Danny Oster, JD
“My name is Danny Oster. I have a physical disability.
Normally, that would not be the first thing I say about myself. Truthfully, I usually don’t feel the need to bring it up on many occasions. After all, when people see me for the first time, one of the things they notice right away is that I am in a wheelchair.
Being physically disabled isn’t exactly unheard of in the United States- we make up a small, but significant, portion of the population, with numbers in the millions. And yet, the vast majority of the US population has probably had very little interaction with those in the disabled community, if any interaction at all.
I have been very fortunate to be able to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and be a part of their larger community, where my physical disability is readily accepted and embraced. However, I recognize that this places me in a rather small social bubble. As I embark on my journey through law school and beyond, I am going to encounter many people outside of my current community who have had potentially no previous interaction with a physically disabled individual. They may be very unsure of how they should go about interacting with me, or they might even find the idea quite uncomfortable for them.