A-Z Disability Challenge | E : Events

This was originally supposed to go to a fellow blogger’s site that fall, but by the time I had the time to work on it, she was booked on her blog. So, when I came up with this series, I thought about putting this subject on my blog instead. I hope this post helps with creating or attending your next event.

We all make some type of events with our friends, coworkers, etc all the time. A lot of people love being the person that comes up with the ideas and puts it all together. I will give kudos to anyone that does that job, because I would have a headache going into it. Anyways If you are the one that plans for the entire thing, you usually have it all planned out in your notebook or tablet, just to keep everything organized, you might be missing some things that you wouldn’t necessarily think about needing to know right away.

If you invite somebody that has a disability, whether it’s physical or invisible, you need to cover all areas to fit that person’s needs. Now how do you do that? Well here are some of the basic things you need to remember to do.

  • You need to make sure the place where you will be having the event itself is handicapped accessible.

  • If you’ve invited somebody who is deaf, hire an interpreter.

  • Put things to at eye-level, so that everybody can reach for things easily.

  • Allow them to have their own food brought in, if they can’t have what you’re serving.

  • Brings plastic ware like forks, knifes, spoons, and even multiple straws.

  • Ask the person if they need help, especially if they didn’t bring somebody with them.

  • Make sure they are included in every aspect.

I was going to explain each one of the helpful hints in full, but I thought some were pretty self-explanatory. The first one needs to be discussed is making sure the area is accessible to everybody. For somebody with a disability, we always look out for certain things, like ramps, elevators, and a large bathroom. As a warning, from the moment we get out of our vehicles, we are like hawks, making sure everything is how it should be. You have to be as honest with them as you can as well. If you tell a person with a disability, that the building is accessible, you have to mean everything! If there are stairs, there has to be an elevator. If there is a curb, you have to say “there’s no ramp”. If the bathrooms are tiny as hell, you have to tell them!

Nowadays, lots of people have different food allergies. They might have an allergy to gluten, milk, peanuts, etc and since these are pretty common, a lot of people will respect their wishes and make sure to leave out these foods for that person. However, if you’re on a special diet, and this goes for vegan/vegetarians too, things can be a little bit more difficult for the planner. You want to serve food that everybody will enjoy, but when more than one person cannot have a certain dish, you can’t just change it for them. This is why I included allowing people to bring a small bento box of food that they know they can have to eat, but also I say this for those, who are only allowed to be feed through a tube as well!

To me, this last one just seems mandatory for anybody hosting or planning an event. You need to make sure that everybody in the room is getting attention. Whenever I’d go to events at school, I always felt like I wasn’t included on a lot of things my classmates were doing, and it made me feel really conflicted and sad, because you don’t want to pull somebody or a group of people away but you also don’t want to be lonely at the same time. One thing I do want to say is that, when you do have somebody with a disability at your event, don’t watch them like a hawk. We don’t want your full-on attention, we just want to be included with the rest of the group, so just treat us like in the way you would want to be treated.

Have you ever hosted and/or planned an event before? If you invited a person with a disability, did they explain to you what you needed to look out for to abide by their needs? If you’re disabled, please comment below with some of our helpful hints you think people should know when inviting disabled people to events. 

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Goals For 2019!

Howdy!

On the 31st of December, I saw a tweet that was asking for the top 5+ goals you’d like to accomplish for the new year on my sister’s account. I don’t usually post things like that, because mainly I don’t usually have a clue of what I want to do, but this time I did and I just decided to list all five of my goals for 2019!

The next day, my mom was at work, so it was just my dad and I for the day and I actually let him on these goals, because I thought he’d get a kick out of what I put down for the first two; what I didn’t know was that the next day, the second goal is getting closer to happening. I was a bit shocked by the news, but more so on the fact that my dad asked me what number that goal landed on my list. I was kind of stunned that he had remembered them in the first place, because when I originally told them to him, he was half asleep on me. And then as I was busy telling the both of them, I realized I forgot to tell my mom at all! Oops!

Move Into Our New House ✔️

We’ve been in the process of dealing with our new house for longer than we had planned. Everything was supposed to be done before Thanksgiving, but we’ve passed two holidays and we’re still not in the house yet. We’ve had a lot of issues! I don’t particular want to talk about that on this post.

