Yesterday, I watched Dan and Samuel Habib’s new film, My Disability Roadmap. In the film, Samuel discusses a concept known as dignity of risk. Dignity of risk is about a person’s right to make their own decisions, take risks, and live the life they want.
Dignity of risk has become important to me as I’ve transitioned to adulthood. In December 2018, I went on my first trip without my parents. I went to a Boston Bruins game with my friends. My parents were nervous about letting me go to the game. I was nervous as well but decided to go to the game anyway. I was 19-years-old, and I felt ready to go somewhere without my parents.
On the first night in Boston, my friends and I exchanged Christmas gifts and watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I loved hanging out with my friends and staying up late. The following day we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel before heading to the TD Garden.
Four years later, I can proudly say I am glad that I went on the trip. I had fun watching the Boston Bruins beat the Nashville Predators. After the game, I went to my family’s Christmas celebration. Before heading back to the hotel, I enjoyed dinner at Bertucci’s.
In the future, I hope to take more trips with my friends. The COVID-19 pandemic has limited our ability to travel. This summer, we hope to go to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. I am a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan and enjoyed Cooperstown when I went as a teenager. Going back with my friends will be a lot of fun.
Dignity of risk has played a major role in my independent living journey. I was very nervous and wondered if something would go wrong. I’ve lived in my own apartment since August 2020. I am proud that I can live on my own. I enjoy having my friends and family come to visit and doing my own grocery shopping. The first night I was here, my friend came over to watch a movie. It was great to see him and hang out together. Having dedicated, reliable PCAs allows me to live independently. I always have help if I need it.
Dignity of risk has allowed me to live life to the fullest. I enjoy taking risks and exploring new things. I can’t wait to see where my next adventure takes me. Cerebral Palsy doesn’t stop me from living life, even if I step out of my comfort zone.
Deegan, P. E. (1992). The Independent Living Movement and people with psychiatric disabilities: Taking back control over our own lives. Psychosocial Rehabilitation Journal, 15(3), 3–19. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0095769