The Importance of Disability Representation in Everyday Life

How to Prepare for Plans going Awry:

Some people know exactly how they want their life to go. They picture the perfect wedding, the perfect house, the perfect job and children. They expect things will go according to plan. However, while have a plan can be helpful, not everything can be perfect.

As a disabled person, things don’t always go according to plan. This is something that I have to prepare for. This can be due to chronic pain, inaccessibility, and even just exhaustion. However, there are things one can do to help prepare for unexpected situations

  1. Build a support network: Surround yourself with supportive family members, friends, or caregivers who understand your needs and can offer assistance when required. Having a reliable support system can make a significant difference in handling unexpected situations.
  2. Research and plan ahead: Educate yourself about resources, organizations, and services available for disabled individuals in your community. Stay informed about disability rights, accessible transportation, healthcare options, and emergency services. Knowledge of these resources can help you navigate unexpected challenges more effectively.
  3. Create an emergency plan: Develop a contingency plan for emergencies that takes into account your specific needs. Consider factors such as accessible evacuation routes, communication methods, medical requirements, and necessary equipment. Share this plan with your support network, ensuring they are aware of their roles and responsibilities in case of an emergency.
  4. Maintain open communication: Clear and effective communication is crucial in preparing for unexpected situations. Regularly communicate with your support network, healthcare professionals, and relevant authorities to discuss your needs, concerns, and any changes in your circumstances. This ongoing dialogue can help everyone involved stay prepared and respond appropriately to unexpected events.
  5. Prioritize self-care: Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is essential. Engage in activities that promote relaxation, stress reduction, and overall wellness. Develop coping strategies to manage the emotional impact of unexpected situations, such as seeking support from a therapist or joining support groups for disabled individuals.
  6. Adaptive equipment and technology: Explore adaptive devices, tools, and assistive technology that can enhance your independence and functionality in various situations. Research and invest in equipment that can help you overcome specific challenges you may face.
  7. Stay flexible and resilient: Adaptability is key when dealing with unexpected situations. Cultivate a mindset that embraces change and seeks alternative solutions. Recognize that setbacks or deviations from your plans are not failures but opportunities for growth and learning.

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About Me

Hi, my name is Sabrina; I grew up in Mill Valley, California, and I love to visit when possible. I now live in Los Angeles, California.

Growing up using a wheelchair I knew my life would be very different. But I didn’t see people that looked like me until I started playing wheelchair basketball as a teenager. Then, in college, the visibility of disabilities grew (in my opinion and experience).

After graduation, I worked for the Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust, which helps people with disabilities supplement their government benefits with affordable, professional special needs trust services.

After leaving that job, I eventually got my paralegal certificate and currently work in Family Law.

Throughout my life, I realized the importance of representation and of people who look like you and have a similar experience. My experience as a wheelchair user may be different than others, but it may prove helpful for someone else.

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