The Disability Forum

the disability forum: a place where people across the disability spectrum - and parents of children with disabilities - can connect | disability | disability awareness | special needs | forum | information | parenting | support | advice

The Disability Forum

When I was pregnant with Moxie, there was a forum that just about saved me. It had the option of being anonymous – as I needed it to be, as I wasn’t ready to talk about things in public, for real, but I desperately needed support.

I know by now that we all need support in one way or another, and it’s often difficult to talk about the things that we most need help with.

Facebook is fantastic, but it comes with our real names, unless we set up fake accounts and really, who has time for that, huh?

And even with Facebook, there is often a dynamic of “us vs them” – where disabled writers get kicked out of groups run by parents of disabled kids, or parents of disabled kids are jumped on because they asked an insensitive question. I’ve found myself wanting a group or a forum in which we had the choice of being anonymous; in which we can ask what we want and receive the support we need without stigma.

So I went out and created it: The Disability Forum

This is in it’s infancy and I’ve tried to be intuitive in figuring out what might be helpful, both for people across the disability spectrum, and for parents of kids with disabilities.

The point of this is to be helpful for YOU; so if you see things that will make it better, holla and I’ll check it out.

Highlights of the Disability Forum:

  • It’s free and will stay that way
  • It has the option of being anonymous
  • It has sections for support, advice
  • It has sections for questions too
  • It can be as big as we want or as small as it makes sense
  • I will always keep this secure: I’m not a profit-hungry corporation or anything – I’m just a deaf mom living off the grid in a yurt. I have no use for anything except love, yo (and maybe kale and essential oils, right?!)
  • It’s easy to talk there

Questions & Support

I am an inherently curious and filter-less person. I’ve asked people questions like ‘how can you see? your eyes are so slanted’ and more; questions that in hindsight, I’m surprised I never got beat up over.

And I think I never got beat-up over my questions because the people that I was asking knew I was as genuine as it gets. Tactless, insensitive, too-frank, yes; but I was asking from a pure place of wanting to know.

I am just as understanding as others were with me. I give lots of cushion room for questions, my arms are long in support.

With a disability forum though it’s a little tricky because on one hand, I want people to feel free to ask what they want to know; on the other, I don’t want others to feel insulted or that they are being called upon to turn everything into ‘teaching moments’ or something. I don’t want assholes coming in and wrecking a good vibe either.

I just want a place that helps fill a void that currently exists; one in which people do not have the option of privately asking for or receiving support, or one that is cross-disability, in which parents of kids with disabilities are also welcome.

Let’s give it a shot. If it works, great! And if it doesn’t, at least we tried, right? I’m going to have it run on the basic tenants of respect and courtesy, built on the platform of The Golden Rule.

Without more ado, please visit it, share this news, tell your friends, give it a go:

The Disability Forum

Meriah
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
Meriah

@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
So lovely. Thank you for this, @OjiDannelley, and your message needs to be heard. #poweronhttps://t.co/UD0fSaTH7l - 24 hours ago
Meriah
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