still the voice.

Lindsey Massengale:

I would say if they wanted to act something out, I had a specific student who could hear you if his hearing aids were in. But if he forgot his hearing aids, he'd mime for me. And I got used to understanding that there is always a way I've had kids use different hand motions, even if it's not true sign language, you get to know your students, one of the teachers would tease me

Rebecca Hines:

And Lindsay as as we wrap up, I'm just curious, I know that I know that that you have a PhD. I know you have experience in the classroom. And I know you've lived a military wife experience at this point. But what's next? What's next for you?

Lindsey Massengale:

What's next is I am actually in the midst of getting ready to launch my own online website, business that will let me be a listening ear or voice and continue tutoring for others called journeying through learning. And it's not it by phrasing with it is let me meet you where you are. And let's journey together. So I am I want to be with whatever I'm doing. It's always what do

Lisa Dieker:

So I did say I was done. But I really do have one question. I would ask you now that I think about it, sorry. And it really will be my last question, I promise. Um, what do you think it means when a kid walks in and sees your unique challenges as you said, they can be hidden on camera, but when I walk in a room, I see kind of some of the physical mobility challenges. What do you

Lindsey Massengale:

I actually Lisa have a story to that one. Okay. I have it was the end of the year by last year at the school that I was previously at. And I said to the students, what was what is something you learned this year? year. And I'm expecting them to say, adding subtracting animals, the typical first grade answers. One of my students stood up and said, Dr. Massengale, you taught us

Lisa Dieker:

Well, with that, I think I'll leave it at that. Well said, as always, we're very excited that you're our colleague, our friend and a role model for advocacy in the field. And we thank you for joining us on a practical access. Please post questions or comments on our Facebook page, and send us a Tweet at access practical. Thanks, Lindsay. Thank you