"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
Keep putting our hearts together, and we can achieve anything. -SR
Thank you NPR & PBS for bringing taboo, uncomfortable, yet REAL life stories of disabled people to the surface.
*Instead of pretending that this isn't happening, please accept that it is, it has been for years, and with awareness which builds resources, we can stop this!*
Disabled people need Advocates to speak on their behalf if they are physically or mentally unable to do so. This means many of us rely on healthy people to help us! This NPR clip does not talk about physical disabilities and how in some, such as CHD, they create neurological damage and therefore make many of have learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities as well. However, maybe they could make one for all disabilities in the future! We need to educate them for them to raise awareness.
Please stop caring what other people think and help people who cannot help themselves, it takes one second to share information like this either by Social Media or E-mail, or both.
You may never know how many people you are helping, and that's okay. Just have faith you are helping! <3
Awareness and the resources it will create, will help people who did not have a choice to be born into this life with no voice, or without the energy to go out and raise hell to the people who will create change.
I will fight until my last breath for people who do not have a voice. I used to not have one too and I will never allow that to happen again now that I am an adult with a voice. I am fortunate enough to have the abilities that I now have. With the physical limitations I have due to growing older with HLHS, I can still sit here and help as much as I can from my computer or phone. When and if I have the strength to get out in the world more one day, I will. I'd love to travel and help people, but my body doesn't allow me to right now. We will see what the future holds. Until then, we all can help by sharing information, having faith it will create change.
THANK YOU NPR & PBS!
SHARING DOES HELP. IT CREATES AWARENESS. AWARENESS CREATES RESOURCES!
A little bit of my background in regards to the disabled community, except for having an invisible disability myself: Aside from being a CHD Advocate, I have been volunteering, advocating, coaching, and working with children and adults with several other disabilities since I was 15 years old. My mother managed Assisted Living Facilities and when I was 8 years old I began going to work with her and I got to help the elderly and disabled residents by playing games with them, exercising with them, and spending hours talking to them!! Which was my favorite part!! ;P
However, I also occasionally witnessed verbal abuse and neglect. When I was little I couldn't help them, but I could report it so those people would get fired. It was such a helpless feeling because I wanted these people to be the happiest people in the world and felt there needed to be a better system to guarantee the best caregivers!
When I became a teenager I began volunteering for Special Olympics, then as an adult became a multi-certified caregiver to children and adults with mental and physical disabilities while continuing to volunteer and coach for Special Olympics. As I got older I began hearing stories of physical and sexual abuse done by workers and caregivers. When I witnessed ANY verbal abuse or neglect, I'd always report them if I saw something. I never personally witnessed physical or sexual abuse but I heard several stories about it as a staff member in the disabled community. It is such an out of control feeling again that I would feel. There needs to be a better system to filter these horrible people out who get in the homes of the elderly and disabled and hurt them. I will continue to do everything I can do with the energy I was given to help spread awareness in hopes it will create resources and better systems, especially for people who need 24 hour care and have to hire caregivers through a company or organization who promises they have the best employees. At least now we have NannyCams and other security devices. However this doesn't STOP abusive people, but it can help deter them as a short term fix.
Once I have more availability and better health, I will eventually be focusing on Advocacy work for Abused Disabled People, and that is ALL disabilities. Invisible and visible. Mental and Physical. For many years I focused on interviewing CHD Adults, then over the past 2 years I expanded and have interviewed many people with other disabilities as well. Through this, I have learned that unfortunately I am not alone.
SO many of us were abused as children. Many of us continue to be as adults if we aren't physically or mentally strong enough to get out or get help, due to the lack of help or resources.
I promise you, if you were abused and feel helpless there IS hope to heal! I am living proof of this. Its choosing the fight for your life by asking someone to help you whether that be a therapist, a parent, a friend, a mentor, ANYONE to go through this journey with you. You are not alone unless you make yourself alone. I did that for many years, and it just makes things worse. One day one day I will have resources set up on my website, probably an organization, and who knows what else to help people with all disabilities through this life that feels impossible sometimes.
As always, I welcome anyone who wants to share their stories with me, however I am not solely focusing on this issue right now, but it doesn't mean it needs to be ignored in the mean time. Sometimes it does take me up to a month to reply to all of my messages, but you are welcome to write to me anytime! Who knows, one day we may work together! <3
"because change begins with a story"
*CHDLEGACY* Stephanie Romer
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