PERSONAL stories of challenge and triumph told by others with a lived experience of disability are being shared on a new website dedicated to the task, called Paper Wings.
Developed by leading social change organisation, Social Futures, Paper Wings encourages contributors to move away from the short instant messaging of social media, and back to an old-school style of reflecting, thinking and crafting of personal messages.
The messages shared are from people with something to pass on about adversity, and how to overcome it. The author of one message, 42-year-old Judi, encourages people to be themselves. "By hiding my difficulties I felt protected from discrimination, from being treated differently, it allowed me to feel a sense of acceptance. I now realise that this was not true acceptance as I wasn't being my true self."
With a positive outlook you will attract positive people which will enhance your understanding of who you areScott Jones, Community Development Coordinator with Social Futures.
In his message, Scott Jones, a Community Development Coordinator at Social Futures, encourages others to be positive, saying: "... with a positive outlook you will attract positive people which will enhance your understanding of who you are."
When he was first diagnosed with a visual impairment, he thought of the things he wouldn't be able to do, Mr Jones said. "That place of negativity was isolating and depressing. It wasn't until I spoke to others with the same situation that I realised I do have options and opportunities."
Other authors include Andie, who shares her story of living with Cerebral Palsey, which she says "sucks sometimes, a lot of the time, but it's a small part of my life", and Maree, a person of short stature aged 62 who writes a letter to her 17-year-old self. "You have grown to 4ft tall ... as a result of your short stature/dwarfism ... which has proven to be one of your greatest assets," she writes. "You will be pleased to know that I am happy."