Awareness & Programs
“When we label or define people, we stop seeing them.
We only see those labels.”- Deepak Chopra
To us, raising awareness means more than just informing…it means getting people involved and ensuring they know it’s up to all of us to make a difference.
We understand the tendency of some to "look the other way" when they see a person in a wheelchair. We were once like them. We know that once they take the time to get to know these individuals and appreciate what they go through, they will see what we now see.
In addition to spreading awareness for our cause through fundraisers and community service, KOKO sponsors an affiliate educational program called “Handicap This!”, a live-stage show starring KOKO’s President Tim Wambach and our Awareness Leader Mike Berkson. The mission of “Handicap This!” is to further the cause of the Keep On Keeping On Foundation with educational and entertaining performance art that raises awareness about people living with severe physical handicaps and inspires all individuals to achieve their own goals and dreams.
Mike and Tim have been sharing the story of their incredible friendship practically since the day they met. Here are just some of the groups they have spoken to and performed for:
- Glenbrook South High School Student Body-Glenview, IL
- Oakton Community College (seven total performances)
- Wright Community College-Chicago
- Hands of Peace Organization
- Elmhurst College
- Peterson Elementary-Chicago Public Schools
- St. Mary of the Woods-Chicago
- Association of Horizon Summer Camp-IL
- Theater of Western Springs
- 8th Annual Disability Pride Parade-Daley Plaza
- North Shore Theater for the Performing Arts-Skokie, IL (3-shows coming Fall 2011)
The show is 78 minutes and ready to travel to perform for any audience. We can tailor the show in any way to meet your needs, from just an inspirational speech/Q&A, to a full-length performance.
Please view this brief trailer for Handicap This!
For more information, or to book the show please visit: www.HandicapThis.com
(Note: Handicap This! is not a 501c3 organization – it is a for profit entity)
In the book How We Roll, Tim explains why he was called to raise awareness and educate those who don't see the disabled the way he does:
“The first time I went out with Mike definitely left an impression on me. We went to Northbrook Court. As we entered the Mall, I noticed the stares and the avoidance on people’s faces. I felt a sting, like ‘how could you look at this kid that way?’ And then it hit me. They weren’t seeing Mike. They were seeing his ‘chair’. That left a lasting impact on me. The day went on and Mike was getting hungry. He told me, ‘Tim, I have a hankering for Taco Bell.’ A 12 year-old kid using the word ‘hankering’. It was hilarious. So we went to the food court and I got Mike his Taco Bell. This was the first time I fed Mike and I did not know what to expect. As I was feeding him, I began to feel like I was not doing it right. There was beef and cheese and lettuce all over Mike! It looked like we got into a food fight. I felt bad. As the feeding continued, I got more and more frustrated. I felt like I was letting Mike down. Little did I know that Mike was totally used to this and it had no effect on him. He was wondering why I was getting so upset. He looked over at me and said, ‘Tim, no need to cry over spilled Taco Bell.’ After that day I was hooked. Hooked on Mike, and hooked on helping others to see the person and not the ‘chair’.”
Here is a short clip of Mike explaining his daily struggles at Santa Cause 4.
For links to helpful resources, and more information about severe physical disabilities, visit our Partners & Resources page.