DisKumbaya Episode 2 : Adaptive Adventures

In this podcast episode, Dominick Harper recounts his adventurous night at a concert with co-host Amanda Jurysta, both wheelchair users Amanda and Dom share humorous and insightful moments, highlighting the challenges of navigating a world not always built for people with disabilities. From wardrobe mishaps to the exhilaration of experiencing a concert, they highlight the importance of planning, teamwork, and embracing the adaptable spirit of disability.

DisKumbaya Podcast Cover


Amanda: Hey everyone, this is Amanda and you’re about to listen to the second episode of Diskumbaya.Where Dominick and I tell you about our weekend hangout and our adventure about going to a concert together, we hope you enjoy.

Dominick: Well, the first night I spent over Amanda’s crib, and boy, did I figure out that her house is small. And what? I mean, small kind of storybook small for two people in wheelchairs to be rolling around. 

Amanda: Which I told you about. 

Dominick: You did, but I had forgot. It’s been a minute since I was there. And last time I was there was in my power to. So that was interesting. 

Amanda: That’s because your power chair is two times the size of mine. 

Dominick: Most definitely two times the size of  yours. And luckily, me and Amanda have been friends for so long that we have great communication skills, even though sometimes it doesn’t seem like you.  Uh. Amanda  Amanda has a unique way of just knowing how to work with me. Uh, the listeners, you know, saying, When we’re, when  we’re out and about, we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, disability wise and ability wise, you know what I’m saying? And so navigating her small crib was definitely a challenge because, you know. 

Amanda: I kind of thought it was funny. 

Dominick: Having a physical disability. You, uh, sometimes if you’re been walking since birth, you got depth perception issues, you know what I’m saying? And….

Amanda: Oh, okay. So like the depth perception issues, which I have them do, but it’s not as bad. I guess, because I did walk for a little bit, but turning in the hallway, 

Oh…. that was a nightmare. But, uh, so my hallway is extremely narrow, and my my room is right across from the bathroom. And there’s one rule in my house that you are not allowed to hit the bathroom door or anything in the bathroom. 

So let me let me backup. So we just got our bathroom re done last summer, and now it’s like it’s not wheelchair proof, but it’s like disabled, friendly or for me, like there’s handlebars in there now. 

Dominick: Definitely for you. Because that shit was a nice bathroom. It was a comfortable bathroom. You want to use it a lot, actually. Let’s be real. Let me be real with you.  Um, my friend, that became my staff. Let me just give you a little side note, antidote about  how comfortable it was. Goes, that’s a nice bathroom, you could definitely take a nice crap in there. And I was like, Yeah, I thought the same thing. So it wasn’t, you know, too far off the mark with my thoughts, but boy, was it so nice. I didn’t want to hit anything in the bathroom. And I was so fearful just trying to take a leak. Luckily, the teamwork makes the dream work. Amanda had to guide me in before. 

Amanda: And yeah, so turning was definitely really hard because my chair is like, like I said, two times smaller than Dominick and I just make it in the hallway. So trying to tell him to, like, go all the way to the right and then turn to the left and then kind of go to the right a little bit more and then turn. And then we had to take his headrest off because like a bar stuck out. So he used my headrest because like, mine is different. So we had to swap them so he could fit in the hallway and still use the headrest like it was just a really crazy but funny thing. 

Dominick: Yeah. On top of that, like it was just it was just nice to always have a person that knows like we have CP moments, which is like things that happen when you have Cerebral Palsy of any type you kind of understand and after your point and it’d be like, you getting tight on me, bro, like you need to go, like, relax. Yeah. Okay. And then, like, Amanda’s such a great host. She already had a cup I could use, like, Dom friendly. So, like, pretty much a spill proof cup. Uh, cause I’m pretty jumpy, so, you know, startle reflex are bad. 

Amanda: Gotta have those CP friendly things.

Dominick: Big facts. 

So, um. Yeah, you know, so we got. We got to do the first day watch, some anima, and we did all the cool things, just hung out. 

Then it was time for the concert. Boy, it was fun. Um, we got all geared out, you know, dressed to the nines. Our style. 

Amanda: Dominick made fun of me all day. 

