Online Work Success Story

Not driving causes obstacles, some which the Internet can help circumvent. For example, non-drivers like me remain at a disadvantage finding work. Thankfully I possess abilities I can implement online to work and make money. In fact my non-driver status heavily influenced my decision five years ago to pursue freelance writing.

Within those previous five years writing on a freelance basis I learned new skills, many revolving around different social media platforms. Prior to freelancing I knew little about social media. Outside Facebook and an abandoned Myspace page I didn’t exist on social networking sites.

Handicap This promotes Zachary Fenell to Online Relationship Manager

Screenshot capturing the announcement about my promotion.

Fast forward half a decade and Handicap This Productions (HTP) announces my promotion to Online Relationship Manager. Talk about an online work success story! How did I go from a social media novice to someone a respectable company trusts to expand their online presence?

The answer includes past clients and self-publishing my teen memoir Off Balanced. The now defunct Disaboom pretty much mandated their writers share their work on two platforms. So I ended up creating a Twitter account (@zacharyfenell). A conference call Disaboom held provided advice on how to use Twitter. Additionally I learned through trial and error.

In late 2012 Special Education Guide became my first client to request I join Google+. Seeing how well Twitter worked out for me, I welcomed Google+. Google Hangouts alone makes Google+ worthwhile.

Researching publishing made evident to me my best chance to reach readers as a self-published author involved social media. The more I put myself out there on social networking sites the more dialogue I could start or partake in. Over time I began my blog here, expanded my Twitter following, joined various author groups on LinkedIn, and regularly uploaded video blogs to my Youtube channel.

Overall a motto Tim Wambach and Mike Berkson often say comes to mind “Improvise, adapt, overcome.” When set upon graduating college I improvised to adapt and overcome my transportation challenges by focusing on freelancing. Freelancing I improvised to adapt and overcome the populous Internet by sharpening my social media capabilities. That positioned me to become HTP’s Online Relationship Manager and tell others my online work success story.

Please offer your own online work success story by commenting below.


Social Media Connects the Cerebral Palsy Community

Social media really does build community, a fact I’ll happily verify. Prior to writing professionally about cerebral palsy (CP), I knew no one else with the disability. Certainly others somewhere lived with CP but their existences remained abstract to my world. Social media changed that.

Meeting Blake

I met Blake at Union Station in Washington DC.

Last Friday I enjoyed the pleasure to meeting in-person a young man with a bright future, Blake. We initially connected thanks to the live weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Next month Blake will intern with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). Considering this I figured Blake must live somewhere close to the DC area.

Back in February my buddy Pete and I planned a road trip to DC for May to visit our good friend Rob and his wife Kelly. You may recall Pete and Rob from my teenage memoir Off Balanced (available on the Kindle, Nook, and i-Pad via the free Kindle app). Once I received approval from my friends I went about arranging meeting Blake.

Blake’s eagerness to meet me in-person proved flattering. Initial schedules conflicted. However, Blake adjusted his to make getting together work. Thanks to his patience and flexibility we enjoyed insightful conversation at Union Station. Two individuals with cerebral palsy sat across from each other engaged in dialogue due to Twitter.

Meeting Blake only represents the latest example where social media connected me to others within the CP community. You might recall in January I met motivational speaker and author (Someone Like Me) John W. Quinn in the flesh. My first contact with John back in early 2011 came via Twitter.

Meanwhile Twitter and Facebook fostered my connection with Tim Wambach and Handicap This, a connection originally started by email. Knowing the Handicap This crew, John W. Quinn, and Blake all enrich my life someway. On a less me-centric note our connections also demonstrate social media can meaningfully connect the cerebral palsy community.

Do you want social media to better connect you with the CP community? The live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow every Wednesday at 8pm EST offers an optimal starting point. Please join us by using #CPChatNow.

#CPChatNow Recap for 02-19-2014


Next Live Twitter Chat: Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 8pm EST

If you possess any connection to the cerebral palsy (CP) community, I encourage you to join our weekly live Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesdays at 8pm EST. Last night saw riveting conversation on everything from Handicap This Productions’ Web TV series and disability in film to dating and the pressures CP places on each gender. Personally though what I felt stood out the most revolves around the actions our chats drive.

