Sergio Garibay
7833
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Sergio Garibay

Sergio Garibay

Assistive Technology Coordinator

When Sergio Garibay was a little boy, he played all kinds of ball games: basketball, soccer, football—yes, even with his crutches.  He had the confidence of little children who do not know the limits of disability.  He would use his left little foot to kick the ball and run in the field like the other little boys.  With basketball, his playmates would bring him the ball and he would shoot for the basket and often, he was the star shooter!  His disability was not much to be embarrassed about and it was like that until he got to his teenage years when quite drastically, teenage questions of body image and self esteem assaulted him as temptations to embarrassment over his disability.

At age 15, he was advised to have his left knee operated at the Shriners Hospital—to make it even with the other leg. Unfortunately, that operation made it difficult to play sports anymore.  Looks won over utility—a decision often made by professionals in the attempt to approximate the values of body beautiful.

Thankfully, Sergio signed up as a client of the Department of Rehabilitation.  After high school, he went to the Daniel Freeman Occupational Center and through DOR got involved with a local independent living center and began to appreciate an entirely radical way of facing the disability experience.  In 2002, Sergio was drafted as CALIF’s first Peer Counselor.