Dominick: Oh, I look like myself, you know what I’m saying? But listen, listeners, here’s the thing. I ain’t never known because I go to concerts by myself and without, um, female companions too much. So I forget that even if you have a disability, you women like to dress up, and sometimes that shit  is not accessible. So. 

Amanda: So for me, when I dress up, it’s always  non CP friendly and Dominick was making fun of me all day long because I had fishnets, a bodysuit, shorts and boots on and it was extremely cold. 

Dominick: Yeah. So she was looking. She was like, she was looking mad fine. But like she was suffering. So like the muscles would tighten up. Then you had to hear her mom the whole time because, cause she’s in this, like, revealing, but not like, overly revealing, you know, that her mom’s not used to. 

Amanda: See now you guys get to hear what I have to put up with on a daily basis. 

Dominick: Second of all,

I’m just trying not to be me and crack horrible jokes. I’ve known Amanda forever, so I’m like, what dude’s number she tried to get. I’m like, You got to be my wing woman tonight, Amanda. Like, you know, I’m saying, like, I’m in my normal getup. So if you’ve seen a picture of me or if you’ve ever heard the description of how I dressed, I pretty much dress like a hoodie in gym shoes. But, like, fresh gym shoes. And I wore a hat because it was cool. Um, and then, like, some anime clothes. I always have a good time, so I got to dress pretty normal. Everything was CP friendly. That means you can get in and get out of by yourself without too much struggle. If you have the dexterity for that. You know what I’m saying? Sometimes brothers and sisters got to wear breakaway pants to get away from the bathroom. You might sweat sometimes. You may have bigger jeans, just very, um, accessible clothing, you know what I’m saying? Like easy access clothing. But I don’t like to use that word all the time because it implies other things. But, you know, easy access, clothing. 

Amanda: You know, definitely not the stuff that I own. 

Dominick: Definitely not the stuff that she owns. But, you know, pain is beauty. And she was she was going to be a pain for that beauty. 

Amanda: Yeah, it was worth it. 


So, yeah, like we went and seen City Morgue and whitch you know, me and Amanda, (Dominick actually got me into them.)She got into like what I would like to call trap metal, rap through the MGK magic stuff a little bit. She was diving deep

Amanda: I have to stop you 

Dominick: The newer. TikTok Culture 

Amanda: Just for one second because you cannot put MGK in the same category as City Morgue. 

Dominick:Boy. Okay. He did a song with an artist that’s pretty known for the same type of style. Amanda loves that song very much. And I was like, Maybe she would like this group. So she surprisingly did. Um, and um, we decided to go to the show, and if it wasn’t for Amanda, kind of pushing me to go because there’s a lot more preparation on my end to go to the show. 

Amanda: I think I bothered him daily 

Dominick: And I appreciate you for that because, um, yeah, I just needed to show at the time it was something I really needed in my life. But yeah, we got to the show. We hopped  in the disabled van, you know, and kept it rolling. I can honestly say, you know, just getting there, hanging out with Amanda, watching her freezer butt off and me be like “you want  my hoodie”. I got an extra one and she’s like, No, she has to look good for that because her hair got did up and . everything. It’s it was funny. Um, we arrived at the venue. 

Amanda: Dominick wouldn’t let me play the wheelchair card to a full advantage. Oh, so we ended up being able to wait by the door just because the line was, like, fully around the building. But he wouldn’t let me go up to somebody and ask if we could wait inside because I was literally freezing and it was hurting me because I was so cold. And he was like, “You’re being such a baby.” Like, don’t go up there and play the wheelchair card and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Like he was just calling me whiny and all this other stuff so he wouldn’t let me play the wheelchair card. So the full advantage is that we could go inside the one building. 

Dominick: For a what. You could get away with that when you’re by yourself. You’re with me now. 

Amanda: And it works when I’m by myself. 

Dominick: So it does because everybody’s like, Oh, look at this young lady. She’s freezing. 

Amanda: No. Actually I’ve only been to one concert by myself. 

Dominick: I’ve been to a few. 