Walk of Hope for Cerebral Palsy

Walk of Hope for Cerebral Palsy Logo

Hannah also shared a pretty awesome fun fact with everyone.

Reuniting Former Classmates

Like the Walk of Hope for Cerebral Palsy Facebook page to stay updated on Hannah and Alena’s event progress. Moving forward to last night’s riveting discussion, disability in film received much attention.

Disability in Cinema Disability in Cinema Inquiry Part II

John Quinn on Actors with Disabilities

Zachary Fenell on Actors with Disabilities

Lacking Opportunities for Disabled Actors

Guild for Disabled Actors the Answer

Ryan also created a lot discussion by asking about how men and women handle disabilities.

Gender Difference Inquiry Gender Difference Inquiry Part II

Alan's Gender Response P1Alan's Gender Response P2Alan's Gender Response P3

Equal Gender Pressures

Models with Disabilities

Also worth noting while wrapping up this recap, we shared t-shirt ideas last night. By making t-shirts we aim to help spread CP awareness. Please submit your ideas to our Facebook page Cerebral Palsy Twitter Chat #CPChatNow.

CP is Sexy T-Shirt Idea

Until next week remember those words from Tim Wambach.

“We can make anything happen!”

#CPChatNow Recap for 02-05-2014


Next Live Twitter Chat: Wednesday,February 12th, 2014 8pm EST

With each passing week I am increasingly impressed by the supportive and helpful nature emerging from the #CPChatNow community. In a way these weekly recaps provide evidence John Quinn, Handicap This, and my continual praise for the community remains well deserved.

You know what else demonstrates we started something special? The fact an imposter surfaced.

  @CPChatNow Account Warning

If you know anything about the person behind the account, please contact us on our Facebook page. Make sure to congratulate John too on his continued success promoting CP awareness.

John Quinn Magazine Spread

Green Bay CP Telethon

Feel free to wish Mike Berkson a belated Happy Birthday too.

Mike Berkson turned 25 years old February 4th.

Enough about us though. #CPChatNow works because we all find connection through shared experiences.

Walking with Hot Beverages

Awkward Staring

These commonalities turn #CPChatNow into a place to find emotional support and practical advice.

Rejected Accommodation

Appeal Process

Advice to Keep Warm

My Advice to Keep Warm

Sometimes we need to seek encouragement.

Handicap This Advice on Fear

John's Insights on Fear

Think big but remember thinking only begins your journey.

When plans fall apart improvise, adapt, and overcome

Together we can keep making Hump Day enjoyable! 😉

Enjoy Wednesday Nights with #CPChatNow

*Note to my regular Off Balanced blog readers, I will resume my Friday postings tomorrow, explaining my infrequent schedule recently and teasing information on some content I’m currently working on.

Follow Friday on Twitter- December 2013

If you enjoy following me on Twitter (@zacharyfenell), you should certainly consider following my clients listed below.

Follow Friday Twitter SuggestionsThe Mobility Resource (@SweetMobility) Facebook: The Mobility Resource

Go to The Mobility Resource (TMR) website, look at the “Recent Posts” section, and you will probably find at least one or two pieces to peak your interest. Following The Mobility Resource on Twitter will place those intriguing headlines into your Twitter feed. Additionally TMR tweets out other attention-grabbing stories and uplifting content.

Handicap This (@HandicapThis) Facebook: Handicap This

What should I say regarding John W. Quinn (@johnwquinn) and my co-hosts for the live Twitter chat #CPChatNow (every Wednesday at 8pm EST)? Knowing Tim Wambach and Mike Berkson personally, I can say their Twitter account acts as an extension to the friends’ personalities. While for some people that might not equal praise ;), for Tim and Mike those words provide a great compliment. Through uplifting quotes and tweets, the Handicap This team will get you smiling and feeling encouraged when you need positivity the most.

