‘Being a Trailblazer’

A piece I wrote for the Muscular Dystrophy UK website for ‘World Duchenne Awareness Day’ and the ‘Being a Trailblazer’ series

Photo: Courtesy of Andy Brooks

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Having been a member of the Trailblazers network, a group of young disabled and non-disabled campaigners, for just under a year now, I realise how necessary our work is. Striving for equality so that those with serious physical impairments can live life to the full and access all aspects of the community and public facilities are the main priorities.

Living with the progressive muscle wasting condition, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, I, Sam Waddington (18) from Hampshire, decided to join the network to share my experiences in accessing certain opportunities. So far, being part of the work that helps promote disability rights has been very rewarding. Through writing articles that raise awareness about varied aspects of disability, Trailblazers has also provided me with a great platform for the future, as my ambition is to become a journalist.

Since becoming a member my confidence with standing up to inaccessibility has grown, and I am now able to express myself in a constructive manner, as I have realised this is the only way to implement change. Due to my situation, along with fellow Trailblazers, we must not accept anything with limited or no access in everyday scenarios. Whether it be public transport or even drop curbs on pavements.

Sharing ideas and common goals with like-minded individuals who have the same or similar disabilities can only be of benefit, since all of us want to access opportunities just like anyone else (mixing with disabled and able-bodied youngsters alike). Embarking on going to University and independent living, I will not have to overcome challenges on my own, there is always someone who has been through the same difficulties.

Who knows what the future holds for the Trailblazers? Especially if the organisation can carry on gaining greater publicity in the media, amplifying the voice of disability. Campaigning internationally could be next on the horizon … ….

This is the original link –

http://www.musculardystrophyuk.org/your-stories/sam-waddington-on-being-a-trailblazer/

 

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