Let’s get loved up, after all, it is cuffing season
I’m a firm believer that any good person can find love, and that includes people with disabilities. I should know, I found my true love at 22 with the help of a dating site called OkCupid. My name is Miranda and I was born with Cerebral Palsy; I have to use a wheelchair to get around.
With the right attitude and precautions, the Internet can be a powerful tool for helping people with disabilities find love. I’m not saying everyone with a disability should use the online method, I’m sure plenty of disabled people have found a partner without it. However, if you’ve exhausted all avenues in the real world, online dating apps and websites are a lucrative option.
Throughout my dating life, I have found partners both online and offline. The majority of them were online. Why? I just find it easier that way. If someone viewed my dating profiles, they saw up front that I am disabled and can decide for themselves if they want to proceed.
I have had people in real life find me attractive, but they couldn’t deal with a disability, and that’s valid. I’ve also had people claiming they “missed out” on me because they didn’t know how to proceed with the Cerebral Palsy. And, to them, I say, “I’m sorry. I’m sure you’ll find your match.”
Online dating profiles take out all the guesswork. If you want to give me a shot, send a message; if you don’t, move on to the next profile. My partner took a chance on me in June of 2012.
The first thing that caught my attention about his message to me was that it wasn’t creepy. Disability or not, all women have dealt with their fair share of creepers online. I’ve gotten gems like “you’d look good in a bikini,” or my favorite, “I’ve always wanted to make it with a girl in a wheelchair.” That one made me shutter.
His simply said, “Hi, I think you’re really cute, and I would love to get to know you better.” Short, sweet, and to the point. My man is sometimes a man of little words.
I clicked on his profile, and it was pretty bare. It only said, “I hate writing these things. Message me if you want to know more.” I was a little turned off by that. As a writer, I’m a sucker for a good communicator, and my own profile was novel-length by profile standards. However, his message seemed so genuine that I couldn’t ignore it.
We ended up swapping phone numbers and starting to communicate by texts and calls. After a month of this, we set a date to meet in person. Did sparks immediately fly? Haha. No way.
The thing about me is that I get nervous around people I find attractive. And, I found him very attractive. The man didn’t even bat an eye when I asked him if I could bring a friend to the first meeting. I think all women should do this, especially those with disabilities. It’s a safety net. He even brought a couple of friends along so I wouldn’t have to feel awkward about needing someone. What a guy!
This may not feel like a big deal to some, but I had a guy go off on me once for not wanting to go alone to a bar with him. We had only met once prior! My alarms went off, and I certainly dodged a bullet after he tore me a new one for it.
Unfortunately, the first meeting didn’t go well because I clammed up. But, here’s the thing, if someone is really into you, they will make it known. He didn’t give up after that. He suggested we meet up in a more intimate setting to really get to talk. With my grandmother present, I invited him over to my apartment, and the sparks flew!
He was very kind and polite when my Gram would pop out of her room to talk to us. We bonded over Disney movies and musicals and had a great time! Ten years later, I’m living with him, and he is an amazingly loving and kind partner that helps me when I need him. I couldn’t ask for anyone better!
What I want others with disabilities to take away from this are a few things. Try online dating if you haven’t found what you’re looking for in the real world. It might work out for you, or it might not. What matters is that you gave it a try.
If you try the online route, don’t automatically dismiss a lacklustre profile. If I had done that, I would have never gotten all of these happy years. Give them a chance if they send you a genuine message that shows you they are into YOU and not what they can DO with you.
Finally, the sparks don’t always hit on the first meeting. After my experience with my partner, I usually advise people to give it a couple of dates before they decide to move further. Some people are overwhelmed during the first meeting and may do better the second time. I’m sure glad he stuck with me!
Please remember that your disability doesn’t define you. You are worthy and capable of receiving and giving love. It just may take a while to find it. We’re all in the same boat in that respect.
5 Ways People With Disabilities Can Propel Your Business Brand to Success
In the fast-paced and diverse business landscape of today, inclusivity holds the key to extraordinary achievements, going beyond being just a buzzword. By embracing diversity and harnessing the talents of individuals with disabilities, you have the opportunity to witness a remarkable transformation in your business brand, setting it apart from the competition.
Below are five ways people with disabilities can become powerful catalysts for skyrocketing your business brand:
1. Unleashing Creativity and Innovation: People with disabilities bring a unique perspective to problem-solving and innovation. Their diverse experiences and adaptive thinking can lead to groundbreaking ideas that resonate with a broader audience, elevating your brand to new heights.
2. Cultivating Enhanced Customer Empathy: Employing individuals with disabilities fosters a deeper understanding of your customers’ diverse needs and preferences. This empathy fuels the development of products and services catering to a wider range of individuals, thereby boosting customer loyalty and enhancing your brand’s reputation.
