Hello, my name is Annette Dawm and this is my first blog for Rolling Without Limits. I found this website while searching for a new job, or rather any job. It’d be ideal for me to work from home, but even those jobs are hard to come by. So, I hope this works out and that you will continue reading.
Thank you in advance for reading this post and any future ones I write. I’ll try to make this fun for both of us. Currently, I am using speech recognition software and it's not going well, so I may have to give in and type. If you’ve never used speech recognition tools before, imagine that you’re dictating to a person who does not know how to spell anything you’re saying and they have to write for you. Then you have to go back and correct it on your own anyway, as if you wrote it yourself. It gets old really fast. Mind you, I’m not using industry standard speech recognition software like “Dragon”. I’m using the crap that came with my computer. (It wouldn’t even write the word “crap”. It probably doesn’t want you to know how useless it is. Last year, as an Office Administration student, I tried to get it to write out some numbers for me and it wrote “nudity” instead. Then it froze my computer. Good times.)
I hope to use this blogging experience to share with you the odd and exciting things that have happened in my life that may or may not have been the result of being born with Cerebral Palsy. Raise your hand if you have that, too. (Or don’t. I can’t see you). If you do have CP, then you know that the main thing we have in common is the name of our diagnosis because the condition varies from person to person; but I’ll bet you there’s at least 30 Things you and I can both relate to, if not more. I wrote 30 Things People with Physical Disabilities Understand for Ashton Kutcher’s website. It was literally an overnight success. The next morning, I was contacted by one of his writers, Justina Bakutyte, and after some edits, it was published on the home page, and it also spent some time in the trending section! Although Ashton Kutcher never shared it on his Facebook page, just to be associated with him was pretty awesome!
Since the article was published in November 2014, it has received over 6,700 views! This is astounding to me! It means that people are actually reading what I have to say! Some of the people who read this article were involved with Easter Seals, an organization that helps the families of children and young adults with disabilities. I happened to be one of those people. So when Yolanda Green from the Easter Seals Thrive program contacted me, I knew this was a big deal. I was asked to be a mentor for other women with disabilities. This seemed like a daunting task, seeing as I had recently received some creepy “fan” emails from people who read the article. (Is that how you know you “made it”?) Thankfully Yolanda assured me that I wouldn’t be put into any uncomfortable situations in person or online, so I said yes.
I participated in a Thrive Twitter Chat about people with disabilities in the media and wrote a blog about what it means to me to be an empowered woman. I am still working on the third request which is a “Letter to Me” video. It’s really hard to write to your 17-year-old self! How do you say things that won’t scare the crap out of yourself about the future? Also, how do you decide what to leave as a surprise for yourself and what to tell yourself now, so that you’re excited enough to move forward? Maybe this experience was more daunting than I thought. However, I am excited to see the end results and to continue “Rolling Without Limits”.
(Image courtesy of the author)