It’s not just a headline, it’s fact.
Disability in this day and age differs so much in comparison to even as recent as 2007. A quick look around social media or even a Google search and you’ll see the capabilities on display that weren’t available such a short time ago. Technologically speaking, we’re a stronger, smarter world with what is out there for us to discover and share with one another and that’s a truly amazing thing to think about.
Everyday people as well as standout ambassadors of limb-difference such as Rebeka Marine, Angel Giuffria, Zach Gowen - they all show you that disability isn’t what it used to be as they front with and without their prosthetic limbs.
As recent as 1995 when I was born, there were none of the technological advances that are capable today. That was only twenty years ago and, pardon the pun, but the things we have on hand today are truly spectacular and only what we could’ve dreamt of back then. Even for people like myself who have gone through multiple operations with no prospering outcomes who don’t strictly have a missing limb and may only be missing a finger or thumb, there are now opportunities to adjust a child’s hands and actually give them a thumb! How outlandishly cool is that?
Social media has also opened up a gate where you can find people just like you and that’s a farcry from what I was able to grasp in my childhood. Through organisations’ presence on social media like the Lucky Fin Project, NubAbility et al, it’s never been easier to fit in, if you will. Even without the technology, there were no organisations to reach out to.
All my parents were told when my difference was discovered was that it’s ‘God’s will’ for me to have this limb-difference, which leaves you unsure how to feel when a Midwife is telling you such a thing. Now there’s an unbelievable wealth of knowledge out there to help people of all ages wanting to know more.
As well as social media, the entire scale of social acceptance is far different in today’s world. There are always going to be the negative types who call names, stereotype and show their true colours, but they’ll always linger. Where positivity goes, there’s always a small trail of negativity that follows with an aim of dampening beyond that iota, the possibilities of disability outreach in 2017 is endless.
The world is changing rapidly and so are the opportunities ahead. Ultimately, that’s a fantastic thing for our community. The movement has been building for sometime and with society’s adjustment, whether it’s transitioned naturally or forcefully, awareness has been raised dramatically.
Problems are being solved, perceptions are changing day-by-day and 'disability' is no longer such a detrimental trait to possess. I’ve said it numerous times, but if it ever was not before, now more than ever it really is a gift. It presents you the chance to have thicker skin. It presents you with the chance to know hard work in whatever you do and naturally provides you with the chance to possess a much different outlook in whichever route you choose to follow.
As 2017 develops, more advances are set to be made. With the help of the limb-difference community, you can see stronger foundations being built around the world and it’s a great sight to see. This year shall be interesting and as time goes on, I for one can’t wait to see the developments that come through the hard, honest graft that our members put in.