listen to me, listen to me…

I know that it has been a while since I last updated my blog, but I have to be honest with you all. While life has been busy lately and I did go away on a holiday for some much needed r and r, I have also had writers block. Not really writers block, rather nothing major has happened to me lately. This isn’t such a bad thing. In fact, I’ve had no major falls, I’ve had no issues around accessibility and I haven’t gotten angry over anything . Really, things have been pretty calm lately and I’m happy about that.

But I have been making some decisions about my future over the last few weeks. Nothing life changing (other than leaving my flat and going back home), but decisions about boosting my confidence, expanding my social circle and facing my fears.

In a few of my entries I have mentioned how I don’t like public speaking. I don’t like it at all. People seem to think I’m good at it and that I’m even interesting. But whenever I have to do it, I get very nervous for the few days before and on the actual day my throat goes very dry and I go bright red. I’d rather run away and hide. So, being me, I decided to face this fear and address it.

Through my work I receive many emails from organisations promoting their new programs and often I delete them or forward them onto other clients, never really taking them in for myself. However, one caught my eye the other week. It was promoting a program called the Speaking Bank. The organisation Annecto is putting together a Speaking Bank – a group of people with disabilities who go around talking to school children, new disability support workers and corporations.

I notice little kids checking me out with a curious look on their face. They seem to know it’s not polite to run up to me and ask me what’s wrong with me but they look and I can see they are freaked out a little. When I was little I was also scared of people who were different – scared of the unknown. Annecto believes having people go out to schools to talk about their disability and what it’s like to have a disability will help the kids understand and not be scared and even feel comfortable around people “who are different”.

In regards to disability support workers, I’m assuming their experience with people with disabilities is very limited until they start their work. It’s important to know what we (people with disabilities) want and how they want to be treated when being assisted with personal things like personal care. Many clients have mentioned how they worry when they are being hoisted onto a toilet or into the shower or into bed. To be able to explain how it feels and what makes them feel safe is very important to the person.

With speaking to the corporate sector, Annecto wants to show them how people with disabilities are capable of working in the corporate world and if there are issues there are ways of fixing things to make the office accessible or the computer user friendly.

As a person who has a mild disability, I don’t think I will be of use talking to disability support workers. I also think it is important for people who are heavily disabled to talk to school children. When I was interviewed for this position I immediately put my hand up for talking to corporations as this is the area I most relate to.

I’m not sure when this will start. I am going to a seminar on public speaking to learn a few tricks and tips. By getting involved in this, I will hopefully see an improvment in myself, meet some new people and face one of my fears.

Look out world, you’ll be hearing more from me and not just through this log.

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