Yeah. And it was cool because I had never been to that venue because years ago I was trying to see Talib Kweli and they said that there was no accessible seating, you know, no wheelchair seating available at this venue. And every time there was a show there that I wanted to go to and I had called Ticketmaster and I’d even call the venue itself. 

Amanda: And this is where you go anyways, because they can not tell you that you cannot go to the show because I would have just bought a ticket and I’d be like, Hey, I’m here. Guess what? I’m going in general admission, which is what I do anyway. 

Dominick: Yeah, I totally get what you’re saying now because like when I was 18, I didn’t know. You know what I’m saying? Where I would have been key. I only kept going to show that the Fillmore, um. 

Amanda: Which is an amazing venue… It’s so pretty inside. 

Dominick: It is a nice it is a nice, uh, medium venue for the city.of Detroit.  like, I like it a lot. Um, yeah. So that was, that was cool. And then there was like an A.D.A. like, sign. So if you, uh, check the post out for this, we should put it up there with the picture of me and Amanda look like so we can get a better description of, you know, the outfits and whatnot. Uh, 

Amanda: So what was really cool about this venue was normally, like all the other venues that I’ve been to, like they all say handicap seating but the Fillmore in Detroit, they actually had a sign and I took a picture of it that said AdA Seating, which was really cool because we thought like, that was really unique because you never see that sign, that type of sign anywhere. 

And so we thought that that was like super cool and we just couldn’t, get over the fact that like, hey, that’s new and different. And,  I don’t know, we probably like geeked out about that for a good 5 minutes. 

Dominick: Because language you know and it’s crazy cause we never saw language change like that like she said earlier, like audience you know what I’m saying? Like, we’re so used to the word handicap seating, the handicap parking. But, like ADA section is just like it is not saying like handicap, but we’re not begging for change out here. Change It happened even if it’s minor language. It’s not minor language. It’s major language. But like in a small way, that’s what I meant by that. Um, to specify. Yeah. And because of the ADA, you know what I’m saying? We’re able to enjoy that. So that was. That was a big move, you know what I’m saying? Represent, represent. But yeah, the show was, the show was litty, um, so it was definitely off the hook. Um. 

Amanda: Yeah, probably one of the best shows and they’re coming again, so I think Dominick and I should go see them again. But this will be at like a way bigger venue. 

Dominick: And they will already have accessible seating because we’ve all been to the venue a couple times. I’ve been there and I mean it’s probably been there a couple of times. So it’s going to be a it’s going to be adventure,but maybe. 

Amanda: We’ll post some videos from the show because I have to take like a  at Kajillian videos and pictures.

Dominick: Yeah. She takes away more pictures and videos and I’m I’m used to but you know, that’s there’s the friendship. But um, you know, the world  isn’t built for us, but when we you know, having two people, you know, teamwork makes the dream work, you know what I’m saying? We we, uh, push each other to experience great things in this world. And I think this country was is the first step of many, many more adventures with me and Amanda navigating this world, you know, adapting to it. 

Yeah, they, um, like I said earlier on them, like, it’s great to have a body like Amanda because, like, she’ll meet you. Like she has the ticket master telling me, like, the venue wasn’t accessible. And, you know, I kept saying, it’s Amanda. And she was like, just buy the  tickets, fam And we’re going to go. We’re just going to go, okay. And I was like, All right, man. But I said, No, no, Cold, You know what I’m saying? 

Amanda: No. You just push your way through like.

Dominick: I thought like because I get told no, I’m I might get thrown out. I thought maybe we could use her feminine wiles to get us in or something. I don’t know what was the. But, you know, uh. 

Amanda:Oh, my Gosh. 

Dominick: Everything went smoothly. Actually, the person that showed us diversity had a visible disability as well. And I was like, Oh, okay. So 

But yeah, it was cool. Luckily, you. know, Amanda wanted to go in on the ground floor and I’m happy that we were in the seats we were because that mosh pit and stuff got a little, little much by the end of the show. 

Amanda: It looked so cool.

Dominick: Just to see where technology’s going to go with with our chairs. So Amanda was able to elevate over people standing up, which was cool. Uh, but that mosh pit, like I  said our seats were dope. Um, we had a pretty good view of the stage. What did you think about the seating? 

