I am not a campaigner!
I know this statement sounds strange but the truth is I am not. I do not believe the world owes me something because I am autistic, dyslexic, with depression and spinal problems. I know the world does not work in a way where those in need get what they need. However, some people think that because I blog that I am a campaigner.
The truth behind what I do however, is not so much campaigning but more PR.
The disabled community has two things against them.
The first thing is that when someone with disabilities wants to work it is hard to find someone who will hire them. Obviously work places can not discriminate on disability grounds but we all know that if two candidates with the same qualifications and experience go for a job, it is more likely that the one without disabilities will get the job.
Then if someone with a disability gets a job they lose the support that they need to survive from the government. There are benefits that I could be on with advice given to me that if I stopped working I could get them. But unless I am willing to give up work I am not allowed them. How fair is this? Your telling someone who wants to work who would be entitled to the benefit that they have to loose the purpose in their life to get the help they need.
The other thing we have against us is our own community. There are people out there juts like in all communities who will say “fuck it I am disabled I don’t have to ever work again”. Because of this attitude when they are made to work they leave such a bad taste in their employers mouths that the next person who has that disability will get “oh no not another one”.
So what can we do?
I choose to role model myself in to how I would like people to view me both personally and professionally. I tell my team what sets me off, what of me can be changed and what can’t and I have open and honest dialogue with people.
I tell everyone that if I do something to upset you then I need them to explain it to me not just say “oh she is autistic” or “she has depression”. This works for no one.
I am as open and honest as I know how to be so that when the next person has my job, if they have depression, autism, physical disabilities, dyslexia the word my team say is not going to be “oh not another one” but in fact “Yes we have another one”.
Only we can change how people view us. Only we can show them that we are as good as those without disability. We don’t need campaigners, we need people willing to go out and show the world, disability does not mean we are useless.
So my challenge to all those with disabilities. Go out, find a way to show the world the amazing things that you can do. Show the world your amazing gifts that your disability gives you. We all have something. Don’t hide it but show the world the amazingness that is you.