Each day, we’re amazed by the tenacity, strength, and perseverance of the individuals in our various programs who deserve to be celebrated today and every day. We’re honored to work with and know these humans of PYD, who are just a small handful of the individuals who help us to work towards our goal of building a more inclusive world.
“My experience with Cerebral Palsy or experience with a disability in general has made me realize that disability is often overlooked, or perceived as something that makes a person incapable or inferior. While a lot of things have changed for the better, there is still a long way to go. I wish that people knew that I am a hard working person with a disability, and take any kind of job very seriously. I appreciate that I am a kind person and I love to help take care of and help others. The advice I would give others about being more inclusive is to invite a big group of friends online for a virtual game night or just a session for chatting and catching up. I heard about PYD through a teacher and transition coordinator at my high school, Kate Sullivan.”
“I have Cerebral Palsy. My disability shaped my life in a positive way. It gave me an outlook where I am grateful for everything in life. Lastly the urge to make change in the world. I wish people knew that I am a hard worker and I care about the work that I do. I appreciate that I don’t give up and keep working hard towards change. My advice to give to others about being more inclusive would be if you’re unsure how to be inclusive, please reach out. We are happy to help reach that goal of being inclusive. I have been involved with PYD since 2016.”
“I have a unique disability that affects my speech. My disability has made it hard for me to speak. I wish people knew that they should be nice to me. I appreciate that I’m kind and helpful. My advice for others about being more inclusive is trying new things, making friends, and doing the things that make you happy. I found out about PYD from my mom and lots of meetings.”
“I have Autism. It has presented me with some unique challenges, such as fine motor impairments, some minor difficulties with social skills, and time management difficulties. However, it has also allowed me to have an obsessive interest in film. I wish people knew that despite the challenges I have to face, I am still very talented (particularly in areas like singing and video editing) and I still have the potential to live a successful and happy life provided that I am accommodated for as needed. In addition to doing research into different disabilities and how to accommodate them, I recommend that people do not automatically operate under the assumption that a person with a disability cannot do a specific activity. Also, take accommodation requests seriously. I found out about PYD because I participated as a fellow in Young Leaders Rising after hearing about it from another fellow who is an acquaintance of the president of a community theater company I have worked with in the past that seeks to provide an accessible community theater experience to kids and adults with and without disabilities.”
“I have Cerebral Palsy, but I have also been able to live a normal life. I wish that people knew that I love to dance. I appreciate my disability and ability to teach others about it. I recommend that everyone makes sure they’re doing activities that include everyone. I found out about PYD through Donna Folan.”
“I have Cerebral Palsy. It makes me dependent on the physical assistance of other people to use the bathroom, eat and drink, get dressed and other activities needed for survival. I wish that people knew the strain it puts on me mentally to depend on caregivers who by no fault of their own at timeshare, are undependable. A human caregiver is just that: human. They cannot guarantee being able to provide constant assistance and are subject to human error that directly impacts my existence and well-being. How difficult it is to balance being an employer and client, and the unique struggles faced by those with physical impairments: the intersectionality of physical and mental health diagnoses, and how our inability to carry out physical care tasks independently often prevents us from accessing services we would otherwise be afforded, and how that contributes to greater marginalization and health issues. I appreciate my tenacity and commitment to help myself and others. My advice for others about being more inclusive is to put yourself in others’ shoes when possible to understand their experience more fully. I found out about PYD through internships, YLF, ATT, and YLR.
“I have Cerebral Palsy. I feel very thankful for my disability even though I face many obstacles. I wish people knew that I don’t let my challenges define me. I appreciate that I am very outgoing and personable. To be more inclusive, I would recommend that others understand my challenges and accommodate them. I found out about PYD through a community flier and Zoom.”
“I have cortical visual impairment. I have to use AAC technology to communicate with others. I want people to know that I love to travel. I appreciate my singing the most. My advice for others about being more inclusive is they should be nice. I found out about PYD from a friend.”
After hearing these individuals’ stories, it’s evident how remarkable they are, and we’re grateful to know them. Are you a part of one of PYD’s programs and would like to be featured? Please contact us and we’ll be in touch.