First of all let me say that this blog is based on my own personal experience and that won’t be the same as every other disabled person’s experience, just as a non-disabled person’s experience is not the same as another’s.
So of course going to talk about lockdown, because that is all anyone is really talking about at the moment, but I’m going to be taking a little bit of a different perspective. For me, lockdown has been easier than I feel it has been for a lot of people.
First of all, having Personal Assistants to help me on a day-to-day basis – which has two sides to it obviously – it’s a source of anxiety because it’s a worry if any of them get ill (I’ve actually been more worried about them getting ill since this started than I have been about myself), but on the more positive side it gives me a regular connection to other people, a sense of routine and they have been absolutely fab at making sure that I have supplies such as food.
The second thing for me is about adapting to new ways of doing things particularly when it comes to using new technology, while I have found some of the new technology challenging, I feel like along with a lot of disabled people I’ve always had to be willing to adapt to the world around me. It’s part of my day-to-day life to identify barriers and figure out how to remove them. In terms of not being able to visit people as a wheelchair user this is nothing new to me, don’t get me wrong I used to go out and about and take part in activities quite a lot and I miss hugs (remember them?!). However, I’m used to connecting to people in the ways that are accessible to me and I’ve been speaking to people on the phone and making video calls at least once a day. If anything I feel more connected to people because a lot of people have the time to stop and chat that they wouldn’t necessarily have had before.
There are a few other things that have been keeping me going and focusing on the positive throughout this:
Again this is just my own experience but I hope that talking about what I’m finding useful might have been helpful for you. I also wanted to point out that disabled people might be a source of untapped wisdom. Finally, I feel like the most important thing is to stay connected and look after each other.