Updated: Sep 22, 2022
Of course, I can work from my wheelchair.
As someone living with a disability for the past 17 years, I have had a lot of struggles. One of my biggest challenges was stairs. I am a paraplegic, so I can not walk or stand unaided. Other effects come with my injuries, such as burning, tingling pain, and loss of function in the bladder and bowels. But, some things can help improve your mobility, reduce your pain and ease any discomfort you have on your body. But this is not what I am here to talk about. Many people who suffer from a form of disability think that this is the end, and there is nothing else they can do or offer. Also, some have applied for a job and were unsuccessful because the employer felt that their disability would slow them down or reflect poorly on their business. They were not even allowed the opportunity to show their capability, which is unfair. I can recall a long time ago, I started working at a restaurant as a chef, and a week later, the manager informed me that he'd no longer need my services. I was surprised because I knew I was doing a good job. I later found out that I was dismissed because the boss thought he might lose customers if people found out that someone in a wheelchair was preparing their meals. That hurt; it hit me like a ton of bricks. I went into a brief state of depression, not feeling to do anything or even go anywhere. I allowed what was said to affect me. It even started to affect my health because I was not as active as usual. My body started seizing up, and the pain became more intense. Once again, I had to will myself and push away all the negativity and stigmas associated with what other people believe or think about me being in a wheelchair. I started reapplying for any vacancies and was successful with a few. My first job at the post office allowed me to show that I could do what was required and more; I worked a regular shift with no incident. And I worked alongside my colleagues with confidence. Today, I have started my second job as a supervisor for a very prominent company.
They allowed me to prove what I am capable of, regardless of my disability. It became a daily routine, waking up, preparing breakfast, getting ready for work, doing my shift, and heading home. I sometimes stop to get a bit of shopping or even socialise with the general population. Many people have asked me why am working. Which, to me, is a bit of an odd question.
The most straightforward answer is, "because I can". Don't allow your disability or the negative things that people say to stop you from living and fulfilling your dreams. More businesses and organisations should educate themselves more about people living with a disability and start creating opportunities for the disabled community to have a much more active and social lifestyle.