Archive | June, 2016

Pseudoachondroplasia – Some positivity!

29 Jun

I was recently contacted by a researcher, who is looking to produce a documentary series on the challenges that people with physical disabilities can face when seeking employment. Having spoken on the phone to her about this today, and discussing how I think that actually, with the right attitude about it, having a disability can build desired qualities in people that employers seek in potential employees, it has got me thinking about the positives I have gained from having pseudoachondroplasia… and how, in fact, some of those qualities that I have may have even helped me in my chosen career! There are two in particular that spring to mind instantly… though I could list a few.

Firstly, in terms of employment, I think that having PSACH has helped to build me into a determined person – many things have been a bit of a challenge in life, but I don’t do giving up! Whether that be when I juggled surgery and A-levels, went skating with a Taylor Spatial Frame on my leg, or found a way to get up stairs with both legs in full plaster cast… I’ve always believed that where there’s a will, there’s a way – and I still live by this. As a result, I can think creatively to overcome issues and (usually…) achieve whatever it is I need to get done. 

Secondly, and more specifically for the career I’ve chosen (human factors for inclusive design… which has a great focus on designing for people with disabilities), I believe that living with a disability myself has made me particularly empathetic. I do my best to consider what life may be like for other people living with a range of disabilities, and I have chosen to dedicate my career trying to help others overcome some of the barriers that they may face; I know that every little help counts when you’re trying to overcome something that life has thrown at you, and if I can contribute to helping others overcome theirs, then I am one happy woman!

Of course, it may well be that without a disability I would have been equally as empathetic and determined (who knows, never have the alternative to compare with, do you?), but I do think that living with PSACH has played a part in that. I have always tried to turn the disability into a positive and something that can be used to my advantage, rather than an excuse not to do things… and I will continue to do so in every element of my life. In terms of employment specifically, I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that whilst many may see a physical disability as something that could be a barrier to employment, I truly believe that when evaluated in a more positive light, the lessons that you learn from living with such a disability can be used to your advantage – and I would encourage anyone who has PSACH to highlight these sorts of traits in a job interview! It may well be that living with this condition has given you that certain something that an employer is looking for in their employees – so please, please, do not let it hold you back!

Just my positive thought for the day! 🙂

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