Learning On The Fly

This post is gonna be a short one today, dealing with some issues. I was planning on continuing to shoot my film today but ran into some problems but I want to talk about my filming experience so far. One of the things that I have had to do during this film journey is learning how to actually use a video camera. Now I’ve had no problems with the technical aspects of using a video camera (that’s not really hard), but what I’m talking about relates to my wheelchair and learning how to use a video camera while travelling in my chair.

That’s been the hard part for me so far because I really want the audience to see the way that I travel through my point of view and learning how to do two things at once is hard. I’ve been sitting the camera in my lap while I’m riding but I don’t feel that it’s working out the way I want it to. The other idea that I had was to use a flexible tripod that I can wrap around my the arm of my chair and attach the camera that way and that might work. while I am learning on the fly, it’s actually been fun to try and test out some new techniques for my film because I want this to be successful and I want people to get a better understanding of who I am as a person.


It’s All Mathematics Pt. 2

Well this is unexpected, today I was gonna talk about a wheelchair topic related to the film but I decided to continue on a post that I wrote last Wednesday titled “It’s All Mathematics.” In my post last week I talked about a presentation that I was doing in my math class regarding my wheelchair and this week I finished doing my research and writhing notes for my presentation and came up with some interesting results.

Now before I tell you my results of my research, let me explain how I did my research. I decided to focus my presentation on the number of miles that I travel on a daily basis and the number of hours it takes to charge my wheelchair. I did this process for a one week starting on Friday February 17th, detailing the total miles I traveled that day, the total time of my entire trip, the hours it took for my chair to fully charge and finally the total number of hours I actually charged my chair.

I was really fascinated by the results of my week long research. In one week I traveled a total of 17.2 miles, that’s how many miles it approximately takes to get from Chicago to Chicago Ridge, IL. The total time I traveled was 227 minutes which comes out to 3 hours and 47mins. The number of hours it took for my wheelchair to fully charge was 24 hours and the total of hours I actually charged my chair was 86 hours.These numbers shocked me because I never realized I do this much travelling in one week in the Winter. Just image what I do in one week when it’s Spring or Summer, it’s gotta be double or triple the miles.

While working on this film I never considered looking at this stuff and I’m trying to figure out why because this type of research that I’m doing for my presentation matters in my daily life, this is what I do in order to make it through the day without my wheelchair losing power and me being stranded someone in the city. This is something that I have to look at when I’m shooting my film in different locations throughout Chicago and that is the travelling aspect because it’s not just important to the film but to me as well. I really have to think about that and hopefully I’ll get an answer through this film journey.

On Friday I’ll talk about my film adventures and the fun I’m having shooting this film.

Take Care,

Shady Business

This has been a really rough week for me. Normally I would talk about my film adventures during the week but I just can’t do it today. I wanted to talk you all about something that happen to me the other day and how it affects me as a person with a disability and in a wheelchair. I was in class getting ready to start and I get a call from Rehab Tech. Rehab Tech is a company that I’ve been apart of for over 10 years. This company along with The Rehab Institute of Chicago (R.I.C.) has supplied me with my manual wheelchair and power wheelchair and they have been very good to me.

Well I was in the process of getting a new wheelchair though both places when I received a call from them. I was expecting to hear that my new chair is read but something wasn’t right. I was told that everything was all set but that some other company had charged my Medicare for a wheelchair. I was confused because I never asked another healthcare company to sign off on a wheelchair expect for Rehab Teach and R.I.C. so I was baffled. I thought about it for minute and then I remembered that in September of 2011 my mom started getting phone calls from a Doctor from this healthcare group in Morton Grove, IL saying that had a wheelchair for me and was ready to deliver it to me. Now first off, I don’t know this doctor and I’ve never met him before but the thing that bothered me the most is that how can you have a wheelchair for me when you’ve never met, you don’t know my disability, and haven’t done any measurements on me. I’m a tall person person and in order to get my new chair they have to measure me in order to get the right specifications for the wheelchair and this doctor has done none of that and yet you have a wheelchair for me, get outta here!

This guy continued to call my house until my mom told him that if he called again she would report him and the company for fraud and the calls stopped but this doctor still went through the process anyway and charged their wheelchair to Medicare. I was pissed off at this point because I wasn’t gonna get my new wheelchair from two companies that I have had a great relationship with all because of some shady doctor and healthcare company screwing me over. I told my mom about the issue and we went through the process of calling Medicare and filing for Medicare fraud and during the conversation over the phone when the customer service agent asked us if I was on the Medicare website and said no. Come to find out, this shady company was trying to hack into Medicare trying to block the agent for filing the fraud claim…Unbelievable!!

