E-Community Activity: Advice from Randy

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Subject: Advice from Randy

When asked if he had advice for young people with disabilities, Randy, who is blind, had plenty to offer. With a quick smile, he replied, "Quite a bit, actually." Here are some of his helpful hints.

  • First of all, don't use the disability as a crutch. Don't walk through life and expect people to take care of you because of the disability. Don't make excuses for yourself because of the disability. I've done it before, and it's a one-man pity party. Go out; drive for what you want; don't let the disability get in the way. But if it does, then just jump the hurdle; find a way to get around it.
  • I would also say, don't go into a shell. A lot of disabled people will kind of stand back and let life flow by them. They don't interact with people. A lot of them have fairly poor social skills because of it, and that's really sad to see. If these people could go out and interact with other people, that might make their life better.
  • My biggest piece of advice is definitely to drive for what you want. And if it's strong enough in your mind and if you want it bad enough, then get it.
  • If something happens and you fail, the only thing that you can do is say, "OK, fine, that's not going to work, try it a different way, or go at it again." There are always times that you're going to break down and say "Hey, I can't go on like this." But you go to sleep that night, you wake up the next morning, and you have a different outlook on life... Maybe it's hard, but you do it anyway, and you just keep going at life.
  • Get help when you need it. There are a lot of disabled people out there [who] get fanatical about not letting anybody help them. I'm sorry, but I look at that as kind of stupid because people without disabilities need help sometimes, too,... Go in and ask for that help.
  • For parents, I would definitely say, "Let your kid with a disability be a kid. Don't shelter them, don't keep anything back. Let them live their life." Treat them like you would your nondisabled child. And don't let them look at the disability as a crutch. Don't let them do that. Trust me.

What advice for success would you add to Randy's list?