I love to advocate for disabilities rights. When I think back, I’ve been doing this all my life. My opinion is voiced loudly when I believe there is a need for change or when my friends are experiencing unjust treatment. I once heard, “only the squeaky wheel gets heard” and I have done a lot of squeaking throughout the years. When I meet other young and upcoming advocates like Shekinah, who’s just as passionate about advocacy, it excites me.
Shekinah is a strong advocate and writer with much to say. That’s why I invited her to be my guest blogger today. She’s on a mission to spread the word of advocacy and her words will enlighten you. Shekinah, the floor is yours.
Thank you, Miss Copper! Hi, Shekinah here! I’m here to talk to everyone about what advocacy means and how it assists people on multiple levels. To put it into words, advocacy is an act of informing people about issues such as disabilities. To get a better understanding of advocacy, one must learn about how people see others differently. If you would ask me who I am, I might tell you that I’m a cheerful young girl who loves to share her joy with others, as well as her love of literature. If you ask my family and friends, they might say that I’m a helpful daughter, a supportive friend, a hard worker, etc. However, for some people outside of that group, they would only see my Autism. For those who haven’t heard about it, Autism is a type of disability that can cause you to lose focus or make you repeat routines and sounds when excited. But, it’s important to know that, just like there are different colors in a rainbow and different types of apples, Autism can differ to each person. Unfortunately, some people don’t understand so they instantly assume that I’m not capable of thinking for myself. Most think that I’m an annoying person who needs to be talked down too or coddled. That’s like thinking that a platypus is a bird because it has a beak! Just because it has one small thing that stands out, it does not define it as a whole. Their behavior used to bother me until something clicked inside of me; I know who I am, it’s just the people who meet me don’t know. Maybe they are confused about what Autism is and how to relate. The reason why I love Advocacy so much is that I get to share my point of view in my own words. I get to educate people about what living with a disability is like and help them see people with disabilities in a whole new way. The best part is that not only do I speak for myself, but that I speak for other autistic people who are in my position. So hopefully, not only will others get to stop relying on their assumptions of me, they’ll do the same for others. Plus, I ’m showing other person’s with a disability that if I can do these amazing things, like writing stories and poems, then they can achieve their goals as well. To me, advocacy is not just about informing people about important issues, but also a chance to know the real me!
Thank you Shekinah! I told you she was good! It’s up to us veteran advocates to assist the younger generation of advocacy. We need to supply them with the tools to continue on with sharing the mission. It makes me happy to know that when I’m gone, there’ll be a person like Shekinah to keep speaking up for disability rights! You go girl!!!