By Stacey Francis
Youth Without Limits: Disabled Support Group became an idea between Lauren Stinson and I because we have always felt that there was something missing for ourselves and the disabled community.
Throughout our life time we have felt that there has always been a gap between the able-bodied community and the disabled community with regards to understanding, interpretation, and communication. A number of issues are quite troublesome and problematic within the disabled community that unfortunately able-bodied people often turn a blind eye to due to lack of education, open-mindedness, and understanding.
Since these issues aren’t talked about within able-bodied society we are socially constructed not to talk about these issues among ourselves. Furthermore, the disabled community can be very isolating in the sense that we are often told that “we are not disabled” and as a result we often distance ourselves from our disabled identity and community because we are striving to meet an able-bodied standard. We internalize these problems and as a result mental health issues are likely to arise.
Lauren and I want to give the disabled community an outlet to express these common social issues. Our goal is to bring the disabled community closer together. In doing so we hope to create a sense of acceptance, comfort, belonging, and pride in ourselves and our disability as community.
For more information about Youth Without Limits, please go here.