Well after all of that the claim was filed and now were waiting to get everything cleared and soon I’ll be able to get my new chair hopefully soon but I was really upset at the fact that this other company was trying to screw me over and this happen a lot to other people who depend on their Medicare to help them out. There are a lot of healthcare companies who to this type of sleazy, shady business practice and get away with it and that’s what makes me mad. I never thought I would be in this situation but I was and it sucks.

Next week I’ll get back to talking about my filming adventures but I really wanted to talk about this because it just really upset me and I wanted to share with you how I felt about it.


A Wonderful Experience!!

So far I’ve been enjoying working on my film, it has been such a great experience for me. Last Wednesday I actually  started filming, it was just for practice to get aquatinted with the video camera I’ll be working with for the film. I was trying to figure out what I was going to shoot for practice then it hit me, I should film my trip from the DePaul campus in Lincoln Park all the way to my house. It’s a trip that I normally take and so I figured it would be a good idea.

I started my trip at the DePaul student center and from there I rode in my wheelchair all the way back to my apartment. Let me tell you, I had so much fun filming and I got some incredible footage. Seeing my travels through a video camera was just amazing because I normally don’t think about my travels back to my home and when I looked at the footage I was stunned by the many obstacles I go through.

Now on the day I started filming it was cold and there was no snow on the ground. Now just imagine the obstacles I really have to go through when it snows, trust me it’s not fun at all. In the end my film session was fun as hell and today I am going out here to have another filming session. If this one is as fun and exciting as my first session, then I can’t wait to get outside, enjoy the weather and start filming my journey through the City of Chicago.

Justin Cooper

Fear of Falling In Love

Today I wanted to focus on one of the topics I’m considering talking about in this film and that is the topic of love. This to me is one of the toughest and hardest topics I wanted to talk about in the film because I’ve never opened up about my struggles of being in a wheelchair and being in love. I have friends and family in my life that love me and I love them as well and while I do have that love of my friends and family, I still feel lonely as hell at times.

I personally feel that I have created this loneliness in my heart. I’ve created this loneliness for fear that if I tell another woman that I lover her and want to be with her that she might not feel the same way that I do (Which can be awkward) and that person would reject me and push me away. I’ve had a few opportunities to admit my love for another woman but I’ve backed off and just haven’t told them.

My fear is that they might not love me because I am in a wheelchair. I’m so afraid of admitting my love to another woman because she might feel that she has to “take care” of me or that if she doesn’t love me back she might just feel obligated to be with me for fear of not hurting my feelings. I don’t know, maybe if I was walking, dealing with rejection would be a lot easier to deal with than being in a wheelchair because I wouldn’t have all of these emotions in my head.

I am so afraid of falling in love it’s a fear that I’ve had for many years. This coincides with other issues that I deal with particularly being a man (A topic I’ll deal with in the future). As a man it pisses me off because I can’t supply the things that are needed in a relationship or that I can’t be as manly as I want to be. It’s just frustrating at times!!!

This is a fear of mine that I’m facing right now while I’m working on this film. This fear of falling in love has held me back for years. This fear of telling another woman how I feel about them is tearing me up inside. I just wish that I had the courage to be real and truly honest about how I feel.


Update: Blog Posting Days!!

Hey everyone,

This is a quick post, I want to thank everyone for checking out my first blog post. Just to give everyone a head’s up I will be posting stuff on the blog Wednesday’s and Friday’s in the afternoon. So lookout for my posts on those days. I hope you all enjoy my blog!!

Take Care,


Welcome to Justin’s Wheelchair Chronicles. This blog is dedicated to my documentary The Wheelchair Chronicles which I’m currently working on. This blog is will focus on not only my film but the filming process and my journey creating this film.

I’m going to focus and talk about certain issues that I deal with as a person with disabilities such as being a man in a wheelchair, being black and in a wheelchair, etc.

This film project is a brand new experience for me because I’m not use to opening myself up and expressing my feelings to people and now I’m preparing to open myself up to the world with this film.

I plan on posting information about the film on Wednesday’s and Friday’s, I don’t know what time I’ll be posting information but I will let you know soon. I’ll be also working on improving the blog, I’m just in the beginning stages of this blog so I’ll be making changes from time to time.

I encourage you all to check out my blog and comment because I want to share this blog with everyone but most importantly the people who have helped me over the years, the people who are helping me on this film and to those special people who are in my life.

My Journey Begins Today!!!