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I am 23 years old and have cerebral palsy. I live with my parents, brother and sister who are twins, and our dog Milo. I use an electric and manual wheelchair. In mid-2011 I completed my Graduate Diploma majoring in English after previously achieving a Bachelor of Behavioural Science from La Trobe University. I currently volunteer at a local library and an Aged Care facility. Previously I volunteered with Nillumbik Community Health Service.
I am passionate about literature, music, cinema, AFL football and enjoy socialising with friends and family. I want to be a published writer.
Happy 20th birthday to the International Day of People with Disability! To celebrate this day, I attended an event at the Department of Human Services in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne on Monday 3rd December. The event had guest speakers, performances and an afternoon tea.
Train travel is often the best way for me to get around Melbourne. With practice I am becoming more confident travelling further from home. Using an electric wheelchair means I am noticed in the crowd. Some people on public transport think it's okay to talk to me and offer advice because I use a wheelchair. I have had people quote words from the Bible. Others think they can use the bar at the back of my wheelchair to rest on. I don't mind when children ask me questions. Sometimes I have interesting conversations. But I usually like to be left alone.
Aussie rules football is one of my greatest interests. I support the North Melbourne team. I became a member of the the team when I was 14 years old. When I go to games I ride a rollercoaster of emotions. I feel excited and nervous. I chant, scream and yell. But sometimes during a game I wonder
Why do I care so much? I know I love the game. But it is more than that. I love that a player can become a champion. I love the history and the tradition. For me Aussie rules is more than a game.
Left Neglected is a novel by Lisa Genova. It is about Sarah, a married mother-of-three and successful businesswoman. Sarah has a car accident and is injured. She is told she now has a condition called Left Neglect. This causes a patient to not understand that the left side of their body exists. With her disability Sarah is forced to change her life. She is determined to get better and quickly. I recommend this book to people interested in psychology or disability.
A new bed has arrived at my home. It is a fancy bed that has many buttons. But I do not want it. It should not be in the bedroom of a 21 year old with cerebral palsy. The bed reminds me of something I call the gap. When I finished secondary school I felt the other students began to make big life changes. But I did not. Today the bed confirms my difference. But I also know it will help me be independent. I understand I must be practical and accept the bed.