#WhatMakesMe

When people first meet me or look at my blog or social media, it’s easy to focus on the fact that I have a disability, because of the different ways that I have to do things as a result.

However, my visual impairment is just one part of me. It does have an impact on me, sure, and is an important aspect of my life. But it doesn’t stop me from being happy and successful and exploring the world around me. So there is far more to me and my identity than just a couple of wonky eyes, as regular readers of my blog will know already.

So in this post I want to list some of the other key things that make me who I am, all of which seem to begin with the letter C now I think about it. I was tagged to do this by Holly at Life Of A Blind Girl, and the #WhatMakesMe tag was originally created by Gem Turner. So thank you to Gem for initiating it and Holly for nominating me, and I hope you all enjoy reading about what makes me who I am.

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Rare Disease Day Photo Challenge

Update (March 1st) I won the challenge, much to my surprise! Thank you so much to Rare Disease UK! It was great fun being involved, because I loved the theme of the campaign, and I really enjoyed seeing other people’s photos. So very well done to all involved. We can all be proud of our efforts to raise awareness during the month! 🙂

Happy Rare Disease Day! 🙂

Today is a wonderful international opportunity to raise awareness of rare diseases, conditions, disabilities, etc, to educate people and highlight the need for greater funding and research. Here in the UK, it’s led by Rare Disease UK. But there are events taking place worldwide, so there will be related organisations in many countries.

1 in 17 people have a rare disease, meaning it’s a lot more common than you might think. So even if you don’t have one yourself, chances are you know somebody who does. And if you do have a rare condition, you’re certainly not alone.

There are over 6,000 rare diseases, affecting over 300 million people worldwide (including 30 million in Europe). That’s a huge number! So this is a day for all of us unusual rarities to get together, along with anyone and everyone who supports us and the cause in any way.

This year, the theme is “Show your rare, show you care”, and everyone can get involved, regardless of whether or they you have a rare disease. So that includes patients, families, carers, medical professionals, policy makers and members of the public.

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All In A Day’s Work

I consider myself to be very fortunate to have retained a steady job for 12 years now. For many (far, far too many) disabled people, gaining employment is way more difficult that it needs to be, and attitudes still need to change in many areas. So I do count myself lucky, and I’ve worked hard to keep my position, by doing jobs promptly and to the best of my abilities, and earning the respect of the colleagues and customers that I interact with. And I do like the work, because of the people I share it with, the variety of tasks that I do each day, and the fact that I’ve learned a lot from it over my time there.

Moving to London, however, led me to assume that I would have to ditch that job and get a new one. Not necessarily easy, given that there are so many people in London also looking for work no doubt, coupled with the fact that I have a disability. But I would at least have a good deal of experience to build on and promote myself with. And maybe there would be better opportunities for training and a higher salary with a London-based job. So I was very prepared to go down that route. If it took a little while to find work, so be it. There would be no harm having a change, so it would be worth the effort. But as it turned out, that was one less thing to worry about.

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Getting A Job

My graduation photo. Dark navy suit and tie, with light blue strap around the neck, and a mortar board on my head.As a follow-up to my School Days video last month, I thought I’d also write about how I got a job after graduating from university.

My degree was in accounting and finance (in which I got a 2:1), so naturally I was looking for work in that field. It was the area that interested me most, and my degree would allow me to skip some of the exams of the official accounting bodies, which would be a great help.

But I was also open to other ideas and possibilities as well, if any came up. I knew that just having a degree in itself would be useful, even if it wasn’t directly related to the job I eventually went for. So I didn’t feel I wanted to restrict myself too much, just in case.

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