I worked as a deckhand on a boat in Victoria. We fished for abalone, a type of shellfish. My job was to pilot the boat to the fishing spot. I then had to shell the abalone the diver brought to the water's surface. The job was a lot of fun but could be scary because the ocean can change very quickly. One day I had to steer the boat towards a huge wave or it would be pushed onto the cliffs. The boat was pushed upwards and then into the air. The pay wasn't good and the job wasn't safe enough so I stopped after six months.
Peter is a quadriplegic and works as a mentor for people with spinal cord injuries. He helps patients who are often facing huge life changes after an accident or injury. A person with a spinal cord injury needs people to held them learn to do things again. He works with a team of mentors who all do different things. Some mentors teach people with spinal cord injuries how to do a specific activity. Other mentors help a patient to think about future plans. The mentors are dedicated to working with patients to build satisfying lives. Peter wants people to feel hope again.
Walking to the bus stop with my cane and eyes closed is good practice for when I lose all my vision. But now I am trying another method. It's called echolocation and it's about using your ears to hear an echo. It's believed some dolphins and whales use this method. It is also said that during heavy fog, ancient sailors rang a bell and used the echoes to locate where they were. Some people who are blind have taught themselves to use echoes. But it is mostly ignored as a mobility aid. I've tried it but I'm not having much luck.
Getting enough exercise has been difficult for me. As a child I exercised at my school. When I finished school I used to walk with a friend until she moved away. Later I joined the gym with a friend who also has cerebral palsy. It was very helpful for my fitness. But eventually I stopped going to gym. I was busy with studies and planning to get married. My family soon worried that walking was difficult for me. This year I have been going to the gym again. I feel much better and hope I always make time for exercise.
I was six years old. My back was very sore. I had to go to many doctors and have operations. I went to school in the hospital. One day I was having trouble reading. From that day on, I began losing my sight. When I first went blind I was afraid of steps and loud noises. But over time I grew used to being blind. My mind is full of images. I see sound in colour. Since losing my sight, my sense of touch has improved. I love breathing in the smells of nature and tasting various foods.
No-one likes to lose their job. I have a vision impairment and am facing the challenge of looking for work because my job finished up. It's tricky to apply for jobs by computer. I then need to get to the right place for the job interview. At one interview, all applicants were interviewed together. In an interview it's bad enough working with people you haven't met. When you can't see them either it's doubly hard. At another interview I had trouble even finding the front desk. Still I keep trying. I might not have a job yet, but I won't give up.
I needed to get a lot of dental work on my teeth. But I could not afford the thousands of dollars it would cost. My local public dental clinic had a three-year waiting list. So I rang the Melbourne Dental Hospital. The hospital's staff suggested I use their student teaching clinic. I then spent a lot of time on waiting lists. I also paid for some of my treatment and used the Australian Government's Chronic Disease Dental Scheme. Unfortunately this scheme is finishing at the end of the year. I am so glad the public dental system was there for me.
People have always lived in groups, or communities. Being part of a community is important for people. I like being involved in different communities. They are about connecting with each other. I belong to a yoga group and a mental health support group. It is an opportunity to make friends, have interesting discussions and help one another. There are community programs people can join. In the Street by Street program you can volunteer to help people in your neighbourhood. In The Sharehood program you share your time, skills and equipment to people nearby. I would like to start my own neighbourhood community.
The Judge Rotenberg Centre is a school in the United States. It has about 200 children and young adults with disabilities and behavioural problems. Students are shocked with electricity to stop bad behaviour. Many people want to see the electric shocks banned. In 2012 the United Nations asked the United States government to investigate the school. Some parents say the electric shocks have improved their children's behaviour. But experts say there are better ways to help children at the school and that electric shocks are a form of torture. Critics of the school would like to see it closed down but the school remains open.
Big Brother is a television show. It involves putting a bunch of people in a house and giving them no contact with the outside world for a few months. I dislike the show. But I think having a person with a physical disability on it is a great idea. The show is watched by many people in the community. So it may improve people's understanding of the life of a person with a disability. It could do this by showing all the everyday activities that a person with a disability must do.