Public attitudes can be very negative towards disability, these inclinations, which are so far from reality, can often plant seeds of doubt in the minds of us living with a disability but we shouldn’t let others’ misconceptions define our capabilities.
By Elin Williams
Some have said that it’d be impossible for me to achieve my goals due to my vision impairment and despite the fact that such comments could be demoralising, they eventually motivated me to strive to reach my goals and prove those people wrong.
I was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition, Retinitis Pigmentosa when I was six years old and I was registered blind when I was twelve. There were extremely challenging chapters within that timeframe and even though there have been times when I’ve felt like giving up, I decided to do the opposite and try to prove that I don’t deserve to be condemned to a life where people believe I’m incapable, and neither does anyone else.
I was recently named as one of the most influential people with a disability in the UK in the Disability Power List, an annual publication by Shaw Trust. From the 700 nominations this year, judges narrowed it down in order to compose a list of the 100 most influential people for 2018. It’s a compilation of individuals who have done and are continuing to achieve amazing things and it aims to signify to the younger generation that disability doesn’t have to be a barrier.
Being named in the list is something I could only ever dream of achieving but I have proven to myself that with some determination and hard work, even your wildest dreams can come true.
I want to portray the message that even though having a disability can be challenging, it’s not always a barrier and despite the hurdles that are often coupled with a life as a disabled person, it is possible to overcome them and achieve what you desire.
A few years ago, I realised that I had a choice – to either let my disability define me and where I want to go in life, or, to keep striving for what I want to achieve and to block out the sound of those who hold preconceived ideas about what I can and cannot do.
I am now a blogger, a writer, an Open University student and so many more things that I’m extremely proud to be.
I think the misconceptions and outdated ideologies can often be more of a barrier than our impairments themselves. This is a gentle reminder that if you feel like the odds are against you, it is possible to defy them and when you do reach those goals, it’ll feel incredibly rewarding.
About Elin Williams
Elin started her blog in 2015 to share her love of writing and her all her passions, including music, beauty, fashion and lifestyle, and educate others on how she enjoys them as a visually impaired person. Her blog shares her perspectives and raises awareness of wider accessibility and disability issues. It also works to motivate and help others with visual impairments.
She explains: “Sight loss deprives me