Speaker with Disabilities
Adopting an Attitude of humorous acceptance turned my disability from a crises to a calling. Having an attitude of helpful acceptance toward my disability not only helps me adapt to my situation, this Attitude helps me me to make my living as a speaker with disabilities.
Approximately half of my talks are to places set up to enrich the lives of people with disabilities. Humor is super helpful, in all the speaking I do, but especially when speaking on serious topics like disabilities.
My education in the power of Attitudes began one spring afternoon. Like thousands of other concert goers, I planned to meet a friend and go to the concert, but when my girlfriend and I were together, time flew.
Before I knew it, I was late. Uh oh, gotta go. Kissing Cheryl one more time, I gunned my motorcycle out of the driveway then raced down the street to meet my concert buddy. I should have slowed down but I sped up.
Trees, houses, parked cars whipped by on either side. The wind in my face made me feel free, happy, powerful, in control! Wham! I never even saw the truck that ran a stop sign right in front of me. Someone called 911. I had so much internal hemorrhaging, my blood pressure read zero. Paramedics pulled pressure pants on me to squeeze blood up to my heart and loaded me in the aid car. They raced to Harborview Hospital. Now who was in control?
My initial perspective on disabilities, the perspective I had before I learned the power of acceptance,when I woke from my month long coma and realized that my crash fractured my skull, bruised my brain stem, ruptured my spleen and smashed my face was fear, resentment, self pity and a constant depression mixed with anger.
After five months in the hospital, they sent me home and I started outpatient therapy. A year later, they exchanged some of my therapy time for voc rehab.
Disabilities and Voc Rehab
Voc Rehab is crucial! Finding fulfilling work is one of the most important pieces in the puzzle of life.
If you’re an employer who has yet to hire a Person With a Disability, if you have enough interest in helping a PWD shape their own future to actually do some research, you will discover a world of possibilities. Besides state and federal support, it is likely that the PWD will prove to be an asset. You can’t always judge a book by it’s cover.
The obstacles between a PWD and being hired come in the form of myths that are believed by potential employers.
The first myth, the most important one to get over, is being so sure that people with D could be of no value to your organization that you’re not even willing to give them a chance. Forming opinions about things that are unfamiliar is so common a mistake that a world wide group of people have adopted a quote that describes the results of this tendency.
The quote goes like this: “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”