Raw Ability Life is a YouTube channel that focuses on the ups and downs of living with disabilities and chronic illness and also the impact on unpaid carers – sharing advice and help in all areas; letting others know the laws that protect them and how to fight back; looking at accessible travel, holidays and equipment; and so much more.
Stacey and John Kovaciny are an interabled couple living in the UK. Stacey has a neuromuscular disease, epilepsy, brittle asthma, hearing and sight loss and other complications. John is Stacey’s husband and her unpaid carer. He also has arthritis, sleep apnoea and diabetes. In their daily vlogs, Stacey and John open the door to their home to allow others to see the truth that is normally hidden behind closed doors. They document the daily struggles that many disabled and chronically ill people and their unpaid carers face, no matter their age, sex, religion, or relationship status. But they also show disabled and/or chronically ill people and their unpaid carers that they are not alone in the struggles and fights for basic rights. Where many don’t even know their rights or what laws there are to protect them, Stacey and John show them where to turn for help or how to get help.
Society sees so many great things happening for disabled people and there are. Thanks to the hard work from campaigners at the changing places consortium, changing places popping up in many locations now allow severely disabled and sick people to be able to travel and go on days out etc. Many buildings are now being made more accessible to the disabled and sick. Society sees all this – it’s all in the news everywhere you look – and it’s great that it is all happening. The big world outside our front doors is becoming more and more accessible to disabled and sick people of all ages.
But the reality is what society doesn’t see, the thousands of people trapped inside their own homes and unable to get out. They are unable to join in, to go to work, to volunteer, to go shopping or even to go to the cinema, no matter how accessible a place may or may not be. As a result of the cuts in social care funding, equipment funding and the many other services that they need to live safely and independently, many disabled and chronically ill people are now left isolated and stuck inside their own homes. In turn, these cuts push unpaid carers to become equally overwhelmed and isolated.
Cuts to everything that make it possible for disabled people to get out and about have left disabled people isolated and lonely. They are unable to get the basic things they need – help to get washed and showered, help to go to the toilet, help to get out of bed. Basic daily living tasks that everyday people take for granted. Leaving the disabled feeling ashamed and embarrassed and causing more pressure on the NHS who then have to deal with the mental health issues that are arising from the cruel an undignified treatment of disabled people and the additional medical help they need from not being able to get help to take their medication or be toileted.
Society has no clue this is happening. Why? Because it’s behind closed doors and what you can’t see you don’t have to believe. Then to add to that many disabled people have such a lack of care and benefits to meet their needs that they can’t reach out or are embarrassed to tell their stories – making them feel even more alone and isolated.
Many unpaid carers also have no support, especially working-age carers. There is nothing out there to help them because what little help there is for unpaid carers covers those who care for the elderly. Many unpaid carers don’t even realise that there are extra grants and money-saving offers available to them. Stacey and John share all this and so much more, because they KNOW just how important unpaid carers are. Their saying is: ‘Unpaid carers are the Real Superheroes’.
Raw Ability Life hopes to change all of this. Stacey and John show the raw truth of what is happening to disabled people and their unpaid carers. They show how it is society and the cuts that make disabled people disabled through the barriers and cuts that stop them from being part of this world. They show all of this affects the lives of both disabled people and their unpaid carers. They show how the right support allows disabled and chronically ill people and their unpaid carers to do so much more.
Stacey and John open their home, their lives and their hearts to everyone to follow along in their crazy world each day. They show the real, raw truth of living in the UK with a disability and chronic illness and as an unpaid carer; with a lot of laughter, fun, love and kindness along the way.
Some of Stacey and John’s viewers have this to say:
- ‘On the up and up. Just realised I’ve been watching your videos for about a year now.’
- ‘Just found your videos and they make me so positive.’
- ‘I really admire your determination in fighting for your rights.’
- ‘Hi John and Stacey. If anybody can try and make a difference, you can. You speak so passionately
- about helping other when you’re being totally let down by the “caring” profession yourself.’
- ‘Ability Life, you are such lovely people. I’m so glad to have come across your channel.’
- ‘What a fabulous couple you are.’
- ‘Brilliantly edited video and wonderful review for the Hilton and its support of disabled guests! Know
- where I’d choose to stay if I was headed that way! Well done, guys, this is a very impressive bit of
- ‘Some good ideas, I think we will be doing that when we go to Butlins.’
- ‘You guys are so proactive about all this.’
- ‘You are both so kind and caring!’
- ‘Stacey, your laugh is infectious.’
Raw Ability Life has viewers from all over the world because many of the topics touched on are not just related to the UK. Many topics touch life in general for those living with disabilities and chronic Illness and as unpaid carer. Stacey and John give advice on different ideas and products that can make lives easier. They share tips and tricks for saving money and making great holidays as cheap as possible. They share information about the help and support that is out there for everyone. Information that many don’t realise is there. Stacey and John also enjoy working with companies and organisations who can help their viewers, who they call family. One such place is VoiceAbility, who offer so much to disabled people, especially advocacy – allowing disabled people a voice to help them get the support and care that they need.
No one should be isolated or alone and no one should be left feeling that they are fighting a battle all by themselves. Many of Stacey and John’s viewers fight similar or the same battles and have formed a small, supportive community within the comments and during the live videos – talking to each other, supporting each other and encouraging each other, no matter where in the world they are from.
Raw Ability Life is for YOU. To be YOU!
Come join us.