Update: On January 9th, we finally moved in! It took a few more days to the rest of the stuff into the new house, but we’re here. I’m hoping to do a longer post about designing the perfect bedroom soon.

Finally Getting My New Wheelchair

I think my parents got the ball rolling on the house and my wheelchair around the same time! September was a big month for us, that lead to more question marks than anything else. However, we recently got a letter that most of the things we were wanting to be added onto the new chair were approved, so that is a good sign! I am still fairly wary about the whole thing. I’ve been waiting for a new wheelchair for almost 7 years. I’d like to gain some of my freedom back, like being able to clean my room by myself and just spend a couple of hours outside with our cats, taking pictures than being stuck up in my room the whole day.

More Cuddles With My Nephew ✔️

This had been the only goal to have been fulfilled at the start of the year! My sister brought little man over on the 2nd, and my mom let him sit on my right leg. We haven’t been able to do that before. Even though, he is really active, he really calms down whenever he sits on my lap. On this occasion though, he did something that kind of made me want to cry, because I wasn’t expecting it. He gave me a hug. He grabbed ahold of my shirt and left hand and pulled us together and I couldn’t help but put my head on the top of his; we only stayed like that for a couple of seconds but he’ll never know how much that meant to me, especially since I love giving cuddles myself too!

All The New Music

This one kind of stumped my mom, but as a music blogger, you know you can kind of devout your time into talking about Christmas music, because once it becomes the middle of November, the amount of real music coming out the next month is fairly smaller than you’d like and unfortunately, January has a slow start to releasing new music. You definitely don’t hear anything brand new right away in the new year. You usually have to wait until the second week of February to fade before you hear anything worthwhile. That’s why I’ve had to go back through the last bit of 2018 for any albums I can review on here!

New Opportunities For My Blog & I

In 2018, I decided it was time to branch out a little, away from the blog, and even separate myself from Disability Horizons for a while. I had big ambitious to start writing pieces for other people, whether they were other bloggers or bigger sites for digital magazines. Technically I have a three part series that I was planning to give away to a site that I actually like, but more importantly because they don’t have a lot of disability themed articles. I just wanted to lend my voice to them. I’ve talked to several blogger friends, Lucy and Melissa were very helpful during this time but I kind of lost my nerve at the end of spring.

One thing that I was able to do was work with The History Of Royal Women. I was writing for them at the end of 2017, but most of my work came out at the start of the year until the beginning of summer. I had done two different themes: disabled royal princesses and lives of heiresses of the eras. I’d like to end out that last one, because I still have two more ladies to talk about, but I worry that it’s been too long of a gap and they won’t let me back on to write anymore.

I would love to have more opportunities to write for other people, plus also offer up to other people to write guest posts as long as they match the topics I normally discuss on here. If you want to contact me, click here.

I do have more personal goal. The reason why I want to keep this one under a lock and key, is because I don’t want to put any pressure on anyone to make it happen right away, nor do I want to feel bad for my expectations. So, for the time being, the sixth and final goal will remain hidden away.

What do you hope to accomplish in 2019? Can you name five or more in the comments?

A-Z Disability Challenge | B : Building Trust

Howdy!

I created this challenge to talk about disability topics and today’s post will discus about building trust with other people. So, this piece will contain some personal advice and experiences, but it’s more directed to the families of disabled kids and young adults.


Trust is a big thing.

You learn it from a very young age, I think you don’t necessarily realize it until you begin to look back and it does make sense, it all goes together. Here’s an example, whenever a toddler is about to do something he’s not suppose to, you tell him “no” and try to explain that he’ll get hurt. You can’t expect your child to leave it alone, that’s a rarity even in itself, so you’ll most likely see the kid do it anyways and start wailing because it got a bump on the head. First off, kids have to learn things on their own. You hope they’ll get the message and learn to trust you the next time you say something like that, but even you know better not to trust a young child either. So, it goes back and forth quite a bit…

As somebody with a disability, I rely on people to help me with things. I don’t like to, because I always feel like I can figure it out on my own, but there are things that I cannot do by myself so I need help with them. When you have to invite a third party, it can always be a hit or miss. I learned this while I was in school. Whenever my aides were out for a period of time, I had many, many substitutes that would have to be with me throughout the day. I would have to teach them what I needed for each class and what they could do to pass the time. They were kind of dragged from one place to another; not to mention to give your trust on a person you’ve just met once or only had a few times, circumstances would worry me sometimes because I didn’t know what this person would do.

