My Life with Multiple Disabilities
When I was around 11 years old, we discovered that I had significant vision loss. I started using accessibility products for people with low vision, but originally refused to use a mobility cane because I didn’t think I needed one—I was used to how I saw and traversed the world. I didn’t use one until I was 15 and I received an assessment that recommended that I use one. At first I was unsure, but I decided to be optimistic and at least try out the idea of using a cane. So, I gave it a try. The first place I went to try out the cane was the mall because I thought that would be busy and an excellent chance to see how people reacted to the cane and how I felt about it in the large crowds. I couldn’t believe the benefits I experienced from using it. I was less stressed, and was even able to enjoy myself. So, now I use a cane whenever I am out in public.
I have cerebral palsy as a result of a stroke in the womb. I would say that this disability has impacted my life the most, but it is also the one that I forget about more often because I’m so used to adapting to anything in my life. Some things I have adapted to doing “differently” than most people are putting on a shirt, tying my shoes, and washing my hands. I also wear orthotics that help my mobility so I can move without pain. DO-IT Summer Study has helped me a lot with my disabilities from the technology and the support they have given me so far.
I also have partial company seizures, which means I have non-convulsive seizures. So if you see me having a seizure, I would just look like I am staring off into space. I have small seizures almost every day but about once a month I have a more intense seizure where my vision goes out and I am unaware of anything for about 2 to 3 minutes. Someone usually leads me to the couch or my bed and I lie down for about an hour. After that I am usually fully recovered and ready to go on with the day.
In conclusion, the disabilities I have are quite significant, but I have learned to adapt to them since they are the only life I know!