Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day. One of the greatest barriers for people with CP is access to employment. There are a million reasons to employ people with CP. People with CP have often learned to be patient, adaptable and developed the ability to think outside the square, to make things accessible to them. Therefore people with CP can bring unique perspectives, skills and abilities into any workplace
As a Christian with a disability, I have first hand experience as to what it is like entering into the church community with a disability. I really do think that although people within the Church do their best to accommodate those of us with additional needs, the institution as a whole unintentionally marginalises and excludes people with disabilities. Therefore, the church unintentionally isolates some of the most desperate people in society who need to know Christ’s love and to be apart of the body of Christ.
I have longed to write a frank and honest letter to Christians because I think some are uncomfortable with suffering, disability and mental illness that they are often at a lost of what to say and do. I hope to write a series of blogs that provide suggestions as to how we as the body of Christ can follow the example of Jesus by loving the marginalised in our community, and making the church a place where they feel loved, supported and cared for.
Today is the international day for persons with disabilities and I thought I would write my top ten thoughts about having multiple disabilities …
It is a sad reality the people with disabilities are treated as if they have no value. You are placed in a box by a mere label of a diagnosis, and deemed as if you have nothing to contribute to the world.You may see that I have nothing to contribute in a workplace or to a friendship or sporting clubs or community group, but the reality is I do and you’re the one missing out on what I can contribute. My experience and circumstances in life may be very different to yours but that doesn’t mean that I have no value.
I looked at my stomach and saw the latest scars that were in this area as a result of a new treatment. These new scars were surrounding a much bigger scar from bowel surgery. I then looked at all the other scars on my body and saw that each scar told a story, but more importantly each scar points me back to the One who has scars in His hands and feet.
Being taken advantage of comes in all sorts of ways. Sometimes it is unintentional, but still bordering on taking advantage of the person’s vulnerability, and at other times it is outright intentional.
Living with multiple illnesses is like constantly tiptoeing around nicely placed rows of dominoes hoping everything remains in place. As soon as one domino is knocked, the whole system starts to collapse.
Thud! I crash to the ground yet again. I look around to check there are no broken bones this time, or if the skin on my knees and hands have been scrapped.