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Discrimination is a problem for the disabled

“The hardest thing about having a disability is discrimination,” states Jamie Womack to the audience gathered to hear her speak at Whitesand Baptist Church.

This dynamic lady gives her audience an insight into what it is like to be a “normal person trapped in a disabled body” with normal emotions and aspirations that are thwarted in a large part due to the discriminatory view of the majority toward those with disabilities.

Jamie Chaney Womack was born in Oklahoma City in 1973. In her book, A Call to Surrender, Womack states when she was born the umbilical cord was tight around her neck and she was immediately placed on a respirator and did not take a breath on her own for the first thirty-two minutes after birth. Doctors predicted she would live a vegetative state and recommended her parents place her in an institution immediately.

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight—Jamie Womack shown with Bassfield Alderman Lance Garner with her book, A Call to Surrender, has cerebral palsy. She speaks of the discrimination that is faced by many with disabilities.

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight—Jamie Womack shown with Bassfield Alderman Lance Garner with her book, A Call to Surrender, has cerebral palsy. She speaks of the discrimination that is faced by many with disabilities.

“Fortunately, I have Christian parents who believe in the sanctity of life,” she stated. Womack went on to say that miraculously God protected her mental acuity and though she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a condition that makes it very difficult to control the muscles of her body and her physical development was delayed she suffered no mental damage or retardation.

Through her early years Womack states she had intensive physical and speech therapy which sometimes hindered activities she considered normal or important to a child and simple acts of kindness from her classmates in times when she felt the most upset and depressed about her physical deficiencies helped her to weather some of the storms.

Womack bears her heart to her audience and admits the emotional trauma has been great but God has been her counselor and guide. She speaks of loving parents who just held her and listened when she became overfilled with the frustrations of living life with a disability and tells of her teenage years when she felt no one would ever want to date a disabled girl.

“When I go to a restaurant the waiter will look at my companion and ask, ‘What does she want?’ I have a college degree and am quite capable of speaking for myself but the immediate assumption is that if someone is physically disabled they are mentally impaired as well,” states Womack. In job searching she also found that mentality in play and chronicles many of her struggles in her book.

Womack has a degree in Business Administration and is married to Jimmy Womack who is the pastor at First Baptist Church in Maringouin, LA. She travels the country telling her story and opening the eyes of her listeners to the struggles of the disabled and how our views and actions need to change. She is open to speaking engagements and for further information contact Jamie Womack at 225-247-7515 or jamie@jamiewomackministries.org.