Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kicking Things Off

So consider this my unofficial kickoff into the blogosphere. Admittedly, something I never thought I would do, but here we go nonetheless.

About me: My name is Shawn Dean. I am originally from Eau Claire, WI but I currently reside in Minneapolis, MN. By trade I am an attorney. I am technically a solo practitioner, but I am also actively job hunting for much more secure legal employment. I am mostly focused on a career practicing disability law. The main motivating reason for that is that I have a disability myself. Almost thirteen years ago I sustained a spinal cord injury in a diving accident that left me partially paralyzed from the chest down and requires me to use a wheelchair. Medically speaking, I am considered a C-6/7 incomplete quadriplegic (more details on that in forthcoming posts). After seeing and experiencing the things I have as an individual with a disability, my professional interests naturally levitated towards wanting to find work in that area of law. So in that regard, I am a bit of an atypical lawyer with a unique view on disability law related work (and of course, life in general). I am also a disability related consultant and advocate.

The rest in a nutshell: I'm a super sports fan (rooting for the UW Badgers, Green Bay Packers, Colorado Avalanche, and follow the rest of the sports world pretty closely), movie buff, aspiring autobiographer (based on my life’s events after the aforementioned paralyzing diving accident), Eagle Scout, and proud uncle. Lastly, I am single. Incredibly and indelibly single in fact. But I remain steadfastly hopeful that my looks, charm, optimism, and hairline don’t fade away before I partner up with my dream girl.

About this blog: I decided to start
One Man’s Access in July 2009 because based on some of that that described above I think that I might be able to share a unique, personal perspective: that is to say chronicling the adventures (and misadventures) of a single, job searching, new attorney with a pretty significant disability. It smells like a niche thing to me. In light of that, calling the blog One Man’s Access was originally devised as a cute play on of the word accessible. But I quickly realized there was more to that notion of access: one man’s access to an accessible, or putting it much more accurately, an inaccessible world; access to the legal world and ultimately a rewarding, burgeoning career as an attorney; access to romance; access to (fill in the blank); etc. Through my insight I hope that somewhere along the way people discover that, like many folks with disabilities, I am just a regular guy who does not let my particular disability define who I am. Moreover, by implication, maybe along the way a few folks will learn more about spinal cord injuries and even pick up a few good tips about interacting with people with disabilities. But only by implication, as I hope to never–well, hardly ever let’s say–turn this into a personal holier than thou or sympathy solicitation forum.

So we’ll see what happens from here. At the least, I promise to get better at this as I go. Thanks for taking the time to drop by.


  1. Hey Shawn. This is an ass kicking start to your blog. The recollections of your July 12 are powerful and moving. Some real cool stuff. Keep up the writing because as it is sometimes said, if you wanna be a writer, you gotta write.
    We'll catch some beers soon so I can talk you off of your Badger/Packqueer ledge.


  2. I highly appreciate that Cook, thanks. And sounds good, although sans the Badger/Packqueer intervention thing... I am steadfast in my fandom, sir!