I wanted to give my readers a little bit of information about me, and why I started this blog. There are so many reasons that I wanted to share my experiences with you and so much I cannot wait to share. Everything from my adventures to my wild artistic endeavors. I want to show that being disabled does not stop you from living your dreams.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in the Fall of 2008. Since then I have been working to spread awareness and acceptance of the impacts and struggles of being afflicted with a life-altering autoimmune disease. I also suffer from PTSD and Anxiety. I was also recently diagnosed with a myriad of spinal and back issues, including degenerative disc disease and arthritis, as well as some cognitive difficulties after a vehicular accident.
I am fortunate enough to only need to utilize mobility devices on occasion (usually because the pinched nerves in my back and my cognitive issues sometimes cause me to trip and fall) but I do rely on the help of my service dog and spouse constantly. Unfortunately, the impact of these diagnoses has opened my eyes to the world I live in, that often is inaccessible and ableist. Because I need a service dog, I have experienced ableism and discrimination in many forms. I have been denied access and harassed because of my service dog. My need for mobility devices has shown me how difficult it is to maneuver in the community, and has shown me how inconsiderate people can be to those that are disabled.
My hope is to spread hope and awareness through my experiences of an active and creative life with disabilities (and a service dog). I am also hoping to foster a sense of companionship, support, and community through my blog. Since we enjoy traveling and living an artistic lifestyle I am hoping that my experiences and adventures can inspire and help others navigate their disabilities and feel that they have an ally. I have also experienced many interesting things with a disability (both with and without my service dog), including travels to unique museums and attractions, and other creative venues.
Before attending certain events, I would have appreciated knowing what others with a disability experienced before going so I could have an idea of what to expect, and what accessibility options there were. Sadly, there wasn’t a lot of reliable and personal information out there, and I am hoping to change that! Despite all public places following ADA laws, some have different accessibility options for varying needs. I have noticed that in some places mobility devices are difficult to use, others are very difficult for service dog handlers to navigate. Some locations were even difficult for me to be able to take care of my diabetic needs as well. Knowing beforehand what an experience may be like for someone that is disabled and that may need accommodations can help ease anxiety and concerns so that the experience is a positive one.
I don’t have a lot of knowledge with other forms of accessibility for those that may have autism, visual impairments, hearing impairments, etc. However, I am open to having others share their experiences through my blog so PLEASE reach out to me so I can feature your story! I am going to do my best to investigate what the aspects of accessibility are like for all levels. I am also hoping to foster community and public relationships to better have accessibility questions answered and investigated as well as having additional support. I believe that individuals of all abilities deserve to live the life they want, as actively as they want.
As a last side note. I’m also an artist and writer, so you may also be seeing posts that embody those parts of my life as well. Almost all of my outfits, costumes, and jewelry are crafted by either myself or my wife, and often Baymax will match. I am always open to kind, constructive criticism, so please feel free to comment and reach out to me.
Until we meet again, remember that if you can dream it, you can do it!