It’s hard to know what it feels like to live with a disability - or to parent a child with special needs - unless you’ve walked in their shoes. Gone are the days when disabilities were seldom talked about or hidden from the public eye, and in the last ten years the blogosphere has exploded with personal stories about disability: they can make you laugh, make you cry, rally you to action or raise your awareness.
From personal stories to education and disability activism, here are 10 of the best blogs about disability.
1. The Mighty - https://themighty.com
The Mighty’s tagline is “we face disability, disease and mental illness together” and is dedicated to sharing stories from parents and people with autism, Down syndrome, mental illness, chronic illness and other rare diseases. The Mighty has a fairly lofty goal – it wants to uplift people and to celebrate the beauty of the human sprit through storytelling. If you ever find yourself having a bad day and need a hit of inspiration, this is a great place to start.
2. Carly Findlay - http://carlyfindlay.blogspot.com.au
Blogger and columnist Carly Findlay wants to educate people about chronic illness, disabilities, diversity and acceptance. Born with a rare skin condition called ichthyosis, her blog is informative and entertaining. Carly is no stranger to internet trolls and turned a Reddit forum mocking her appearance into an opportunity to educate people about her condition. The verdict? She won the internet with awesome.
3. Disability Thinking - http://disabilitythinking.com/disabilitythinking/
Covering bigger picture issues and hot button topics, Disability Thinking bills itself as a thought-provoking website dedicated to disability life, identity, culture, commentary and politics. This site is not for the fainthearted. If you want to get stuck into some serious articles about disability issues, this is the place to be. The weekly reading list offers a wealth of links to articles and resources, and the blog also highlights current campaigns like #cripthevote.
4. Parker Myles - http://parkermyles.com
Kat – a mother of two - only discovered in the birthing suite that her beautiful son had Down syndrome. She has written a number of viral articles about parenting a child with special needs, and her warm style has won many fans. And if her gorgeous boy Parker looks familiar, it’s probably because he was one of the winners of the hotly-contested Bonds’ Baby Search, and is now the face of the iconic Aussie brand.
5. My Home Truths - http://myhometruths.com
Kirsty knows what being a special needs parent is like. Her son has albinism and high-functioning autism, and one of her daughters has Aspergers Syndrome: her blog is dedicated to raising awareness about those conditions. Kirsty is a bona fide supermum: her love for her three children and her passion for the subject matter is what makes her blog such a compelling read. My Home Truths has educated and reassured so many parents in similar situations.
6. Have Wheelchair Will Travel - http://havewheelchairwilltravel.net
Everyone loves to travel, and the ethos of this blog is that everyone deserves to have that opportunity – even people who have access issues. Have Wheelchair Will Travel is dedicated to helping people with disabilities plan and research their holidays. Lovers of travel, their goal is to facilitate fantastic adventures and unique experiences for those who require mobility assistance. Their enthusiasm for the subject matter is contagious, and will get you googling that next trip.
7. Living With Bob (Dysautonomia) - http://bobisdysautonomia.blogspot.com.au
Living With Bob takes a wryly humorous approach to living with chronic illness. With sections devoted to coping with illness, going through the process of diagnosis and bigger issues around disability, it’s black humour with the intent to educate. While the tone and content might not be for everyone, Rusty has found many admirers for her forthright and honest style, and has built a loyal community around the blog. Those without wicked sense of humour need not apply.
8. Don’t Dis My Ability - http://www.dontdismyability.com.au/about
Don't Dis my Ability is an Australian campaign that celebrates the diversity and ability of people with disability, and shines a spotlight on the real lives and employment journeys of people who are living with disability. It’s not a personal blog as such - and is actually run by a government agency - but it has multiple contributors with their own unique take on the subject matter. Inclusion is a reccurring theme, as is accessibility.
9. My Disability Matters - https://mydisabilitymatters.com.au
This comprehensive site features up to date news about disability issues, with an entire section devoted to the NDIS. With sections on lifestyle, parenting, independent living and human rights, it is essential reading for anyone in this sphere. For the best in worldwide disability news, this is an invaluable resource. It’s definitely worthy of a toolbar bookmark, and it’s one of those sites you will no doubt find yourself returning to time and time again.
10. The Wheelchair Mommy - http://www.wheelchairmommy.com
Priscilla is a mum to three boys, and blogs about life as a wheelchair user. Her aim is to “show the world that life doesn’t have to stop just because it was turned upside down”, and her writing shines with wit and warmth. This blog is compelling because it flips the narrative – we are so used to reading about parents who have children with disabilities, but not from parents who are themselves disabled.
These are the stories that need to be shared, and shared widely. We are so grateful for the power of the internet to connect our communities and to give voice to those who for so long have been without a voice: these blogs are a great place to start the conversation.