A Call to Change How Disability is Seen

Dear Reader,

It is funny (not the haha kind, more the stop and think kind) how the world is sooo pent up and focusing on fixing things, solving this by pretending they are not there instead working around them. I guess that would require too much ground work. This idea becomes dangerous when these things are not just things but are people and the outlook remains the same- the focus being ‘how can this be fixed’ or ‘made better’. Well, spoiler alert, this can’t be fixed, made better or be shunned away through any other ableist ideologies-how about…they you know…turn that frown upside down and realised that it’s more about people working with what they’ve got.
Sometimes disability is seen as some sort of disadvantage, and something that instantly categorises people with disabilities as ‘the disabled’ as if they’re a faulty model. As a person with a disability, it is all too familiar and expected that I will see someone’s eyes widening and their voice reach a new octave as I share a little about who I am, flabbergasted that I am just as human as them. However something in their behaviour says that this stereotype of disability is still being brought into.

Though I write and do my part to raise awareness of disability I do not know quite how to tackle one’s perception of this. Dating back to long ago people with disabilities were…let’s just say there was no voice that represented this community so I guess this stereotype was the only reference point. But this stereotype was only formed because there was no voice, still the only voice that was heard were men in power(sometimes I do wonder if times have changed). Even though the community of people with disabilities has come a long way, with campaigns around inclusions being had, it still feels like we haven’t reached our peak! When I ask myself how I can go about furthering my message, the only possible solution is to keep saying how things are for me, keep speaking out, keep writing stuff like this, call out when people show discriminative behaviour and do not let other people’s words and actions have an influence on how I view myself.

It is not only how people with disabilities are approached and talked to that needs to be addressed, but what is also needed is for society to be accessible and all round inclusive-some may call it ambitious, I call it essential! As I said above, the world can go around fixing things by pretending that they are not there, by this I mean by places STILL not accessible. Checking if somewhere is, for me, wheelchair friendly should not be a part of my ‘check before you travel’ routine. On this note: London underground! Now I know it is at the height of hustle and bustle but it is also the most inaccessible and my question is why? We’ve got technologies for the more unnecessary such as being able to see on your phone who is at your door, so why can’t some investment go into technology to engineer public transport to be just that transport for PUBLIC use, transport for EVERYbody?
I’d love to say that the physical form of accessibility that the only an area of that needs stark improvement but this is just the start: how institutions relate to people with disabilities, be it in education or in, or accessing, work need to undergo a major change in order for the same opportunities to be given to everyone. Therefore this means people with disabilities receive equal treatment to everyone else without having to go to extra measures to prove themselves, that extra thing that if disability was taken out of the equation these measures wouldn’t have to be taken. I do wonder if people without disabilities were questioned, were put through tests and were observed in the same way, what would be the response of these people? Would they understand the implications of ignorance? Would they finally see people and not what people have or haven’t got?

I am writing this as I no longer want to be silent and pretend that I am not moved by the inequality that is blandly obvious in society, a society that is fractured and unable stand in solidarity with those with differences. I am one of many with these thoughts and I hope that others who resonate with these words are able to feel empowered to share theirs. But not only do I hope these voices come forward, I also hope people who are on the other side of the coin, who don’t have a disability, that these words play a role in their understanding in how such judgement feels. Perhaps this understanding will also go towards changing their perspective and actions towards disability!

All my love XX

This will pass

✨ I hope you can find magic this Monday however small 😘✨

Illustration by @emilycoxhead

Image description: words in black handwriting that reads: “It’s okay to feel flat you can’t ALWAYS bounce back CONVERSATIONS can be TOUGH doing the RIGHT thing isn’t always enough . We can’t have HAPPINESS without a little pain hard times will pass again & again- emily coxhead.” These words are on a illustrated lined piece of paper. This paper is on a blue background with a illustration of a rainbow in the center. Illustration is by @emilycoxhead

Honey I’m Home!!

Dear Reader,

It has been a real long while since I have posted anything on here and I have missed blogging, I really have. I guess it that good ol’ excuse of life getting in the way. But when thinking of it, it’s actually me getting in the way of myself…I mean it’s me who make plans and then break than again. So on behalf of me, that part of me that is the putter offer, that part of me that has made a big, brighter, endless list for tomorrow, I am sorry.

While I have be absent in here I must confess, I have cheated on you with other social media, namely Instagram. I have ever more ripped off the seal that was keeping shut tight the lid on my disability and my thoughts around this, as well as going a bit ninja (as my bestie would say) and have started to speak about things that do not sit right with me- the stereotype around disability and how stigma NEEDS to end. Now.

Now, don’t worry I am still full of rainbow fluffiness happiness and that will not change, but in order for this rainbow fluffiness happiness to continue things need to be aired, views need to be discussed and challenged and we need to stop being so darn polite and just say if something is bothering us- like can people just treat me as another human being and not treating me as if I am the disability? I still think in today’s society a lot needs to be done for it to be a place that is fully inclusive and rather than, or only, accepting differences but embracing differences too.

