After four months please welcome back “Personality Profile” posts! Today I spotlight Jeff Moyer, an author/public speaker/musician/disability advocate who happens to be blind. I actually received the pleasure to meet Jeff Moyer back in April. I absolutely mean pleasure too as Moyer helped push for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Without the ADA who knows what struggles my parents might’ve encountered enrolling me into mainstream classes during my school years. Before I go on, please checkout the following video of Moyer helping to celebrate the ADA’s 18th anniversary from 2008.
Now like I said I met Jeff Moyer back in April, at a volunteer banquet. I’ve mentioned previously on this blog that I volunteer at Euclid Adult Activities Center, a site of the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Moyer performed a few songs to kickoff the volunteer banquet celebration. His music carries upbeat, meaningful messages. Personally, I enjoy “I’ll Do It for Love” the most. You can purchase Jeff Moyer’s music at www.jeffmoyer.com.
Amongst all else Jeff Moyer’s resume left a lasting impression on me. His accolades include meeting Ted Kennedy Jr., performing at the reception following President George H. Bush signing the ADA, giving a keynote address at Kennedy Space Center, and traveling internationally to spread disability awareness.
Ultimately Jeff Moyer helped people in the disability community gain rights honestly too often taken for granted, specifically the rights to a proper education and reasonable accommodations within the workplace. I’ve heard horror stories about how society use to institutionalize people with disabilities, a concept hard to fathom in 2012 thanks to disability advocates like Jeff Moyer.
Guitarist and singer Chris Hendricks fronts the appropriately named Chris Hendricks Band (CHB). Hendricks stands out from other front men because he happens to have cerebral palsy. Early on in his life doctors said Chris may never walk. Thanks in part to countless surgeries the musician now walks on and off stages wherever CHB finds gigs. Hendricks and his band’s reach expands past North Carolina, their home state. In fact CHB recently opened for Andy McKee and Eric Johnson at House of Blues in Los Angeles, CA!
Similar to previous “Personality Profile” subjects here at Off Balanced, I came across Chris Hendricks through my “cerebral palsy” Google Alerts email. Tammy Grubb’s News Observer article “Singer Chris Hendricks is Living His Dream” back from June 2010 captured my attention and once I heard the singer’s powerful vocals I became hooked. At the time I still wrote for Disaboom so I sent an interview inquiry to CHB manager (and bassist) Aaron Gallagher. Sadly by the time we scheduled and followed through with the interview a change in management at Disaboom left me no longer affiliated with the disability orientated website. I did however review the group’s debut EP Noise for Yahoo! Voices (read here).
CHB debut with the EP Noise in 2010.
In addition to Chris’s powerful voice, the band’s genuine kindness shines. Last year when planning to go visit a friend in North Carolina I contacted Aaron to see if CHB had any concerts coming up. I really wanted to see Chris Hendricks Band live. They didn’t have any upcoming shows but Aaron offered me an open invitation to come down with my friends and watch the band practice. Unfortunately given the five hour commute between Hot Springs, NC (where I visited) and Durham, NC (where CHB calls home) the situation didn’t work out.
Over the past six months I’ve kept tabs on Chris Hendricks Band via Facebook (like them here) and I’m excited to see the group gain momentum. I strongly recommend you visit chrishendricksband.com, search “Chris Hendricks Band” on Youtube, or best yet buy the Noise EP on i-Tunes so you can experience CHB for yourself.