3. Crafting Inclusive Marketing Campaigns: With a diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities, creating authentic and inclusive marketing campaigns becomes second nature. Representation matters, and consumers connect more profoundly with a brand that embraces diversity and reflects the real world.
4. Nurturing an Empowering Workplace Culture: Embracing diversity cultivates a positive workplace culture that encourages teamwork, respect, and open-mindedness. This welcoming environment attracts top talent, boosts employee morale, reduces turnover, and ultimately leads to increased productivity and overall success.
5. Making a Positive Social Impact: Actively promoting inclusivity and providing equal opportunities positions your business as a force for positive social change. Modern consumers appreciate brands that align with their values, and your commitment to empowering people with disabilities will garner genuine support and unwavering loyalty.
Integrating people with disabilities into your workforce is not only a moral imperative but also a strategic decision that can propel your business brand to unprecedented heights. By leveraging their unique talents and perspectives, you have the potential to cultivate a brand that stands out, deeply connects with customers, and makes a meaningful contribution to a more inclusive society.
Hansal Emmanuel: Defying Odds as a Disabled Basketball Star
Hansel Enmanuel is a true embodiment of inspiration, defying all odds to excel. Not only is he a viral internet star, college student, and immigrant to the United States, but he also stands out as a Division I college basketball player, achieving all of this with only one arm.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Enmanuel faced a life-changing accident at the age of six, resulting in the loss of his left arm. Despite this setback, he refused to let it define him and discovered his passion for basketball. Moving to the United States at 16, with limited knowledge of English, presented another challenge, but he tackled it with unwavering determination.
As a tall and gifted athlete, Enmanuel’s talent for dunking caught attention during his high school days at the Life Christian Academy in Florida. His internet fame skyrocketed, amassing over 4 million followers on Instagram and TikTok combined.
Though highly accomplished, doubts from college coaches initially clouded his path. However, he persisted, earning a place at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. His journey in Division I college basketball started with modest beginnings, but his dedication and hard work were evident in every practice and game.
On the court, Enmanuel’s unique sense of balance and tenacity set him apart from his teammates. His astounding rebound and dunk during a game against the University of Louisiana Monroe left the crowd in awe, but the humble athlete remained focused on his defensive responsibilities.
In the face of success and popularity, Enmanuel’s work ethic remained unshakable. He rejected any special treatment, choosing to be treated like any other teammate when it came to discipline and responsibilities.
Despite not mapping out this extraordinary journey as a child, Hansel Enmanuel has become an inspiration to countless individuals around the world. Through perseverance, resilience, and an unyielding passion for basketball, he has proven that greatness knows no limitations. As his college career progresses, the attention he receives is bound to expand even further, allowing his story to reach and inspire even more people.
Hansel Enmanuel’s tale is a reminder that with the right attitude and determination, anything is possible, and dreams can be achieved regardless of the challenges life throws our way.
Disability campaigners lose legal fight over Grenfell recommendation
Campaigners have faced a disappointing outcome in their High Court battle against the government’s decision not to implement evacuation plans for disabled residents living in high-rise buildings. The Claddag campaign group had hoped for a legal requirement to have escape plans in place for those who might face difficulties in safely evacuating during emergencies.
However, the government’s Home Office conducted a consultation and concluded that the recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry would be excessively expensive and impractical to put into action. Instead, they are now exploring an alternative solution.
Back in October 2019, the chairman of the Grenfell Inquiry recommended a legal obligation for owners and managers of high-rise residential buildings to create “Peeps” (personal emergency evacuation plans) specifically tailored to residents with mobility issues or sensory impairments, such as visual, hearing, or cognitive impairments.
This recommendation was prompted by the tragic Grenfell fire in June 2017, which claimed 72 lives, with 41% of the deceased being disabled residents of the tower. In response to the inquiry’s suggestions, the Home Office initiated a consultation to consider implementing the Peeps proposals. However, in May 2022, the government decided not to make Peeps a legal requirement, citing concerns about practicality and cost.
Claddag, an organisation founded by two disabled tower-block residents, Sarah Rennie and Georgie Hulme, contested this decision through a judicial review at the High Court in December. The government’s legal representative argued during the hearing that they were still consulting on the proposals, and a final decision had not yet been reached.
Recently, Mrs. Justice Stacey delivered her judgement, stating that the government had indeed decided against implementing the Peeps recommendation. However, she emphasised that the government had the right to make such a decision after carefully considering the fire-safety implications versus the associated costs.
In response to the ruling, the founders of Claddag expressed their disappointment, accusing the government of putting financial concerns above the lives of disabled individuals and leaving them without a means of escape in high-rise buildings.
A Home Office spokesperson welcomed the court’s decision, explaining that it would allow them to move forward with plans to enhance the safety of residents who may have difficulties evacuating during emergencies. They are currently reviewing responses to a public consultation on Emergency Evacuation Information Sharing Plus, an alternative approach to Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans, to determine the best course of action to safeguard those who may struggle to self-evacuate.