At the start of the week I was tagged by my friend and fellow blogger Emma of Simply Emma to take part in The Disability Blogger Tag that was created by Elin of My Blurred World. I’ve seen lots of different tags online for YouTubers and Bloggers, however never one discussing disabilities. So, it’s great to see this one being created, and I am happy to be asked to take part. Right let’s get started!
1. When and why did you start your blog?
I first started my blog in October 2016 and then followed on by starting my YouTube channel in January 2017, both with the title ‘A Journey In My Wheels’. In the summer of 2016 I graduated from university and was struggling to find employment. With all this spare time on my hands whilst also looking endlessly for jobs, I had no idea how to occupy myself. It was actually my mum and her friend that suggested that I start a blog and share all the obstacles that I face with the rest of the world so, after a couple of months of researching and contemplating it, that’s exactly what I did. Whilst a new chapter of my life was starting, my blog was born, and as they say, the rest is history.
2. Did you intend to talk about your disability online from the beginning?
Yes, I always wanted to talk about my disability and my aim from day 1 was ‘to diminish the negative views some people may have about life with a physical impairment’. I did try to blog about other topics, and I still may, but it always seems to circle back to disabilities. Some of my blog posts however can relate to everyone, like my blog post where I share my Top 5 Tips on Public Speaking.
3. Have you ever been sceptical about talking about your disability online?
At first I was, I think everyone is always sceptical about sharing their life with the online community. Although we do it everyday on social media don’t we? I think I was mostly sceptical because I had never shared anything about my disability with anyone apart from my family and close friends. The blog posts I’ve felt the most sceptical about sharing was Me & My Disability part 1, part 2 and part 3. This is because I share parts of my disability that are hidden to the outside world, and when it’s out there, it’s out there. I had nothing to worry about though as it all got a great response and I think it boosted my confidence up a few notches.
4. What kind of response have you/do you receive in terms of your disability-related blog posts?
I must say the response I have/do receive is amazing, everyone has been so supportive, and I honestly can’t thank them all enough. Since starting my blog one and a half years ago it has opened up so many doors and I have met great people along the way. I know some don’t like being described as inspirational, but I hope that I am. Not just because I go out and live my life, because why shouldn’t I? No, I hope I am inspirational to others with a disability by providing advice and sharing some trying situations I go through when traveling or on a day-to-day basis.
5. Do you write/talk about other topics apart from your disability?
I’ve tried to, but I feel like everything always circles back to the topic of disability somehow. My disability is a big part of my life, it doesn’t define me but, it is there. It’s made me the person I am, which I talk about in International Day of People with Disabilities. The traits and skills I have is because of the person I am and the experiences that I have went through, mostly sitting down.
6. What steps do you take to make your blog accessible to yourself as well as other people?
The design and layout of blogs is a big factor that helps make it accessible to all, and I hope that ‘A Journey In My Wheels’ does just that. One of the main things that I always incorporate into my blog posts is alt text on my images. This means that if readers aren’t able to see what my image is, using screen readers they can find out. Also not everyone reads blog posts on their laptop all the time so, the layouts have to always be able to resize for iPhones and iPads.
In my YouTube videos I did start to try and include captions however, when a video is over 10 minutes long and voice recognition plugins struggle to understand you, it can be difficult. I am always open to any suggestions though, and please let me know if anyone struggles to have access to my blog.
7. What is your favourite thing about blogging about your disability?
I think the best part of blogging about my disability is being part of this amazing community and meeting great people along the way. There are always great discussions on Twitter on various topics, and although I have been slacking recently on contributing to them, I am always reading them. I also love sharing my views and experiences with everyone, even when it’s not such a positive post, there’s something quite therapeutic writing my thoughts and feelings down. It’s just a great feeling knowing your hopefully making a difference in the world, mainly when I share accessibility issues and how I overcame them.
8. What are your top three disability-related blog posts that you’ve ever published?
With all of my blog post relating to disability in some way it is hard to pick just three but, here they are:
9. Do you think that the disabled blogger/YouTube community is overlooked?
In some ways yes unfortunately I do feel like the disabled blogger/YouTube community is overlooked however, it’s growing every day. With the more awareness that is getting spread the bigger it is becoming, and I am glad to be part of it all.
10. Do you find it difficult to think of new disability-related content to publish?
I have lots of new disability-related ideas however, I always seem to get writers block when I go to start the post. When I first started to write my blog, I thought I would manage to post every week, I soon discovered though that it just wasn’t possible. Some months I could have five blog post ideas and some months I could have zero.
11. Do you think blogging about your disability helps to change people’s perceptions?
Definitely. There is a long way to go but, since starting my blog I’m starting to see the misconceptions surrounding the topic of disabilities change. I still come across the occasional negative view however, I still need to find my confidence to rebut it at the time and not just type about it later.
12. Who do you tag?
I apologies if you have already been tagged in the Disability Blogger Tag, but I’d love to read answers from Shona, Connor, Geordie Traveller, Gem, Lucy and Carrie. If anyone else would like to take part though please do. Thank you again to Emma for tagging me in this Disability Blogger Tag, I really enjoyed answering the questions.