Thursday, April 20, 2017

Talking To People

Talking to people is hard for me. My speech is a pain because you can't understand me when I speak. Sometimes my family and friends can't understand me never mind strangers. I have to say things over and over again or try explaining things a new way to help others navigate what I'm saying. It's ok because I'm used to it, this always been my "normal"..... But sometimes I wish I could talk like other people do and have a conversation without struggling my way through it. 

As I was reflecting on my communication struggles I came up with an idea; I want to make an app for people who can't talk like me. It will have a lot of pre-made common sentences that you can press and let the app speak for you. I want to go downtown and open up conversations with strangers and see if they talk to me or walk away. 

I will do it all over the summer. Hooray for a new project to keep me busy!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Another FUN day with Access

This is my pet peeve for the day:

What do you do if you have to line on someone to pick you up? Every week I go out three times: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and I need nine trips with Access for that. On Wednesday I go to the gym to work out, and than I go to the mall to work on my writing. Last night I phoned Access to see what time is for my ride for the next day. It said that I have three trips for today: the first one between 8:10 - 8:30 am to pick me from my house, the second one to pick me from the gym at 10:30-10:50 am and than the last one to pick me up from the mall between 2:05 to 2:25pm. 

So last night was fine, but in the morning I gut up and get ready and I went down stairs because I live in an apartment and I always go down five minutes before my window starts. I went down around 8:05 am. At 8:30 a phoned to double check my pick-up for today.They told me that I have two rides today so I went back upstairs to tell my roommate what happened.  She called to talk to someone on my behalf and they said that i was canceled . My roommate told them that she called last night and it was ok and she asked if they can get me another buss for this morning.  They  said to hold on and they will find another buss. They came back after a couple of minutes later and ask if I can go in a cab. I was a little upset because I used Access for 18 years and I couldn't understand why they couldn't send a bus instead of a cab for me. They are supposed to know that I can't take my power wheelchair with me in the cab. So I messaged my facilitator to tell her what happened and explain that I will be late. I also mentioned that I'll be comming in my manual wheelchair. She helped push me around and I'm so grateful for her help. It's ok but I love my other wheelchair more because I can go whatever I want and I don't have to rely on people. 

I really hope that other people don't have the same experience as me.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Don't Call Me One of "Them"

This is something that's been on my mind for a while now and I want to get it off my chest. I receive support three times a week where someone accompanies me out in the community. I start my day off with a workout at the gym. Occasionally there are a couple of other people who have disabilities as well. The people at the gym have embraced me and my differences and treat me like any other member. After I finish my workout I go to the mall.

 My worker and I go up to the food court and work on whatever I have on the go. Sometimes there are several other people with disabilities. I try to stay away from them because of how they are perceived by the general public. I don't want people to associate me with them. The most unfortunate part is that it's not their fault. I blame the workers assisting them. They are often not engaged with the person or just flat out ignoring them. It sends a strong message that the individual isn't worthy of someone's time/ attention. It also leaves the impression that they don't have much of a life and they simply spend their days sitting in malls. It's assumed that they don't have the capacity to communicate or contribute anything to society. It hits close to home for me because sometimes I wonder if I had another kind of disability, would I be in the same boat? Would I be subject to a life of people ignoring me and seeing me as a burden? 

Well I've decided to do some of my own investigating! Next month, I am going downtown to see if I can get people to talk to me. I want to see if I can open up a conversation as a person who has a disability. I hope it opens up people's preconceived notions of what it means to go through life with a disability. I hope I can have some good conversations at the very least!