In today's society, businesses should prioritize Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) in their hiring practices. Hiring a disabled person is an important part of ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace. Not only is it the right thing to do, it also has many benefits for businesses. Hiring a disabled person can improve a business's reputation. Consumers increasingly want to support businesses that have a commitment to DE&I, and hiring a disabled person can show that a bu
It's amazing what representation can do to a person. Recognizing yourself in a public figure can uplift and inspire. I've experienced that first hand when I got recently injured. I was looking for examples. And now a few years later, as a disabled influencer myself, I also see my presence online is uplifting to others. Representation matters! But we need more chances to be seen and heard. Unfortunately, it's still rare to see people with disabilities in the media or in public
Disability devotee; a person who has a preference for people with disabilities, often as a sexual attraction. My first encounter was when I was still in rehabilitation. I posted a photo of myself in a wheelchair. Someone send me a message on my instagram asking for very personal questions. Another requesting pictures of my 'dead feet'. More of these requests followed but I kept ignoring and deleting. Research I didn’t understand why people are attracted to the paralyzed body.
If I want to apply to Miss Wheelchair World 2022? Last year September I've received a message from a former contestant with this question. I was very exited and decided to give it a try. Why not, right?! On the 3rd of december 2021 the announcement with finalists was posted online. 27 women in wheelchairs were chosen and I am one of them! Beauty pageant This year it will be the second time the Miss Wheelchair World event will take place. The first edition was held in Warsaw,
Calling for diversity and link it to justice and equality is a good thing. But there is more to it. Diversity, inclusion and equity are not just an issue of ‘communication and PR’. It’s part of the composition, structure and culture of a company. Awareness and acting towards change are necessary. Diversity is about changing perceptions which lead to actual cultural change. It’s not simply solved by just hiring one person of color or one person with a disability. People need t
When I became paralyzed I continued to post pictures of myself on Instagram. I did not feel shame about moving around in a wheelchair. It happened, life goes on. Other aspects of being disabled worried me more. One thing that no one told me about is the 'devotees' who are turned on by women (or men) who are disabled (paralyzed). My disability became an invitation for devotees The Shock I got messages on my social media accounts from guys who said to be attracted by my paralyz
Can you have sex? Can you have kids? These are very common questions abled people ask me, being a wheelchair user, a paraplegic. The answer is very short and simple. Yes! "Yes, I Can! Being a Paraplegic is No Barrier to Having a Satisfying and Fulfilling Sexual and Reproductive Life" Interview Last week I got approached by a young woman, like myself, from a Dutch national tv show/platform that covers topics on drugs and sex. She wanted to ask me a few questions about having '
Living with a spinal cord injury also means you are more vulnerable in the current situation with the corona crisis. The respirational function is less as the lung and couch capacity is lower, the risk on respiratory infection is higher. Not only that. Living in isolation and uncertainty is a daily situation for a lot of people (with disabilities). Social distancing also for me, is not a problem in the sense of not going outside and just spending a lot of time at home by your
Every person is unique. And that's your greatest strength. I never fitted in, so I know what being labelled as 'different' feels like. I was always the 'boring or quiet girl' or 'foreign'. Now I am the 'disabled woman'. We all put labels on things, and we are being labelled everywhere we go. It's just how it works. Some of us a more 'boxable' than others but we all bring something to the table. I believe there is good in all of us and that we can all contribute in our own way
So maybe you have a relative, a friend, a colleague or a neighbor that goes through life using a wheelchair. Or maybe you've once broke your leg and had to use a wheelchair for a few weeks. In that case you might have noticed it isn't easy rolling around. How can you change something in your own environment to be more accessible? Most of the time the adjustments are not as big people think they need to be. Maybe you are a business owner and you can adapt the entrance with a s
We all have good and bad days or weeks. My days are filled with dealing with "accessible". Yesterday and the day before that I couldn't enter my own house because there are people working on installing new cables underneath the sidewalk. All fine but I am in a wheelchair and I can't jump over meter deep holes or take stairs. The entrance was blocked and the people working on it, are not around after they finish for the day or when they take a break. I noticed before that they
"But you're too pretty to be in a wheelchair" is a comment I often hear. Having a disability is linked to being unattractive, sick or outlandish. It's against expectations when a person in a wheelchair takes care of their appearance. If you can’t comprehend that disabled people are so much more than their disability, your view needs an update. I've had an interview about body image and sexuality a while ago. For more than an hour, I've answered questions about how I experienc
When people ask you what you do in life, what do you say? It's normal to reply by telling what you do for a living. Right? I feel like I need to keep explaining that when I became paralyzed my whole world changed, my body changed so therefor I changed, also my options and goals. And all of that takes time. Because of all that had happened I'm still looking for what suits me and my situation now. I don't have a job (yet!). I don't feel useless, because I have enough to do, to
Since exo-skeletons are very expensive, starting at 90.000 euros, it's not some amount (most) people just have. So what would you do? Walk (again) or spend that sum on a more advanced wheelchair and products to improve daily life? Both, right? If in the future these skeletons will evolve to a more advanced tool, also suitable for daily usage, maybe.. just maybe, then it will be seen as a tool of value. And the question is, if by that time me and other young people who became
Clothes, we all need it to protect our bodies but we also use it to communicate who we are, it's part of out identity. When you have a spinal cord injury there is even more to it. When you can stand for a minute or if you can't move at all, that will effect your wardrobe choices. Personally I wore a lot of jeans before was paralyzed. Now I never wear denim jeans. Jeans have a lot of seems, pinholes, pockets. It's too much risks on decubitus (skin damage) and the struggle, tak
There must be some positive side to this all. Yes, of course! I believe there is. Being disabled is not always bad. Here is why. Number 1: Most obvious. Yes, the parking privilege. It's nice to park close to the door and have enough space to get the wheelchair in and out of the car. Number 2: Receiving help from the government to get assistance in household tasks and in some cases you may receive financial support because being disabled brings a lot of extra costs. Number 3: