Working together to improve the quality of life for persons with physical disabilities!
In May 2011, I became a T8 paraplegic as a result of a natural gas explosion in my home. I was 37 years old. I quickly moved from being a member of the able-bodied population to a severely physically disabled woman. I will always remember the utter fear I felt when I left the hospital after being a patient for almost eleven months. How would I manage as a disabled woman? How would I do the daily activities of living that I used to take for granted?
After attempting to reintegrate into the community, I quickly realized that in many ways the fear was justified. There were three major areas that caused me significant emotional pain, constant feelings of helplessness and a sadness that infected my mental health. Specifically, it was the barriers that I encountered with my health, housing and employment/career options.
As time went on and I began to make friends who were also disabled, I realized I was not unique. We were all able to tell the same stories. I began to think if able-bodied people were more aware of these issues I believed they would be willing to help find solutions. With my public health background and extensive experience in partnership development and management, I understood that the barriers we face with a physical disability are a social problem. It's a social problem that I believe people want to work together and solve.
I began to research the data. I knew the time was right to engage multi-sector organizations and corporations in helping to achieve the goals of my organization.
So, I took my more than fifteen years of management and marketing experience and my professional training in public health to launch Disability Partnerships.
I view the organization as an opportunity to do good, serve God, create beauty from ashes and demonstrate that together people really can make a difference.
Also, please take a minute and read my blog. My goal is to update at least 3 times a month. The purpose of the blog is to maintain an ongoing discussion about opportunities to improve the life of persons with physical disabilities in our program focus areas.