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Accessing Disability Service

Interview with Alex

Alex: My name, Alex Ripley, Alex Ripley.

Alyne (interviewer): And you have your own apartment I gather.

Alex: Yes. Large – I have roommate named John.

Alyne: And you all have a kitchen and a living room?

Alex: Yeah, and 2 rooms we stay in.

Alyne: Do you have your own bedroom?

Alex: Yes.

Alyne: So how long have you lived in Virginia Beach? Awhile?

Alex: One year.

Alyne: One year?

Alex: Yes almost one year.

Alyne: Tell me about what you do there and your helper, Kathy.

Alex: Kathy helps me cook some food and helps me cleaning. Sometimes other people help me cleaning a bit.

Alyne: And what you like about living on your own. I know you've wanted to do it for a long time. Did it turn out to be what you expected?

Alex: Yes.

Alyne: You were in a play, right?

Alex: Yes.

Alyne: What was the play?

Alex: All around and in west coast. Go to West Coast and dance.

Alyne: In your wheelchair?

Alex: Yeah.

Alyne: Did you have to audition for the Play?

Alex: Yes.

Alyne: What did you have to do to try out?

Alex: That people asked me to try sing a song too.

Alyne: Did you sing a song?

Alex: Little bit.

Alyne: How many performances were there?

Alex: Two. I found, I want to tell you, I found a lot of people – room full.

Alyne: You're now looking for a job, is that right?

Alex: Yeah.

Alyne: You worked for a movie theater.

Alex: I tore that movie tickets — paying job.

Alyne: Paying job.

Alex: Paying job. My mom looked for job for me. I asked my Mom look around. Asked my Mom look around for a job coach.

Alyne: So your mom and dad are looking into getting you a job coach.

Alex: Yeah, look around too.

Alyne: And they are looking around for you. All the time. All the time.

Alex's Social Life

Alyne: According to your mother you have developed quite a social life. (Alex: Yes) You've made a lot of friends for the first time in a long time. Look at that smile!

Alex: Yes I am. And I go to church sometimes. All times church I go to church all, some Sundays.

Alyne: And how do you get there Alex?

Alex: That guy, that guy my friend, that guy my friend and I drive together.

Alyne: Oh, so they come in a van? Small van that put my wheelchair on board.

Alyne: So you also came up here to Washington from Virginia Beach on a train. By yourself?

Alex: Yes, almost 4 hours, 4 hours.

Alyne: So what thoughts do you have about having a disability and living on your own? You know that's a dream many many people have. It's changed your world a whole lot, hasn't it?

Alex: Yes, be lonely sometimes and people help you find something to do sometimes.

Alyne: Is it easier to find friends in the place where you live?

Alex: Sometime.

Alyne: Just like everywhere.

Alex: Yeah. I now look for more girls. Girls.

Alyne: Tell me again.

Alex: G-i-r – girls

Alyne: Oh, girls.

Alex: I meet more girls.

Alyne: Have you had a party yet at your place?

Alex: Yes.

Alyne: How many people?

Alex: Lot of people.

Alyne: It's a lot better than living at home in your room, right?

Alex: Yeah. Sometimes I'm bored, I bored sometimes.

Alyne: You're bored sometimes.

Alex: Sometimes.

Alyne: But a lot of times you are not.

Alex: Yeah.

Alyne: Were you more bored at home than here? Where you live now?

Alex: Sometimes.

Alyne: Yeah.

Alex: You come down I'll show you around that town. I'll show you around that town. Good time.

Alyne: Ok. Thank you, I'd love to do that.