My name is Caroline and I’m a 50 something mother of two and have several pets which include a dog, gecko, snake and a Russian hamster!
I was born with a disability called Arthrogryposis and later in life diagnosed with scoliosis. I used to walk with calipers up to about 16 years ago when I then became a full-time wheelchair user, (due to my scoliosis).
I am passionate about disability access and all that comes with living with a disability.
- Disability Blogs
- Reviewing products & services I feel benefit disabled people
- Holiday destinations & their amenities
- High street retailer’s access
I was born with Arthrogryposis. My parents were told I would never walk and be nothing more than a vegetable in a wheelchair. (Great terminology!! No excuse but it was the 70’s). I’m glad to say, my parents didn’t accept that diagnosis.
I went to a school for children with disabilities up to the age of 13. I decided I wanted to go to a mainstream school, as I found I wasn’t being challenged enough to keep my brain occupied, therefore I became bored very easily. I became somewhat argumentative and disruptive in class, just to liven up the day.
At the end of my first year at my new “mainstream” school, they held their annual awards ceremony, I was surprised to find I was awarded the “Wakeling Endeavour Award”. I had my name engraved on the shield and hung it in the assembly hall with all the other plaques.
Looking back on this time, I realise the impact I must have had on other disabled children. I didn’t realise at the time that I had somehow set a precedence for other disabled children who also wanted to attend mainstream schools. A couple of years later, another disabled girl who was/is a full-time wheelchair user, also attended my school and then another. I was pleased to hear that this was starting to happen in other schools too. The world was starting to change. Did I play a part in this change? One would hope so.
I did pretty well in my exams too. I was pleased with my results including my “Merit” in maths. (You older ones will know what I mean lol).
In my working life, I have been an After-Sales PA, Receptionist, VDU Operator and even a disability Wedding Planner. My passion, however, is web designing. I went to college for a couple of years to learn how to do web designing properly. Along the way, I learned a host of new programmes.
Applying for jobs was a soul-destroying task. On paper, I was the perfect candidate, once in the interview, it was very obvious this was no longer the case.
Today, I am recovering from breast cancer (read my journey). I was diagnosed last August (2021) and I have to say, the past 6 months have probably been the hardest in my life and this is compared to having a heart attack 5 years ago.
When I’m not recovering from something life has thrown at me, I spend my time:
- Blogging about life with a disability
- Reviewing products aimed at the disabled community or products I feel would be beneficial to disabled people
- Reviewing services and how well they have or have not catered for disabled customers (from shops to restaurants)
- Holiday reviews – How easy was it to travel to the destination. Transfers (if any) and how equipped were the premises
- Bringing awareness to high street retailers as to why accessibility is important