About This Blog
For the audio version go to http://youtu.be/zqOS415z5aU
There are four goals for this blog:
1) To educate about life with disability and/or chronic pain and to change misperceptions that are all too common,
2) To support those living with disability and/or chronic pain,
3) To educate about accessibility, and
4) To teach about the proper etiquette when interacting with a person with a disability.
1) To educate about life with disability and/or chronic pain and to change misperceptions that are all too common:
In my many years as Executive Director of Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods I have come to realize that the public perception of disability and chronic pain is not a true reflection of the people who live with it on a daily basis. I have also realized that health issues, disability and chronic pain are not openly discussed and as such it is hard for those without disability and/or chronic pain to understand the issues we deal with on a daily basis. I hope that this blog, written by someone who lives with disability and chronic pain will offer insight and help to educate those without disabilities who may have preconceived notions and/or misperceptions about people with disabilities and/or chronic pain.
2) To support those living with disability and/or chronic pain:
I had my life turned upside down when, at the age of seventeen, I started dealing with my physical disability and chronic pain. Within a six month time span I had to leave school, quit a job I loved, stop driving, stop all sports, and pretty much see everything I had worked so hard for be taken from me because of health issues. I felt alone and isolated and so I founded a chronic pain support group that I ran for six years. Through this support group I realized that there is a great need for those with disability and chronic pain to share their experiences as those experiences can often be isolating, scary, and overwhelming. I also know that there is a great deal of knowledge and support within the disability community and I hope to tap into that through this blog. I am also very aware that people with disabilities and chronic pain are represented in the media in only two capacities: victim or hero. I hope to write about the middle ground and reflect a truer picture of people with disabilities and chronic pain, one that is not often shown to the community or through the media. I also hope that this blog offers support and hope to people living with disabilities and chronic pain
3) To educate about accessibility:
If you are someone who does not require accessibility then most likely you will not notice or understand the hundreds of accessibility obstacles one runs into as they go about their daily lives. For those who require accessibility we are all too aware of the many accessibility issues and obstacles that we face on a daily basis. I hope to use this blog to create awareness about what accessibility is and how it can be utilized to create more inclusive communities. I also hope to educate about how all people, those with and without disabilities, can benefit from accessibility.
4) To teach about the proper etiquette when interacting with a person with a disability:
There are people who have had no or little experience with people with disabilities and are unaware about how to interact with a person with a disability as well as cautious to create interaction because of this lack of knowledge. I hope to use this blog to educate people about the appropriate etiquette when interacting with people with a diverse range of disabilities. I hope that this takes some of the stigma away from “disability” so that people see the person as a person first and feel more comfortable in creating and sustaining interaction.