I am having an inclusive Christmas! Today marks 2 years and 28 days I got involved in an accident that affected my spinal cord. I had a broken bone, my injury kept me confined to a wheelchair. Although I had little mobility around my home when in my wheelchair, I felt totally excluded from some areas of life, for example, my church wasn't accessible so I couldn't go to church during the last Christmas celebration, I missed it just like any other service day.
Although a lot of people will argue that accessibility is inclusion, I believe so, but inclusion also has to do with feeling, care, rights and energy. In my neighborhood, I was the only person with disabilities and I only enjoy mobility and accessibility in my home but not in my neighborhood, anytime I try to roll my wheelchair around my neighborhood I get faced with inaccessibility and would have to return home. My wife is my caregiver and she does her crafts too, so she is a very busy woman, this meant there is always limited time for her to guide me around the neighborhood.
Around November this year, I and my wife got a letter signed by all our neighbors pledging support to create an access road for my wheelchair, they delivered on their promise early this month. It didn't stop there, I was visited by our pastor who said he had it in mind to make the church entrance accessible for a wheelchair because he noticed I stopped coming to church because of my disabilities. The church entrance is now accessible. Double win!
I am happy, I am very happy that I can wheel my chair around my neighborhood, have access to my accessible car and ride around town even when my wife and caregiver is busy at home. I was at church today. I could see the joy on my wife's face. I am glad to be included, life seems beautiful again. I am enjoying an inclusive Christmas.
Image credit: Photo by Author