This is the first post in a new series that I will be writing entitled “You Want To Know About Disability”. I will be focusing on physical disabilities since that is what I happen to have. There are many kinds of physical disabilities. We are either born with a disability, or acquire one through an illness or an accident. You may be deaf, blind or have limited mobility. I became paralyzed in 2009 because of a rare illness called Transverse Myelitis and so I now use a wheelchair to get around.
My reference in describing the physical will be unique to paralysis, but although the physical manifestation is different, the emotional and spiritual effects a physical disability has on an individual is much the same. Having friends in many of these categories now, I can assure you that we all share common frustrations….not with our disability, but with the lack of knowledge of those around us who have a misrepresentation of us and our disability. In our uniqueness, we are all united in the cause of educating those around us so they have the facts about us. I am that voice for those who do not have one.
We are a unique group of people. We can be a bunch of big babies who demand and command all around us to meet our every whim, or we can be fiercely proud and can easily wear a chip on our shoulders for any who would challenge our independence.
We must navigate this life with a body that just won’t do what we want it to do, emotions that must be kept in control so that we don’t constantly take our frustrations out on those around us, and a life that we want to make an impact with in this world which is finally trying to make a place for us, but has much to still learn.
I have written several of my friends and will be using their voices, along with mine, to share our hearts and hope that you will learn a little more about us, and a lot more about that group of people out their known as “the disabled”. I hope that by the end of this series, you will look at us just a little differently.
There is a group of those of us who are disabled that long to see and help. But we don’t stop there. We are trying to do what we can through youtube videos, blogs, touring, speaking, and running organizations that promote the disabled world merging and integrating in the able bodied world. We are like the Three Musketeers…as individuals we are working as one and as a group we are helping the individual.
Through this series, we will be opening up and showing you the raw side of our lives. You ask, “How do you cope?” This is how we cope. By investing in the lives of others, to help them through their disability, or to help other understand disability, that is how we cope. It strengthens us and helps us to know that we are making a difference. This makes me a little nervous, but it is for a good cause. “One for all, and all for one.”
Here is a small list of what we are trying to do!
Erik Kondo – http://www.not-me.org/
Deborah Davis – http://photoability.net/
Tamara Mena – http://tamaramena.com/
Andrew Angulo – http://www.disabledlifemedia.com/
Chelsie Hill – http://www.walkandrollfoundation.org/
Reveca Torres – http://backbonesonline.com/
Pat Doughtery – http://www.gofreewheel.com/
Mark Brereton – http://roadracepowerpod.com/
Mike Fatty – http://www.youtube.com/user/jimirockett2000