Change for me means progress and moving forward.
Prior to the onset of Coronavirus I to a large degree seen change with some fear as I was moving out of what I knew well, was comfortable with, to something unknown. Failure to change, to adapt, can mean standing still or going backward. Change in sport is important. If your team is losing they need to try something different or bring in someone new, a substitute. The team that are champions this year, will not be champions every year if they don’t take in new players, older players retire, some players get injured and other teams buy new players or appoint a new coach to try new ways....change. We must therefore embrace change, not fear it, if we are to develop. Unfortunately, this can come at a cost which will require sponsorship.
Coronavirus brought change for me in a positive way. With Barnardo’s I became involved in more online ways of doing things, facetime, zoom etc. I need time to type with my eyes and this change gave me the opportunity to prepare in advance and make a meaningful contribution. My confidence and self-esteem have taken big leaps forward. Just because you cannot speak does not mean you have nothing to say. Assistive communication has the potential to offer real change, real inclusion for others just as it has for me. Advances in technology can create greater opportunities.
I was asked to go to a Special Needs School which had bought 4 computers to help children communicate but it did not work out. When they see me using my computer, they saw that they, just like me, could communicate differently. This changed the way they looked at using their computers and gave them hope. This made me very happy that I had used my experience to change things for these children. Change and hope going hand in hand. The computers were funded via a charity and I gave my time to turn hope into reality. I think financial support and volunteering work together.
Change is important because it gives hope, hope that things will get better and pain and frustration taken away. Hope is the future and change is how we get there.
At this time, I have been given great hope by the future with the potential for a vaccine against coronavirus. This hope is a shared hope with the rest of my country and the world. Many in my community have seen how coronavirus took away a lot that was taken for granted. It has given a lot of people experience of what my world was like and not many really liked it even for a short time. I hope that this experience will change the biggest obstacle in my world, attitudes. As MyWayAccess says, “nothing about us without us”.
If I did not have hope, I do not think I would have anything, I have been there, and my hope is that I never have to go back to that place. At 6 years of age Barnardo’s in Armagh gave me an opportunity to change my life by introducing me to the world of technology, it gave me the option to hope and a voice to be heard.
A friend of mine has just announced that he has been appointed by the Department of Communities NI to help develop a Disability Strategy for N Ireland, I want to get on that bus but I would rather it was called Ability Strategy for N Ireland.
As my ability to earn big bucks is limited, I need people to help out with the financial side of things in order that I can dream, dream big because I will put in the hard work. It has taken me just short of 18 hours to type this along with my friends Mrs Spellcheck and Mr Thesaurus, I think that shows that I can work hard.