Think Inclusive (@think_inclusive) Facebook: Think Inclusive

The growing Think Inclusive site began with blogger Tim Villegas’ vision to create a resource on inclusive education. Two weeks down and I’m still excited to play a role as Think Inclusive’s first staff writer. Personally I believe teachers and parents should benefit from Tim’s tweets on education and inclusion. Also, by following Think Inclusive you position yourself well to keep updated on the website’s growth.

Your turn to share! In the comments below name someone on Twitter to follow and give a brief explanation why. I await your #FF recommendations. 

Live Twitter Chat on Cerebral Palsy This Tuesday

Please join John W. Quinn (@johnwquinn), Tim Wambach (@HandicapThis), and I (@zacharyfenell) this Tuesday (December 3rd) on Twitter at 8:00pm EST as we host a live Twitter chat to discuss cerebral palsy, using the hashtag #CPChatNow.

If you followed my blog/Youtube videos for a while now, the names John W. Quinn and Tim Wambach will sound familiar. In fact I featured both John and Tim along with Tim’s friend/co-star Mike Berkson in posts dubbed “Personality Profile” during my blog’s early days (November/December 2011).

Allow me to revisit those posts and use quoted excerpts to introduce my co-hosts for the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow.


Image created by Sarah O’Brien

John W. Quinn- “Quinn wrote Someone Like Me- An Unlikely Story of Challenge and Triumph Over Cerebral Palsy, a book noting how John overcame his cerebral palsy to enjoy a 20-year naval career.”

Tim Wambach- “Mike Berkson embodies this blog’s tagline ‘Putting  the ‘Cerebral’ in Cerebral Palsy’ so well I can’t think of a better candidate for my first personality profile here at Off Balanced. Where cerebral palsy limits Mike, close friend Tim Wambach enables. Together the two spread disability awareness in the form of a live stage show called ‘Handicap This.'”

Returning from flashback quote land, Tim documented the core to his friendship with Mike in the book How We Roll. Tim also serves as the president to a non-profit Mike inspired him to start, the Keep on Keeping On Foundation.

Certainly worth noting, both John and Tim boast Fortune 500 on their resumes. John does motivational speaking, empowering audiences varying from schools to the aforementioned Fortune 500 companies. Tim use to work as a trainer for Next Level Consulting, an organization which provides training services to Fortune 500 companies

Given John and Tim’s respective credentials I feel honored to share the virtual stage with them. We welcome your questions and look forward to answering them. So, make sure you login into Twitter this Tuesday (December 3rd) at 8:00pm EST (7pm CT/5pm PT) and use the hashtag #CPChatNow.

Tweet you later!

*To learn more about John W. Quinn visit For more on Tim and Mike’s endeavors, see Obviously you can learn more about me by looking around here and also by visiting

Follow Friday on Twitter- November 2013

November marks my third month presenting my “Follow Friday on Twitter” posts (published the fourth Friday every month). To put my new subscribers in the loop, I use this monthly post to give explanations why you should follow (on Twitter) specific individuals in the disability community.

New! After feedback last month from children’s author Jewel Kats, I decided to include links to spotlighted individuals’ Facebook pages too.

TwitterJohn W. Quinn (@johnwquinn) Facebook:  Official Page of John W. Quinn
I first became acquainted with John Quinn a few years ago when I tweeted him to share I bought his book Someone Like Me: An Unlikely Story of Challenge and Triumph Over Cerebral Palsy (read my review). John’s personable attitude led us to staying connected on Facebook and Twitter. Worth noting, John tweets links to his Youtube video blog which contains many interesting thoughts.

Lisa Friedman (@JewishSpecialEd) Facebook: Jewish Special Needs Education: Removing the Stumbling Block (Group)
The blogger behind the well-respected Jewish Special Needs Education, Lisa Friedman puts together the “Jewish Special Education Daily.” If you ever need information about religion in relation to inclusion, keep tabs on this daily.

Jon Bateman (@yyc_jon) Facebook: Jon Bateman
Like John Quinn, Jon Bateman displays a personable attitude. Jon happens to also write for The Mobility Resource, as I do. Follow him to keep up on his latest articles. He surely provides insightful reads.