On here, on this blog was were my love affair with writing begin, and without sounding like Joe Goldberg from You (a Netflix series, surrounding a guy obsessed with, and a therefore “would do anything for” love-and this really does mean ANYTHING!), where I found you. It was through writing I found a way to express what I found difficult to say aloud. Reader this felt utterly freeing and found that the Queen of vulnerability, Brene Brown was right, vulnerability does pave the pathway for connection. Sharing parts of my story, expressing my thoughts on my disability, only allowed me to get to know others that have gone through similar things.

I guess I wanted to remind you that letting people see who you are is important. Why? Because it means that you don’t have to continue to hide and make up this idea of someone who is not you. Because you can start to see who you are and feel your power. Because by doing so you will feel less lonely; in this world of social media and by sharing your experiences there will be people reading/hearing your words and will resonate with them and maybe reach out. At the back of this they will also feel less alone in the world, finally finding someone with a similar story to them.

I want to ask you not to be afraid to using your voice-your voice is your power. It is your weapon that no one can destroy. Use it well dear Reader. I am right behind you.

I intent to show my face on here a little more this year. I hope I will see you here too, hoping we can thrive together.

Until next time

All my love XX

It’s a double whammy!

🌈 It’s a Happy double whammy today🙌🏻 Happy Magic Monday and also Happy Sticker Day 🌈

I love me some fun stickers to spruce up my calendar… it’s adds a inspiration for the month (as any rainbow unicorn hearts or little positive words would 💓)💖 Sooo get fun when your organising it might takes the edge of things that feel a little weighty, especially at the start of the year!

Also my writing is a little different than most but that’s ok. I can understand what I have wrote and that what matters, right? If you have a similar writing character, don’t let it stop you from creating your writing artwork 😘🌈💖

Reframing Disability

✨🌈 And don’t be made to think differently.

Happy Magic Monday My Fabulous Ones🌈✨

Image description: words on a yellow-green cut out piece of paper that reads “A disability is something that you have, it is not you.” The paper is placed on a pink and green background

Stop Hiding!!

🌈 Happy Magic Monday my Fabulous Ones🌈

There’s a saying never be afraid who you are. I for one am a huge advocate of this. There was a time when I would ask “ Can you not get my wheelchair in the photo?” But really what is there to hide? Why should I hide apart of myself? Why should I fear the behaviours of others?

Ignoring apart of myself will only lead to misery, to fixate on a unhealthy desire to be someone that I’m not destined to be and really who I don’t want to be. The thing is this hiding thing came really from a place of wanting rather the needing 🤦🏻‍♀️ and who honestly wants to hide?-unless you eat the last sweet in the packet and you feel all eyes glare at you 👀🙈

So for the last few years I have dropped this want to hide and have allowed my wheels to be seen …and they do also say give credit whet credit is due and my chariot really does need this after all where she have taken me!

Let us not be afraid of who we are, let’s try to acknowledge all parts of ourselves . If we just try and not let those naysayers pollute our perception and force us to believe that we “should” be a certain way. Would we really want to be around these people?

Show of them beautiful peacock feathers and don’t be afraid in doing this … and just a heads up make sure no one is around as you devour the last sweet 🙃🌈💜😘🙌🏻

[Image description: Rebecca is sitting in her wheelchair. Rebecca is smiling at the camera. Behind her is a grass area ]

Self-belief

🌈✨ Happy Magic Monday My Fabulous Ones ✨🌈

This is your Monday reminder, via the wonderful @stacieswift, to always try and go after what you believe✨✨ It is not a easy thing to do at times, but it is always worth it! Believe in your lovely self 😘💖🌈

[Image description: the word ‘HAVE’ is printed in white in the centre of the image. Underneath is the word ‘COURAGE ‘ written more bigger and bolder. Underneath reads italic words in brackets ‘EVEN IF YOU FEEL A BIT WOBBLY AT FIRST’. The background of this illustration is pink. This illustration is by @stacieswift]

Stay in your own lane

🌈✨ Hhhaaappy Magic Monday MyFabulous Ones ✨🌈

Live life how you want and don’t be held back from doing this💖🌈 No one is living your life but YOU! Free yourself child 😘🙌🏻🌈💖

This wonderful illustration is by @helloitskayley 💜

Honour Connection

🌈🌟 Happy Magic Monday my Fabulous Ones 🌟🌈

To be able to connect to others is something I treasure and something over the last few years has meant even more to me💖 Its important to tell those closest to you that you love them 💖

Let’s kick this week off by sharing a little love🙌🏻💖🙌🏻

Tag in the comments below those humans who just light up your heart 😘🌈🌟💜

Honour Connection

🌈🌟 Happy Magic Monday my Fabulous Ones 🌟🌈

To be able to connect to others is something I treasure and something over the last few years has meant even more to me💖 Its important to tell those closest to you that you love them 💖

Let’s kick this week off by sharing a little love🙌🏻💖🙌🏻

Tag in the comments below those humans who just light up your heart 😘🌈🌟💜