Posts

Not so superhuman now!

Image
I feel like it has been a lifetime since I have done a life update, probably because they don't seem to do as well. However, that is what you are getting today! I am somehow in my final year of university and the first semester is coming to an end. Not to mention it's nearly Christmas!
Over the years I have been asked: How do you do it all? How do you manage to write a blog and study? However, I am no super human, I have no magic wand and I am yet to freeze time. I have written this blog for five and a half years, if you have been around that long (congratulations!) then you'll know I started my GCSE's at the same time. Writing a blog and studying is no easy task. Yet I have somehow managed to keep a consistent two posts a month for about 3 years. However, I am increasingly finding myself getting to the 20th of the month and panicking. What do I write? How will this blog post be different to the others? Don't get me wrong, I love to write. I think it is the one thi…

UK Blog Awards 2019

Image
Hello!

How are you all doing? Just thought I would put together a short piece about a very exciting announcement!

I have been nominated for a UK Blog Award!

To be recognised at this level is a huge honour and it is amazing to know that your blog is a source of education for others. It is also super exciting to be alongside non- disabled bloggers and to have my content recognised as an equal. The aim of my blog has always been to raise honest awareness about what it is like to live with a disability, I hope I do achieve that aim. Your vote and continued support would mean a great deal!

Simply click here, voting literally takes 2 seconds!

Ps. I apologise for the amount of exclamation marks in this post. The excitement is too much!!!

~ Chloe x

When you realise the whole world doesn't have Cerebral Palsy

Image
This may seem fairly obvious, of course the whole world doesn't have Cerebral Palsy! If we did then it would be a very wobbly place indeed! Just imagine the queue for lifts or how the sale of walking sticks would rocket. Maybe then the world might become accessible...


All joking aside, this is something I do sometimes forget.

I'm currently laid in bed after a day in London, I had an absolutely amazing time but my back, hips and knees are throbbing and I am hoping pain killers will kick in so I can actually get some sleep. I am wondering how I will feel tomorrow. I have a 9am lecture so I am hoping I will recover overnight and will be okay enough to sit through a lecture without too much discomfort. I also know this is wishful thinking and I will struggle to get out of bed. I have mentally scheduled time to lay down after my lecture in an attempt to get through the day in one piece. Thankfully I have no plans after my lecture so this will be more time to recuperate. However, th…

Disability and language

Image
Language and the words we use affect every aspect of our lives. Some would even argue that political correctness has gone mad and is currently out of control. However, today I am focusing on a very small section of language- the words we use to describe disability. Granted, this isn't a small area and I can already see that I have opened a can of worms, but this is my take on the large spectrum of disability and language.
Firstly, disability is not a bad word. You are allowed to say that someone has a disability and it is not something to be ashamed about. I've had people almost whisper the word 'disabled' at me as if I didn't already know, or that saying it out loud would make the individual curl up in a ball and cry. Don't worry, the fact I am disabled is not a secret! I believe sometimes people just don't want to get things wrong and I appreciate that. In the words of Stella Young, you've been sold the lie that disability is a bad thing. When in real…

Working as an intern at Scope

Image
You finish university for summer, all assignments are handed in and you feel free. You may have holiday's planned, a list of exciting adventures and can't wait to catch up with friends you haven't seen in a long time. I very fortunately can say I did all of that over summer, I also embarked on a 3- month internship at Scope.
Finding employment when you have a disability can be incredibly difficult. Aside from employers being less inclined to hire us in the first place, we need to find something that we would be able to do. I know there are jobs out there that I would be very capable at, but finding something part- time alongside studies has always been a challenge. In all fairness, I have never gone out of my way to find a job when I have been at university. My studies, writing a blog and various other commitments keep me busy enough! However, many of my friends who have jobs while at university all have similar roles: bar work, cafe's and retail. As much as I would lo…

A disability advocate who wishes to hide her disability

Image
Being a disability advocate, blogger, campaigner and public speaker is a personal choice. I choose to write a blog and to share my experiences with other. I also choose to stand up for others and would like to see a positive change within society. However, there are also times when I wish I could hide my disability and pretend it wasn't there.
Now I realise the title probably doesn't make sense. Being an advocate has meant I have put myself out there, it means I have shared aspects of my life that many people choose to keep private. Surely you have to be completely confident about having a disability to disclose this kind of information on the internet? You couldn't be more wrong. I know there is nothing wrong about having a disability and I am extremely proud to be able to do the work that I do, but even disability advocates need a break. 
There are times when you wish you didn't have a disability. Even if this is just a fleeting thought in the back of your mind. Ther…

Let’s get down to business: #WhatMakesMe

Image
Summer is almost a distant memory, I move back to university in less than a week and I am wondering if it is too early for hot water bottles! Believe it or not, I am about to start my final year of university- and final year of education for that matter. If you follow me on social media, then you will probably have seen that this summer has been far from boring! I somehow have managed two holidays, seen Wicked, had seven articles published, spoke at a conference, caught up with friends, been to a festival, met Vicky Pattison and spent two months working as the online community intern at Scope! By the sounds of it I will be going back to university for a rest. Before I move back into halls and things get serious I thought I would write a something a little different.