Amanda: So I already knew where the seating was, so I already, like, had an idea and I kind of figured that I would be able to see, but having the elivate on my chair was definitely helpful because before I would have to, like, stand on my foot, rest and pray that, like, I didn’t tip my chair over. 

Dominick: Yeah. And I had to, like, stand up for half the show, which wasn’t bad. My endurance pulled through. I was having a good time. So, you know, no pain, no gain, no hair. Um, well, she got to elevate and do all the cool functions that her chair does. I got to do some cool functions in mine.

Amanda: So with my chair, I’m able to elevate my seat up a foot so like, I was able to see over tall people who like to stand in front of me, which is pretty cool. And like I could tilt if I wanted to, which if I was at a different venue, I probably would have tilted. But, um, yeah. So I could elevate it so I could still see, like Dominick said, and like I was up, you know, a little bit higher than he was, which was kind of cool. So I got a good view of like, everything. 

Dominick: I didn’t have much expectation other than like just having a good time. Like, honestly, I knew that they put on a decent show. 

Amanda: Like, I kind of figured the show was going to be really good. I never seen them live. So like my expectation for the show was like I thought it was going to be fun no matter what. 

Dominick: Like I said, it was just a good time of preparation, pre-prepared is always key, you know? But all in all, like the preparation is key for being people with disabilities. Uh, as most of the listeners probably know. You know what I’m saying? We saw that they were coming to town by months in advance. 

Amanda:Yeah, this is something that we planned for, for a while,

Dominink: and then we were trying to work out logistics between my staffing hours and transportation, and then how was going to get there. And then we all we kind of figured out the stars align and some things fell together that we weren’t thinking about originally. And, you know, shoutout to Amanda and her mom for being great guest host I mean, and I was just being a decent guest. You say Hopefully I make too much of a rough one. Their everyday lives for the short period time I was there, 

Dominick: Like I said, for the audience, you know, make sure, you know, if you want to explore your surroundings, you know, because we know this world isn’t fully built for us just yet, you know what I’m saying? And we had a long way to go. But remember, the beauty of disability is the adaptable city, you know what I’m saying? And like I always said to Amanda that day, teamwork makes their dream work. You know what I’m saying? 

Amanda: Mhm. That was like our motto for the day.

Dominick: Yeah, that was our motto for, like, the whole weekend. Helping each other out at the concert was legit  

Amanda: Because, you know, we had to get merch

Dominick: Oh, definitely had to get to merch. 

Amanda: I kind of took the lead when we were in the venue because I knew where we were going and like what to do and everything. But luckily we were one of the first people in, so we kind of beat the majority of the crowd. So that made it a little bit easier. But like, like putting the merge on and what not. Like we definitely helped each other out with that and stuff. 

Dominick: Oh yeah, Yeah, we definitely did. 

Amanda: I would say like if anybody is planning on like taking a trip or wanting to do something to go for it, but I would definitely plan it out first. But don’t be afraid to, to do it because I think it’s worth it in the end. 

Dominick: And then for me the mindset would be just know how far the thing is. Maybe to staff in ours is something that you got to use. Like always bring a buddy, you know what I’m saying? I think the first couple runs you need a buddy because that makes it a lot easier. And I like doing things on my own because I’m used to it. But definitely bring a buddy the first couple times of (Amanda: Yeah, I agree with anything.) Your skills like that just (Amanda: yeah, I’ve only been to one thing on my own and it was very lonely) because then that just builds confidence and plus you can work out the logistics of what you need. Also, make sure you have all your health care equipment on you. Don’t be afraid to talk to staff because staff kind of know what’s going on. And the more you find a way to communicate or with staff or anything like that, the better your experience will be. They’re there for that, you know what I’m saying? And don’t be afraid to ask for help. What are transportation? And check the weather. Don’t be Amanda, (Amanda:Don’t be dissing me.) You can’t be out here freezing.

 But until next time, listeners, this is Dom and Amanda signing off for one more time with the greatest Diskumbaya. Continue being the gate crashers that you are and will continue being the gate crashes we are.

Music Info: Action Sport Extreme Metal by STUDIOKOLOMNA