Honestly, I tend to give people the benefit of a doubt. It’s one of the bad things about going with the flow. You don’t want to second guess people right away, so you go all in and give your trust away like it’s pieces of candy. However, I’ve learned over the years to listen to my body about certain things: your gut will tell you when something’s up and mine would flare up a lot while I was in school. I would break down in the middle of classes and feel completely awful, afterwards I would be switched out of that class and I’d calm down and be myself again. Unfortunately, I haven’t had this happen whenever I’m around people, just whenever I’m in a different place physically. I guess that’s better than anything though, right?

For families of disabled kids though, everything is heightened. They’re not there with their child. They have to hope that whoever’s watching over their kid is doing what that person would do for their own children. If something has happened that is a little weird, things can escalate really fast and as someone who has had been in this kind of situation, it feels horrible. You don’t want to get anyone in trouble, but if something is off about how you’re being treated whether it’s physically or emotionally, it is best to speak up about it. You don’t deserve to live in fear of what’s going to happen once the dominoes collapse. They have to give up a lot of their trust to the people their child is around on any given day, and that includes their friends, and that alone can cause a lot of anxiety, but you do continue to take chances because you do want your children to be treated like everybody else, if they don’t, how is your child suppose to live in the real world?

How are you with trusting others around you? And families, what kept you going when things weren’t ideal with your child’s aide or surroundings? Do you have any advice you could to other parents out there?

A-Z Disability Challenge | A : Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita

Howdy!

So, last week I basically announced to the world that I was starting my own challenge. I have created this challenge to talk about disability topics in alphabetical order. Some will have a personal touch, like today’s post will discus my condition: Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. The others will be educational and/or opinion pieces. I wanted to give you a good mixture of different themes that everybody, whether you have a disability or not, would understand a little better.


Honestly, I just wanted to write this for people who are really curious about my condition, and who are maybe a little embarrassed or shy to ask me questions up front. This will hopefully help you understand a little more about what it is, what areas it affects, and some of the stuff I’ve had to learn to do, to adapt to my surroundings.

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita is simply as a joint condition that can affect many areas of the body, but it is formed in the womb. Since my joints of my arms and legs are limited to movement, the muscles never really developed, thus why they are really skinny. My arms have always been bent at the elbow, I’ve had many therapy sessions to help lessen the tension in my arms. My elbows will never unlock and I’m okay with that. I’ve always had insecurities with the fact that my hands just lie there. I was never able to use my fingers, but there are a lot of people and young kids whose hands like mine and they can actually write and draw with them. I don’t know what actually possessed me to use my feet, but it was definitely a day to remember for my parents that’s for sure!

I am not able to walk like everybody else. I have two very different feet, and neither one are able to lay flat on the ground, so whenever I did experiment with walking, I usually walked on my tippy toes instead. I grew up rolling and eventually scooting around on my bottom. The only way I can explain for the rolling is because since I wasn’t able to move my arms on my own to get them out of the way, I think my family was afraid I’d get rug burn, so I just started rolling around. Thankfully, I was so small that I could fit through most doors and hallways. I can’t give you a definite age when I switched to scooting but it had been before I was four years old, because I was going to a special school and honestly I needed a better way to get around. I was pretty slow, but I didn’t care one bit. I use to chase my sister and cousins around my grandparent’s house all the time! Of course, for long distances, I was usually carried around but when I was four years of age, I got my first wheelchair and then the roles were reversed and everybody had to chase me!

As I continue to get older, I am in more and more pain. The majority of it is around my back, but the rest of it is in my hips and knees. I was very active as a child, but as an adult, I’m a pretty-stay-in-one-place for a long time. I can sit in the same position for close to three hours and power through the pain in the sides of my hips in order to get work done. Don’t worry, I was not in any pain while writing this post! I feel like I should be considered lucky with the pain in my knees, because I have family members with different types of arthritis, so I always know it could be worse. My nana goes old school and just rubs Vicks on the affected area, I’ve tried talking to my mom about going that route but I agree with her of the overwhelming smell, so I take painkillers to ease the pain away.

If you have any other questions, I will be doing a Q&A later on in the challenge, so just leave your questions below if you’re curious about anything.