Hi! My name is Chloe Tear, I am 19 years old and I'm a university student studying Psychology and Child Development. I have mild cerebral palsy which affects the left side of my body as a result of being born 8 weeks early and weighing 3lb 3oz, as well as epilepsy, chronic pain and impaired vision. During this blog, I will talk about what it’s like being a student who may face a few more hurdles than most. I hope you're able to follow my educational journey because anything can happen!
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National Diversity Award...
As many of you may know I was absolutely amazed to be nominated for a National Diversity Award back in April. The support which I have got from this has been overwhelming and all the votes have been heartwarming to read.
To be honest and truthful when spreading awareness is something that I believe to be extremely important. I am aware that the views that I hold are held my many disabled people who are in the exact same situation as myself, meaning we can all benefit from awareness on this topic. It means a great deal to me to be in a position where I am able to voice my opinion as there are others who are unable to do so. Being an advocate for others has increased my own confidence and in turn I hope the work that I do is able to support and encourage other people to voice their opinions or to remain positive when faced with adversity. Disability awareness is something that I am passionate about, especially the power to connect with other young people. When I was younger I did not know anyone who had Cerebral Palsy and found this extremely isolating. Therefore, the opportunity to reach out to people, letting them know that they are not alone and that having a disability does not have to be negative has been pivotal when carrying out some of my achievements.
Although my blog can support people with a disability, I hope it can act as a source of information to those who may be unaware of the effects of having a disability like Cerebral Palsy. Similarly, by talking about some of the more invisible things, like chronic pain, it can widen other people’s knowledge. It is vital that people who are able- bodied have a reliable source so they know the best way to support other people. On the other hand, I may have been nominated for such an award through my ability to look past barriers and attempting to turn experiences into opportunities to benefit myself and others.
For those of you who haven't already seen on my Facebook page (which can be found here) I am so grateful to be able to say that I have been shortlisted for a National Diversity Award and cannot wait to attend the award ceremony in September. The chance to be in a room full of people who are passionate and have a drive for their own cause is a chance I know will rarely occur. Within that room everyone is a worthy winner and to be around such positivity is so exciting, and of course a good excuse to buy a new dress!
I cannot thank everyone enough for voting and allowing me to get so far on a national scale!
In order for me to complete university away from home, and get to lectures in one piece- a PA (Personal Assistant) has been vital in me being able to be as independent as possible. I have actually enjoyed the process of hiring PA’s despite it being a little stressful to find one in time. Yet, when looking for a PA, it had to be someone who could drive as well as being capable to suit all of my needs. By having a car it would mean that I could get to hospital appointments easily. However, when advertising it was often extremely hard to find someone who was fairly young (not that this is essential!), was capable of the job, could drive and was okay being with people aged 19- 21 all of the time. After 30+ applications it became clear this was all quite a big ask! Who knows my full medical history? Who would have experience in Cerebral Palsy, seizures and visual impairment? Who can drive and wouldn’t mind being with young adults all day? Who would actually quite enjoy lectures? There is a…
Dear Chloe, You're currently 7 years old and are about to embark on a journey of a lifetime. This journey will show you the world in a completely new light, it will show you things you never thought you would see, and allow you to meet people you might otherwise have never met. Unfortunately, this journey is tough, it will test you past the limits you thought you had and cause so much frustration and upset- but you are capable of overcoming this, you can find tremendous joy in every aspect of your life. You have just been diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. You have never heard of this, and have no idea what it is! But don't worry- mum's done lots of research and has your back! These hospital appointments may seem strange, and unnecessary as you don't think anything is wrong, but it will all become clear with time. Ever wondered why you walk on your toes and fall over more than your friends? Ever wondered why you can't hop, struggle with maths and feel tired? Or hav…
I am a part-time wheelchair user, this means that one day I can use my chair, and the next I can be walking with my stick. Being able to use a wheelchair on a part-time basis allows me to managed my energy levels and reduce pain, allowing me to function more effectively in everyday life. I am exactly the same person whether I use my stick or my chair, so why does the behaviour of others sometimes change?
Over the last few years, I have noticed people act differently to me depending on the equipment that I am using at that time, yet it was when doing my food shopping, of all things, that made me realise what those differences were.
I've noticed that when I use my stick, people don't tend to mind. I sometimes get a few inquisitive looks as they tried to figure out why a 19- year- old is using a walking stick, but apart from that it is fine. People in shops talk to me, telling me how much the items cost and expect me to pay- good job really considering it is my food for the week…