Have you seen the new Ford car adverts? I found their new campaign about unlearning stuff fascinating - ’let go of what you know' is the tagline and I thought it'd be an interesting topic to blog about.
I want people to 'unlearn disabilities'.
We are not all the same, yet we often get tarnished with the same brush. We -like everyone else - are individual - unique.
Am I disabled? Yes
Can I do anything about that? No but I can make the very best of what I am - like anybody else.
Do I have a speech impediment? Yes
Do I have fine motor skills problems? Yes
Can I walk? No
Do I let any of this stop me? No
I do what I can for myself and am not afraid to ask for help with things I can't do.
The disability I have doesn't define who I am - it is a factor in my life that I have to deal with, but that's very different from letting it control me.
Like anyone else, certain things make me anxious. For me, because of my speech, I was afraid to answer the phone at work in case someone didn't understand me. And the usual anxiety that I wouldn't know them added to that meant I wouldn't answer the phone at work!
But when I did take my first call and it was absolutely fine - I felt brilliant. I did it, the fear was worse than the reality.
This is the same for everyone. People - including those of us considered disabled - all have issues to deal with. Some may be visible - like me in my wheelchair - but many, many others are not visible. People still have their personal issues to deal with.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign that you recognise your own strengths and weaknesses and have the courage to deal with them.
Let's start looking at the ability of everyone and what they are ABLE to do, rather than what they need some help with.