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During the pandemic, I have had time to reflect, improve my communication and even my everyday life!

Looking back on the past. What has gone is gone. It is engraved in history, and I now endeavour to look forward and forever be forward-thinking. Having to stay at home for such long periods during the lockdowns and throughout the pandemic has meant that I have had a lot of time to think. I now realise that I have been fighting a small battle for many years, not completely accepting that cerebral palsy means that I have to think and do some things differently. I'm disabled and have always have been. I have now realised that this doesn't mean that I need to prove myself to anyone and all of the little achievements that I have made up until now are enough. They've contributed to making me the person that I am today, and to be honest, my family and friends have been telling me exactly this for years. Still, I have sometimes pushed myself to the limits unnecessarily because of my stubborn nature.

For the future, and from the point of view of a person living with cerebral palsy and a severe speech impediment, I am full of excitement! Online technology has dramatically improved over the past decades and more quickly than ever before during the pandemic. People are using technology in ground-breaking ways, and for people with communication and disability barriers, this is quite simply a good thing. For example, syncing the likes of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ACC) and even Eye-Controlled Technology with the ever more use of social media has opened up a whole new world for people who would normally be shut off from it. I am so happy that this is happening. This will only make the world more open, accessible, and inclusive for many more people!

Not only this, general every day and more personal things you can do online now too, where in the past my mother has had to speak over the phone on my behalf mostly. Things such as renewing my driving licence after ten years, updating my disability blue parking badge, and ordering my new Motability car. I have recently done all this myself online, and it feels so good to conduct my own business. This may sound stupid or will seem insignificant to some people, but these are just the little things contributing to making the world a much more inclusive place to live in. All I ask is for people to embrace the future and roll with it.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, probably just a cloud in the sky, lol!!


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