Living Well with a Disability in Spanish

LivAbility Magazine

Edition 17 | Summer 2019

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A large group in a classroom setting taking in their first living well with a disability in Spanish class. The class sits in a U shape with their instructor, Rebeca Cavazos at the middle.

Viviendo Bien con una Discapacidad

Ability360 offers Living Well with a Disability in Spanish

Story by Gabrielle Olivera

Photo by Gabrielle Olivera

Every Tuesday, a small group of eight gathers in a conference center at Ability360, attending a wellness program that helps adults living with a disability to develop healthy habits. It’s called Living Well with a Disability.

The program has been around for years, but this summer is different. It’s the first time it’s being offered in Spanish.

Viviendo Bien con una Discapacidad, will be a 10-week workshop in which the students learn how to adjust to life with a disability, visible or not.


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The class touches on a wide range of topics such as problem-solving, healthy communication and self-advocacy. Students also participate in challenges and adapt to use technology to improve their independence.

Rebeca Cavazos teaches the course to students. When Cavazos took the class three years ago, it was in English.

 “It changed my perspective about how to live with a disability. I want the Latino community to have the same opportunity because there are so many resources that they have access to, but don’t know,” Cavazos said.

“There’s a high demand for Spanish classes and workshops. There’s a community out there that does not speak English,” Norma Burciaga, one of Cavazos’ students said.

Burciaga said that even though she’s only been in the class for a few weeks, it has already made an impact in her life.

“She [Cavazos] accommodates each need according to our needs and disabilities,” Burciaga said. “She’s very good at doing that.”

Cavazos hopes that the class helps those that need help adjusting in their preferred language.

As for Burciaga, when asked the most important thing that she’s learned so far?

Self-acceptance.

“[I] need to accept that I am a person with a disability and in this case, an invisible disability, which is not seen to the naked eye,” Burciaga said.

“I think self-acceptance is fundamental. Accepting is the first step to develop with the resources you have,” Cavazos said.

In the end, Cavazos has a simple objective: “I would like every Latino with a disability in Arizona to have the opportunity to change their life with this class. To start, you have to come take the class to live your life in an independent way,” Cavazos said.

Those interested in taking the class in either English or Spanish can sign up at www.Ability360.org.

Gabrielle Olivera

Gabrielle Olivera

Writer / Photographer

Gabrielle Olivera is a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. When Gabrielle isn’t writing or filming stories, she’s planning her next trip destination. Gabrielle hopes to make a lasting impact with the stories that she writes.


Read more by Gabrielle Olivera.

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