A big thank you to my friend Emma over at SimplyEmma.co.uk (Top UK travel + disability blogger) for inviting me to answer some awesome questions as part of the only Disabled Blogger Tag. A Q + A series created by Elin from My Blurred World specifically for disabled bloggers!
1. When and why did you start your blog?
I started this blog in August 2017, although I’ve had many blogs over the years I’ve never gone public with. They were more a personal outlet of my troubles. Starting ‘Life of an Ambitious Turtle’ was a whole other kettle of fish!
My life and perspective changed dramatically in 2011 when I lost my Father to a rare form of Cancer. I made it my mission to start grabbing life by the horns and get every last ounce of joy out of it, no matter how small. I learnt how to find the silver lining in the darkest of clouds and never feel sorry for myself because somebody out there somewhere has it WAY worse. Channelling my energy into living life to the full and push the limits of my progressive muscle-wasting condition. I had a family despite so many things stacked against me, live independently, get out and about and travel to experience what life has to offer. I wanted to inspire people to do the same, if I could take some of the guess work out of travelling, parenting amongst other things it might give people the peace of mind they need to live how they truly want to. My end goal was really to help people through my good and bad experiences achieving things with a severe disability.
2. Did you intend on talking about your disability from the beginning?
As parenting with a disability was going to be my nichè, they’d have to be on equal par with each other. I however didn’t set out to make the specifics of my disability be the most evident thing I blog about.
3. Have you ever been sceptical about talking about your disability online?
Yes and still am to a degree, though I’m getting more comfortable and confident in trying to be a relatable individual in the disabled community in order to inspire more people to reach for family oriented goals despite common misconceptions, self-confidence issues and dealing with an ableist society. Sadly, I was all too worried in the beginning of people thinking all I ever talk about is disability or I was attention seeking by blogging about it in some weird way.
I had to learn to let go of my fears of how others may perceive me, my disability, my life choices that’d be evident in a public blog and brace myself for some critism in order to keep myself focused on my goal of taking the guess work out of parenting with a disability for those who want to pursue having a family of their own.
4. What kind of response have you/do you receive in terms of your disability-related blog posts?
I get very positive comments and admiration (which I’m not sure what to do with to be honest). I’ve gotten several heart-warming messages about how my posts have given people the push they needed to forfill their ambitions whether that be in starting a family, travelling or fighting for what they’re entitled to, all from the perceptive of being a disabled person. Knowing I’m achieving what I set out to do helps spur me on to put out more content to reach and help more people through my own experiences.
5. Do you write/talk about other topics apart from your disability?
I talk a lot about parenting, helpful baby/toddler/child products, product reviews. I’ve started including our travel experiences from a family with additional needs view point and I do a lot of campaign related content for awareness purposes.
6. What steps do you take to make your blog accessible to yourself aswell as other people?
In order to make my blog accessible to me is by having all the editing and image apps right on my mobile as I actually write and publish right from my bed, on my mobile phone late at night when the littles are fast asleep. Dragging out a heavy laptop isn’t practical for me anymore given my muscle weakness, so I’m very grateful I can do everything from a handheld device!
For others, making sure images are extra large and I’ve incorporated Image Description from day 1. This was a MUST when I was designing my blog as my eldest daughter is visually impaired from a genetic disorder. Her Grandad is blind from the same condition and I’ve spent countless afternoons helping him browse the Internet to buy things or look up things of interest using Jaws or Dragon (two common Screen Readers). So I have experience of just how frustrating it can be navigating the Web with screen reading software. Images and hyperlinks can send them into a frenzy! In the future I am hoping to add an audio 🔉 button to actually read out blog posts to make things even more accessible.
7. What is your favourite thing about blogging about your disability?
Being a part of such a loving, accepting community and raising awareness to things able-bodied individuals have never really thought about. Educating and widening peoples knowledge on important issues is all I hope to achieve from outsiders.
8. What are your Top 3 disability-related blog posts that you’ve ever published?
9. Do you think that the disabled blogger/YouTube community is overlooked?
I think so, in the grand scheme of things. Disabled bloggers are definitely the minority of all bloggers, but you could view that as a good thing because the catagory therefore isn’t as competitive. In fact, the disabled bloggers community isn’t competitive at all, everybody admires and encourages each other. It was never about making money for 98% of us.
As far as YouTube, I think disabled Vloggers are getting more popular! I love watching Ellie DP – Beauty Vlogger with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Gem Hubbard of WheelsNoHeels – Lifestyle + disability Vlogger who’s a paraplegic, and Lizzy Bunton Vlogs – Mum of 3 who vlogs about parenting, disability + hauls…. just to name a few…
10. Do you find it difficult to think of new disability-related content to publish?
Actually no, I have so many ideas and avenues I want to go down that my only hang-up is what order to do blog types in and making sure I don’t veer too far away from the main genres.
11. Do you think blogging about your disability helps to change people’s perceptions?
Being still quite a new blogger, I’m trying to broaden my audience with the use of genre appropriate blogger linky communities. Many of which I’m their first disability blogger and many have commented on how such and such a blog has made them think differently about this or that so yes most definitely, which is amazing!
12. Who do you Tag?
I’d love to see Trailblazer Vicki Dennis, Molly Burke – Motivational Speaker + YouTuber who is Blind + Emily (of CripBitch.com) answer to these disability blogging related questions!