Her words compelled us to challenge our attitudes.
Her words compelled us to challenge our attitudes.
Stella Young has died at the age of 32. She was a much loved writer, commentator, comedian and disability activist. Her words caused people to think and ask questions. They were funny but also wise. She gave an influential TEDx talk and was editor of the ABC ’s Ramp Up website. She wrote many memorable articles including two letters to herself. Stella was a passionate advocate for a lot of important causes. She achieved a great deal and will be sadly missed.
The Haven is a supported and permanent home for people with mental illness, particularly those with schizophrenia. It opened in 2011 with the help of many individuals, companies and the government. There are 14 people who live there, including me. We each have our own unit. I have my own space and privacy. However we encouraged to mix. There is a communal living area where we get together to play table tennis, monopoly, and enjoy cooking groups. For many of us The Haven stands out for being the best place in the world.
Ignorance is no excuse for accusing someone of "faking" a disability.
People can dismiss the disabilities of others or accuse them of faking. They may think those with a disability are weak. Or they don't try hard enough to get better. T.V shows have characters that fake their disability. If people watch them they can become suspicious we are faking ours too. People expect disabilities to be visible, but some medical conditions are hard to see. If people can't see them they might doubt they exist. Some people like to think they are too strong or clever to get a disability. They don't understand it's by chance someone becomes disabled.
Meeting Phil has helped me to realise that love can overcome anything.
Phil and I met through Zora's Explorers, a social group for blind and vision impaired people. Our first date was at Hahndorf's Fine Chocolates in Montrose. We got on very well. Eight months later, Phil proposed to me. He did it the traditional way, going down on one knee. I was very happy. We married on 9th of March, 2013. We accept each other for who we are. I'm totally blind and hearing-impaired. Phil has mild Acquired Brain Injury. But together, we make a great team.
Technology and the internet can be important tools when it comes to engaging and educating children.
As a practicing counsellor, I am always looking for opportunities to develop professionally. Attending workshops or reading text books helps me both at work and at home, as I have 3 young children. I attended a workshop last April called 'Engaging Kids Today, it's not just about iPads' by well known speaker, Dan Haesler. He spoke about engaging kids with technology, online programs and mobile applications. When I returned home, I discussed what I had learned with my middle son, Magnus. He was pleased that I had made the effort to learn more about the things he enjoys.
Anne has found wisdom in living a slow and simple life
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a poorly understood medical condition. It affects people differently. Everyone who has it experiences severe fatigue. Ann has lived with CFS for sixteen years. She has had to change her outlook and her activities to manage her illness. She has also had to confront negative opinions about CFS from other people. Ann is lucky to have the support of her family and friends. Over time, she has learned to accept and appreciate her new way of living. She has found wisdom in her slow and simple life.
Radio is only one of many important growing-up rules on which we parents need to decide for our children.
Recently, my elder son Bernhard turned on the radio at home and in the car without asking me for permission. He is 11 years old and has discovered the world of radio. I cannot hear the radio but it has never bothered me in the past. But now that radio concerns my delightful children, it does bother me. I wanted to know what sort of songs, music, and news items they would be hearing. I wanted to raise them well, and did not want them exposed to age inappropriate radio or TV. I needed to find out more.
Cooking a simple meal can sometimes have unexpected consequences
One day I was cooking chicken steaks for dinner. Soon after placing the tray in the oven, I smelt something burning. I opened the door to remove the tray. Smoke filled my lungs. I threw water on the flames to extinguish it. The smoke detector was going off. My neighbour raced over to help. We opened up the house to let in some fresh air. It turned out that a piece of paper had caused the fire. The experience was a lesson in always being careful in the kitchen. It also showed me what wonderful neighbours I have.
Kate has tunnel vision and night blindness. In 2010, Kate became pregnant with twins. This made Kate and her husband very happy. Kate says the experience was also scary. She had a planned delivery. Because Kate was giving birth to twins, it was a risky pregnancy. Fortunately, Aurora and Abigail were born in a healthy condition. Because of her vision-impairment, Kate is cautious. She only goes to places that she knows are safe. When at home, everything is locked up and dangerous items are always put away. Kate says parenting is hard at times, but also rewarding.
Margie and Lois have taken the same train line to work for the last five years. For the first couple of years, they only ever smiled and said hello to each other. Margie would step to the side when Lois boarded the train to give her some space. Lois, who has cerebral palsy, stopped taking the train one day and Margie was worried. Days later, Margie saw Lois coming towards her in a bright scooter and from that day on they have become firm friends and always check up on each other via email.