This New Video Series Tackles Awkward Moments With Humor

The Cerebral Palsy Foundation launched the first episode of its new Awkward Moments animated series last month. I. Loved. It. the spots are about a minute long and created to address two audiences:

  1. Average people who aren’t sure what to say or how to act around those of us who have disabilities, and
  2. Those of us with disabilities who don’t always know what to say or how to react when awkward moments occur.

I mean, let’s be real. People with disabilities are in the minority. It’s understandable that others might be unsure how to start a conversation with one of us. They might wonder if it’s okay to ask questions, or be so afraid of saying the wrong thing that they say, well…nothing.

I think this Awkward Moments digitally animated series might help. The social media campaign is a collaboration between Jason Benetti (the voice of the Chicago White Sox), Cerebral Palsy Foundation CEO Richard Ellenson, producer Adam Quinn and animator Peaches Goodrich. Benetti, who himself has cerebral palsy, narrates the playful spots in a way that allows us to laugh at ourselves while simultaneously reflecting on the way we respond to people who are different than us.

In the opening scene of Episode One, Jason Benetti has a clever way of addressing the awkward moment some parents face when their children ask out loud about people with disabilities they come across in public. “It’s cool for a kid to try to figure this out,” he reasons. “Look, I’m a guy who walks a bit different, and whose eyes go in all sorts of directions…” Baseball fans who wonder how a broadcaster with eyes like that can call play-by-play might appreciate the stage whisper afterwards, acknowledging that his cerebral palsy only affects his peripheral vision.

But back to the kid asking an awkward question. I’m totally with Jason Benetti here — I actually like it when kids ask me questions. How else will they learn? Later on in the video Jason Benetti says his cerebral palsy is part of who he is. “It caused damage to the brain,” he acknowledges. “And not damage to the spirit, or the soul.”

I look forward to watching the entire Awkward Moments series. If Episode One is any indication, the entire series is going to arm me with all sorts of tips to stay cool if and when blind moments get awkward. For now, the next time that happens, I’m going to follow Jason Benetti’s lead: reassure people that while retinopathy damaged my eyesight, it didn’t damage my spirit. Or my soul.

Learn more about Awkward Moments at the Cerebral Palsy Foundation web site.


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