Gem Turner, a fellow Leeds disability blogger and all-around amazing woman, tagged me in her #WhatMakesMe blog post and challenged me to do the same. We all have parts of our identity that make up who we are, so why not sha…

What do I want able- bodied people to know?

Image
When you have a disability there will be certain aspects of your life that abled- bodied people won't be able to relate to. This isn't necessarily because they aren't trying or because they choose to alienate disabled people, there are just some things that can be hard to get your head around. However, as a disabled person in the 21st century there will be things that the general public can do to create a more inclusive environment.

Generalising the attitudes and behaviours of able- bodied people would be the same as generalising that every disabled person is the same. I know not all able- bodied will contribute to what I am about to say and if you don't then I am very thankful for this. This is merely my experiences and some of the things I would like you to know, with reassurance from other disability campaigners that I am not alone with these thoughts.
1. We often feel excluded
How we are viewed within society can make us feel excluded. There almost seems to be a sep…

When Cerebral Palsy comes to the festival...

Image
It is two weeks after I attended my first festival and I absolutely loved the experience. Despite still recovering (or at least I think it is the festival I am recovering from) a blog post needs to be put together to document my thoughts.
I attended YNot Festival in Derbyshire on the 27th- 29th July and the only phase that seems to come to mind is "what a night!" from Mamma Mia. It is safe to say the experience was a positive one. However, you cannot leave Cerebral Palsy at home when you choose to go on such adventures and despite the perks it may bring, it is not the easiest thing in the entire world. Sometimes it would be a whole lot easier to leave it at home for a weekend, let CP rest in bed while you go out and have fun...

Despite this, accessibility at the YNot Festival was really good! On arrival I received a PA wristband for my friend and we camped in the accessible campsite which was a lot closer than general camping. The weekend brought sun, wind and rain- but in tr…

Cane Adventures: 12 months later

Image
It seems very odd to say that I have had my cane for a year, because it really doesn't feel like that long. Initially, I had intended to wait until October to write this post due to not really using my cane until then. However, I guess not using it, and the reasons behind that, are all part of the journey that I have been on. Also, it is the 150th anniversary for RNIB and I felt this post could work alongside the stories they have been publishing and follow that theme.
I had briefly known about getting a cane before I was first introduced to one, but even then it seemed unexpected and unneeded. It was first mentioned by an ECLO (Eye Clinic Liaison Officer) after I described the things that had changed as my vision deteriorated and the things that were starting to be problematic. However, holding one made it seem all so real. No more hiding a visual impairment behind glasses. I have say, it was slightly heavier then I first anticipated and getting the hang of it took a while. It ta…

To pace or not to pace, the art of getting through life with chronic pain

Image
When you have a disability or chronic illness it can be vital to pace yourself so that you get through the week in one piece. However, I’m currently on the train to London and about to speak at a conference. So, you could say I am falling at the first hurdle!
When I was about 15 years old I started to get involved with more health specialists like occupational therapists and pain management teams. They all loved the word ‘pacing’. Long before this word was introduced to me I had already been pacing myself to some extent. In a nutshell it’s about not over doing it. If you have a busy Tuesday, then be sure to have a relaxing Wednesday to recover from the adventure. For the most part I follow these guidelines and have become pretty good at planning things that are a little spaced out. 
But life doesn’t always follow this rule.
What if loads of exciting things come up at once, or I have two day trips in a row? Sometimes I would be sensible and choose which one I wanted to do most, sometimes …

Going on holiday with Cerebral Palsy

Image
After finishing my second year of university I couldn't wait to go on holiday. With my health improving it meant I could get travel insurance a lot easier and therefore wasn't going to miss this opportunity. I was fortunate enough to go to Spain with my family and then go to Portugal with my best friend. However, going on holiday with Cerebral Palsy can be a little different, but that should deter you from going away.


Before the holiday
How we all wish we could spontaneously jump on a plane, fly to somewhere warm and be on holiday, but some level of planning beforehand is vital. Like I have just mentioned, travel insurance was a lot easier to get this year compared to the past. Unfortunately, being hospitalised more than once in a period of 12 months can be extremely problematic when you want to leave the country! I would still recommend looking at comparative sites to ensure you get the best deal and that they are fully aware of your medical needs. Next on the planning list wa…

Work placement with RNIB

Image
Part of my university degree is to complete a six-week placement at the end of your second year. With my degree being in psychology and child development, it will come as no surprise that most of the cohort end up in schools or nurseries. However, after thinking about the career I would like after university, and looking at the experience I already had, I felt something a little different would be more appropriate. 
This is where RNIB came in. The charity support blind and partially sighted people in many ways and I had worked on campaigns with them in the past. I felt doing a placement with RNIB would allow me to be on the other side of the charity, as well as support others in a more journalism kind of way. By doing so it would mean I would be moving slightly away from psychology, moving away from children and just get more experience in that field in general. After being in touch it was decided I would work two weeks in each role: connect, fundraising and campaigns.

For the most part…