Local hotel hosts seminar for people with disabilities

Michael Beers performed a stand up comedy show “Going Beyond Inspirational” on Monday, Aug. 29th.

Michael Beers and the Disability Action Center in Moscow put on a two-day conference for people with or without disabilities at the Marriott Residence Inn in Pullman. The conference was called “Going Beyond Inspirational” and featured workshops, a comedy show by Michael Beers and a lot of fake mustaches.

“Having a disability is not the absence of goals, just doing them a different way,” Beers said.

Beers’ show, “Mission: Possible,” provided insight about his life living with a disability in Missoula, Montana. Beers expressed his struggle with growing up in a time where disabilities were just beginning to become more widely accepted.

Beers said he did not choose comedy, but it does come natural to him as his family taught him how to create laughter in dark situations.

Beers shared personal stories about singular moments in his life where his disability came into play.

However, through his jokes, Beers’ said his main goal is enlightenment. Beers said that he does not invite people to laugh at him, but to laugh with him in order to bridge the gap between people through laughter. He explained that saying the wrong thing with respect is much better than saying nothing because you are afraid of being incorrect.

Beers explains that society is new to seeing people with disabilities and is unsure of how to act, so society teaches people that staring is rude.

But Beers takes another perspective, encouraging people to ask questions and engage people with disabilities just as they would anyone else. Beers emphasizes the importance of inclusion.

“To be ignored as a human being hurts a lot more than a lot of words I can think of,” Beers said.

This event brought people from Idaho and Washington together, creating a community strung together with pizza and laughter.

“It was informative and funny at the same time,” said Veronica Aguilar, a freshman at WSU who attended Monday night’s performance. “We should talk about it more instead of closing our eyes and ignoring it all.”

“Going Beyond Inspirational” took place on Aug. 29 – 30, exploring living independently with a disability and how to overcome the challenges that come with it.