Watch the documentary here: https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000008248706/my-disability-roadmap.html?fbclid=IwAR2vk2Enj5LzIXLDWYYtfCn7VxTuO97eHEkTMRw81EnMhD757NlkgSiXfzEhttps://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000008248706/my-disability-roadmap.html?fbclid=IwAR2vk2Enj5LzIXLDWYYtfCn7VxTuO97eHEkTMRw81EnMhD757NlkgSiXfzE
I had the opportunity to watch Dan and Samuel Habib’s new film called My Disability Roadmap today and was pleased to see the various mentors that Samuel interviewed and their unique perspectives. He interviews people like Keith Jones, Judy Heumann, and Bob Williams, who share their perspectives on living with a disability and transitioning to adulthood.
I am a young adult with Cerebral Palsy, just like Samuel. Issues such as dating, employment, and independent living have been on my mind since I was still in high school. I’ve always wanted to live an active life and participate in my community. It is challenging for anyone to figure out adulthood, even more so when living with a disability.
One of the biggest challenges I have faced as I’ve grown up is that some people talk down to me or assume that I cannot understand them. I’m 22-years-old and deserve to be treated like any other young woman. Having Cerebral Palsy doesn’t mean that I cannot understand somebody when they talk to me. Other times, people will talk to my parents or PCAs instead of me. I am capable of having conversations with people and answering questions.
Like Samuel, I am fortunate to have a community of family members, friends, and support professionals who help me live life with CP to the fullest. My family has always supported me and encouraged me to follow my dreams. My friends and support staff are always there for me. I am very fortunate to have such a wonderful community. Having dedicated support staff allowed me to move into my own apartment in 2020. This was a dream come true for me.
In the future, I hope to become employed and perhaps get married and have kids. Navigating relationships has been particularly challenging. A couple of years ago, I set up an online dating profile, but people weren’t really interested in getting to know me. The thought of being intimate with somebody is frightening to me.
Figuring out the future when you have a disability is challenging. I am glad My Disability Roadmap showcases some of the challenges that young adults with disabilities face. Despite our challenges, we can live our lives to the fullest.
Nice, Grace- I appreciate your writing. Your voice is strong and needs to be heard!