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Work placement with RNIB

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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…

White Cane Vs Yellow Stick

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This blog post was first featured on the Our Disability Community:

Having multiple mobility aids can be tricky, especially when both are needed. Yet it can be even harder when you can only use one at once. I've used a walking stick for about 4 years and it is safe to say that I've relied on it fairly heavily. Aside from giving it a name (Peppa and Albert) it has allowed me to walk further with less falls- not to mention the fact it was purple and then yellow! Then the long cane made an appearance last October. With my eyesight deteriorating and being registered as partially sighted in March 2017 the long cane has now been on the scene for about 8 months, it too has been an invaluable mobility aid when given the chance.


But how can someone use a stick one day and then a cane the next? Also, how do you decide which one to use?

Granted, I know it is theoretically possible to use both at once, two hands and two aids, but try telling my left hand that! I'm pretty sure if I tried m…

What is it like to have a PA?

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Since coming to university two years ago I have had a Personal Assistant (PA) to help me with various daily tasks which has allowed me to live independently away from home, attend university and socialise with friends. It feels very odd to think they have been in my life for only two years as I cannot imagine life without their support as it has allowed me to do so much. It definitely is not part of the normal university experience, but it has been fundamental in my experience.
But what is it actually like to have a PA?
Over the years I have adjusted, and it is probably more of an adjustment then you think. You get very close to who ever is supporting you, and it is probably fair to say they see you more then they see their own family sometimes. To begin with it can be so hard to define the role of a PA, with them being there to help you but not constantly look after you. On the other hand, their role may differ slightly from day to day depending on what is required. On Monday I could …

An ‘old’ young woman with Cerebral Palsy

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*This blog post first featured as an article for Scope*

My name is Chloe Tear, I am 20 years old and am studying Psychology and Child Development. I have mild Cerebral Palsy that affects my legs and left arm, as well as being registered as partially sighted. In my free time I am a blogger and freelance writer, with my platform being called ‘Life as a Cerebral Palsy student’ which I have written for the last 5 years. My blog can be found at: www.cpstudentblog.blogspot.co.uk
What do you see when you look at me? Do you see a young woman who is at university and having fun with her family and friends? Or do you see an old woman who can be hunched over with a walking stick and who’s eyesight is decreasing way beyond her years?

I hope it was the initial option, yet I am likely to be the first to joke at how much of an ‘old woman’ I can be. Laughing about certain aspects of my disability may seem criminal to some. However, making light of a situation can encourage a more open outlook and make …

Why do I describe myself as wobbly?

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A few weeks ago I was participating in Student Council at university. The training was to prepare us for the next academic year as we had been elected for a role within the Student Union. For me, this is the role of Disabilities Officer. At the start of the training we were asked to describe ourselves in a few word. I said the first word that came to mind: wobbly
Despite being a way to introduce my disability to a room of almost strangers, it does sum me up pretty well. It wasn't like I felt the need to explain my disability (after all, I was there because I had just been elected for the position of Disabilities Officer) but I do tend to use humour in most situations. Yes, there is a time to be all serious, but if you can laugh about something then why not? Joking about your disability can help to normalise it in a social situation, but also shows other you are quite open about it and it isn't such a big deal. I hope I come across as open and that others feel they could ask m…

5 years for 'Life as a Cerebral Palsy student'

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25th March 2013- 25th March 2018
The work of a mere moment, now most of you will know how this blog began- yet it's intentions were not to be here 5 years later. I am proud to be able to say I am the writer of this blog and I am proud of what it has enabled me to achieve. To put it simply- I was lost. I was always supported and this support from family is something I am very lucky to have, but I was still lost. Stuck between what I wanted my body to do and what I was capable of achieving.


Up to this point I had been able to keep up with friends, with the disabling affects of Cerebral Palsy being pretty minimal. I was not particularly a fan of splints when I was younger but I just accepted that they were there. At the age of fifteen CP had resigned to a back seat and that's how I liked it. However, the back seat was no longer good enough- how could I justify the pain I was in or the fact that keeping up with the able- bodied appearance was no longer as easy as it once was.
I gu…

Eye can do this...

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As most of you probably know, I'm registered as partially sighted and have been for a year now- it's gone super fast! They say having a disability can be a bit of a rollercoaster, and having a visual impairment is no exception to this. You will have fantastic highs, daunting lows and tight corners that come out of nowhere. Much like a rollercoaster, it is just one big loop that keeps on going!
Last night was a combination of a tight corner that came out of nowhere and an abruped downward slope that’s taken me by surprise. Resulting in an ugly crying session, hugs and hot chocolate. I haven’t really got upset about my eyesight before. Yeah, there has been the odd moment of reflection, but I often didn’t have time to dwell on it for long. When I was officially diagnosed as partially sighted it was a bit of a shock, and when I got my cane it was also a bit of a shock- yet somehow I wasn’t too fazed by these changes to my life. Maybe because I am used to a range of mobility equipme…