Having a disability is no laughing matter and can be life-altering. You’re unable to do the things you were once free to do and you may feel helpless and possibly depressed. It can add pressure to your family as they care for you and have to make sacrifices to assist you in your time of need. Disability can be emotionally draining, but it doesn’t mean the end of the world. Especially if you have a strong support system around you willing to provide you with assistance.

 

Seek Community Assistance

 

If you’re out of your work because of your disability, know that there are countless resources out there to help you cope on emotional and financial level. Don’t be afraid to seek out counseling to help you navigate your emotions. There are plenty who have or are in the same boat as you who can help you cope with the emotional effects of disability. You are not alone and should never feel so. There are also disability programs and grants available to help you cope with the financial and physical demands in front of you.

 

Practical Advice

 

You may want to look for reasonable sources of income to assist you while you wait to get back on your feet. Here are some practical ideas:

 

  • Set a Budget. Create a realistic budget for your wants and needs. It may mean sacrificing time on money you’re used to spending.

 

  • Donate blood. There are plenty of people in the world who need your blood. Blood donations pay in more than just financial ways. Studies show that donating blood is actually healthy too since you release excess iron.

 

  • Sell unneeded things. A garage sale is a great way to make extra money while you’re on disability. You never know what you might have stored away in your basement that might benefit someone else. It’s also a good way to clear out your home and possibly make money for practical needs and expenses in your home.

 

  • Seek online donation. If you find yourself in a temporary bind because of a disability, seek out online assistance to help you with your bills. There are kind strangers who are happy to assist you with any medical and financial needs. Don’t be afraid to reach out! You may even make some new friends.

 

  • Do some freelance work. Today there are endless opportunities for online work. Many companies employ freelance employers to work from home and anywhere. You can work at your nearest coffee shop or local library! The possibilities are endless. What are your skills and talents? Use your time to explore areas that you may have set aside in the past. As the saying goes, your setback could turn into a setup!

 

Disability does not mean the end of the world, but it does help to be prepared. Be sure to do the research and learn about your options. Find helpful ways to help you cope practically every day with your physical limitations. Don’t become discouraged! Make the most of your time and try to maintain a positive attitude.

 

You may have a family member, a friend, or a co-worker with a disability, but do you feel like you have a real connection to the disabled community? Many people assume that individuals with disabilities were born with a disability that affects them mentally or physically. However, disabilities are more common than not. According to the Council for Disability Awareness, over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-old’s will become disabled before they retire and over 37 million Americans are classified as disabled. Want to become better connected to individuals with disabilities? Here are a few reasons why it’s beneficial:

Removing the Stigma

 

For decades, even centuries, individuals with disabilities have not only faced the daily challenge of their disability, but have experienced the stigma and discrimination from society. Although many individuals are made to feel like that are a minority, the statistics prove that individuals of all abilities make up our communities. Although societal views and treatment towards individuals with disabilities has improved, society as a whole must realize that individuals of types of disabilities have the same rights as everyone else, including but not limited to: education, employment, housing, health care, spirituality, sexuality, and basic human rights.

 

What can you do? You can become an advocate or raise awareness by breaking down negative views and barriers that prevent individuals with disabilities from having the same rights as everyone else. You can join organizations that work one on one with disabled individuals and be part of the movement that works hard to ensure that health care reform legislation helps adults with disabilities or to expand the federal hate crimes law to protect individuals with disabilities.

Making New Friends & Helping Others

 

Simply getting involved by lending a helping hand in your community can teach you a lot about  people, interact with a diverse demographic, and you can even make new and lasting friendships. Here are some ways to get directly involved in your community:

 

 

  • Volunteer Your Skills & Services: The senior citizen community is thriving and includes individuals of all abilities, including men and women who became disabled with age or were born with developmental or intellectual disabilities. They all deserve the same type of services that are offered to other senior citizens in your community. Whether someone needs yardwork done, a ride to the pharmacy or doctor’s appointments, or just some friendly conversation over a cup of coffee, there’s a lot you can offer to the aging & disabled community.

 

 

 

  • Include Individuals with Disabilities in Your Activities: Many people with disabilities have a difficult time making friends in the community. For instance, individuals who live in a group home facility are taken on lots of outings like concerts, movies, and other fun activities, but it’s not always the ideal activity for really connecting with others. If you run an organization, a church group or even a leisurely sports team, why not make an effort to invite all members of your community?

 

 

Another way to get connected is by volunteering, coaching, tutoring, or teaching for adaptive sport or education programs.

 

However you decide to get involved, make sure that you are open minded, welcoming, and eager to learn about others; you may find you have a lot to learn and a lot in common.