Friday, 15 March 2019
Seven months ago I decided to join the community of Ability Online; since joining, I’ve had countless conversations on message boards, and raced to keep up with the unbelievable pace of Monday Night Chats.
For those who aren’t aware, Ability Online is a community, meant to encourage those with special needs to connect and build friendships. We talk about things like the weather (It’s cold and snowing; spring, where are you?), our favourite things (the colour blue, Italian food, and SHORT walks on the beach.) There’s something for everyone and anyone, you just have to search the forums, and you’ll find yourself a friend.
While I tend to hop around and answer any post, I’ve recently noticed a forum titled “Write Now.” This is a place for writers to talk about or share their writing with people who also like to write or read. After scrolling, I started thinking, and I have a thought. Here we go…
Storytelling is the world’s most accessible form of human entertainment and connection.
Literally anyone can write, read, or share a story with minimal accommodation, and when you’re world is made up of modified or accommodated activities every day, all day…to be able to do something the way it was meant to be done, or in a way that is accepted by other members of your society, it means a lot more than you would guess.
Some of us may require the use of text-to-speech technology, communication boards, or computers…but at least we can all tell stories that can be understood and appreciated by the people around us. I’m not saying we’re all going to be the next Robert Munsch or L.M Montgomery; but, thanks to Audiobooks, E-books, movies, television, and developmentally appropriate reading material, we can all enjoy a good story without feeling different or singled-out by our abilities.
Listen, I know the world isn’t a perfectly accessible fairytale, and that there are many dragons that need slaying in the days to come. But, for the moment, I am happy to see that we can all curl up and appreciate a story; in whichever method we choose.
Confidence may be a hard concept to actually obtain for many people. Gaining confidence may be a challenge but it is not impossible. Have you ever heard of the phrase “Fake it till you make it”? well, sometimes following that may actually work.
Let me use myself as an example. Growing up, I didn’t mind public speaking. I would even volunteer to work as assembly hosts and morning speakers in elementary school. However, by the time I reached high school, I hated it. I hated any attention that was given to me and this made doing presentations in class quite difficult.
Now fast forward to University, I am back to enjoying public speaking and doing presentations. Why a sudden change? Confidence. Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t just come to university and suddenly love presenting again. I knew it was impossible to hide from it and so of course, I faked my confidence. Eventually, I started getting comfortable. This just goes to show that confidence is gained and achieved, and it’s not easy. I know I’m not perfect and I do get nervous quite a bit but there is nothing wrong with trying and pushing yourself to be the best you can be.
Here are some tips to help you build confidence!
1. Be Fearless!
2. Don’t Care What Others Think
3. Challenge Yourself
4. Do What Makes You Happy!
Sunday, 10 March 2019
March Break is finally here YAY!
A week off of school to have fun and enjoyable break. To make memories and spend time with loved ones this March break get started with activities and things to do both at home and exploring the outdoors. Here is a list of places to go and things to see, as well as what activities you can embark on at home.
Places to go and things to see include:
- The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum): March Break programs start from the 9th all the way to the 17th for all ages. From finding treasure, to meeting new species of Dinosaurs, including interactive and accessible for all. With displays and informative tours that incorporate all five senses, allows one to learn and explore information through a comprehensive experience.
- The AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario): Another place to visit during March break would be the AGO. With it's all inclusive march break programs and events from 10:30 to 4pm, kids and teen can participate in a variety of classes. Each day there is something recently discovered to explore and a new creative activity to make!
- Toronto Zoo: This year the Toronto Zoo offers a scavenger hunt along with a live screening of the latest seasons show. With the guest appearances from your favourite furry friends of course!
- Imagine Dragons at Casa Loma: Interactive castle experience with fairy tale like era with Imagine Dragons in Castle Loma. A series of theatrical performances from March 9 to March 17th.
- Crock a doodle: I have recently just found this gem not too long ago, a great way to learn pottery or select a variety or ceramics to paint with your loved ones. Crock a Doodle has a variety of location within the GTA, with their Drop in Studios just make sure you call in ahead!
Want to stay in, here are some activities you can do!
- Baking: March break is the perfect time to try out new recipes and have fun in the comfort of your own home.
- Crafting: A great way for some creative fun with you family and friends. Turn Pinterest ideas to DIY projects; for instructions or ideas members can visit Ability Online’s Fun stuff page for more crafts.
- Movies: Watching movies are a great way to escape our world and explore another. During the March break stay in or even go out to the movies for all inclusive experience.
- Games: Want to travel another realm, well through the march break you can accomplish this by playing games. Both board games and video games can help you bond, have fun, and create memories with your loved ones. Feel free to check out all inclusive games at Ability Online.