International Day for People Living with a Disability 2019

This day was created back in 1981 to enhance understanding & to create a call to action within society to be equal with EVERYONE! It originally was to only last a decade as it was for the government to implement different measures to help support the disabled community & as the decade came to an end it was made an official day/date on December 3rd, 1992 & it has been carried on throughout the years!

Why is it so important to me? I was diagnosed with disability on September 16, 2016, & I guess a lot of people wouldn’t think I am if I didn’t talk so openly about it.

I have an invisible illness… you can’t always tell when someone has an eye disease!

September 16, 2016, – SYD Eye Hospital

Over time it gets worse, my disability will become more noticeable & that’s scary, I have no idea other than the situations I make up in my mind what my future could be like.💭

So this day is important to me because I DESPISE it when disabilities are used as a JOKE & those living with one are treated less than human or not even ACKNOWLEDGED…when people are disowned by friends or family because of a disability they can’t control!!! Ahhh boils my blood😤

I DESPISE it when kids are teased in school because they are different from what children are taught to see as NORMAL, I hate it because I was one of those kids.

I DESPISE seeing people being careless towards the differently-abled community! However, what do these all have in common? There’s no understanding! Most of the time people are careless because they don’t understand the impact of what they say or do, so if we raise awareness about the importance of treating the differently-abled community as equals then things will change! & if people are still making jokes then they are simply moronic.🙄

We call upon equality within all these other areas in life & here were still have people who are differently-abled being treated horribly & are used as punchlines in-jokes 🤮

So we need to speak up! That’s how we teach each other to be more mindful, to show each other how to support people living with a disability💜

To talk, ask & answer questions! Just imagine the difference you could make to one life or more if you stepped forward & did something to help someone who is disabled, to give them hope & joy, to feel loved & appreciated!

Why I like to say Differently-Abled. Disabled doesn’t sound too nice but I still say it cause I dunno, I just do & there is nothing necessarily wrong with the word. I like Differently-abled because of what it really is, different from what most people are used to but still ABLE to do so many things & unique ways!

How can we help?

Awareness is KEY.

My Disability requires a lot of awareness from the people around me, I require a lot of guidance & assistance when walking/seeing when I am walking. When I am linking arms with someone, I rely on them to help me not walk into things & one absolute killer is the half-high poles on the side of the road, I walked into one whilst having someone assist me & it hurt real bad, but more so my feelings, I felt unable, like “Ugh, why didn’t I see it” & it made me feel incapable.

Don’t only be aware of how you will need to help assist someone but be aware of how it makes them feel not being capable to do something themselves, that could entail something as simple as walking, talking, seeing, etc. & it is a constant reminder when you do need that support, as amazing as it is to receive help, it can make you feel less than in a different kind of way, so just be mindful that you don’t overwhelm them when you are helping. This highly depends on the person as well, Personally I really relate this & my experience with my eye condition with requiring help, I am still so capable to be independent sometimes, but over time that ability to be independent lessons more & more & it’s definitely something you notice, so when you come across too strong it can really be tough to take.

Never Assume 

Not everyone wants help, even if they aren’t capable & will need your assistance, they can still be new to needing help or are stubborn! Wait until your help is welcomed, don’t rush into the situation trying to do everything for them. be patient & wait until they either signal or ask verbally for help

Avoided saying…

Victim, crippled, suffers from…, handicap, a patient & all the other disgusting terms such as retard even when joking with friends, it is incredibly demeaning to disabilities & those living with one.

It’s okay to make mistakes

If you are helping someone, for example when that person was assisting me to walk & I still bumped into the pole, I don’t blame them, it happens! & of course, if you are living with or spending a lot of time with someone who is differently-abled, you may slip up when assisting & that is normal! You just need to apologize, keep moving forward & have a light-hearted sense of humor about it, of course only if appropriate! I like to laugh when I bump into things if I don’t see them, it can be funny, if it doesn’t cause terrible physical pain…haha!

Here is some more info on how to interact, what to watch out for & avoid. It’s always different depending on the person, some people don’t talk about their disability at all, & some, like me, love it when people ask questions & want to know more!

The biggest thing I want you to take from this is, BE KIND & AWARE, educate yourself because this isn’t just a small portion of the world, you are certain to know someone who is living with a disability or will come into contact with someone one day & it’s so important to be self-aware when around them!


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