There may exist a lot of disability communities, physical organizations, or social media groups; however, the reality is that a significant chunk of disabled people are unable to find the right group. This article will explore the proper methods to search for a disability community that suits your preferences and needs.
Identify the Purpose to Join a Community
First, we need to understand why we are looking for a community. Is it for fun and engagement, moral support, cultural activities, health and well-being, advocacy for disability rights, social awareness, finding ways to earn money, or boosting your entrepreneurial skills? The list is endless. If we join a community randomly without knowing the objective, it can be a waste of time. It might not match your interests, and you might not feel included in the group. It is not the fault of anyone, just that you chose the wrong community that doesn’t reflect your mindset or personality. Check out the website https://www.disabilityfriendlylv.com/ for more information about community engagements and awareness programs for disabled people.
Fun and recreation: Many disabled people join a support group of like-minded people for fun. They don’t connect to discuss their ailments, complications, experiences, aspirations, or other serious issues. They aim to forget everything else for some time and enjoy to their heart’s content with various fun activities along with their disabled peers. The members may be part of other groups and communities where they join for different purposes. But the key is not to mix up with goals. If you are joining a community for pure fun, expect nothing else; otherwise, you will feel suffocated and exclusive of the group.
Moral support: Some communities focus on serious concerns like mental well-being, bitter experiences faced by the disabled community, etc. They strive to provide honest and emotional support for the community members. These groups simply help disabled people with a sense of inclusivity and an assurance that they are not alone in their fight. Sometimes, the community also organizes sessions by experts for mental well-being, resilience, etc. If you are more practical and expect some fun activities to feel relaxed, these communities are not for you.
Cultural Activities: Some disability communities engage and organize events encouraging the artistic side among disabled peers. They provide a platform for the community members to showcase their talent and creativity. It helps boost their confidence levels. You will feel welcomed in these groups if you are interested in art and culture, music, dance, poetry, drama, painting, pottery, embroidery, etc.. Also, the exposure among peers gives a much-needed motivation to hone your skills and realize your worth.
Advocacy: Creating social awareness and disability advocacy are prime objectives of some communities. Join these groups if you want to bring changes in society and raise your voice against discrimination. These groups work to demand accessibility and inclusivity rights of the disabled community. You can also join a group developing, amending, and defending laws, practices, and policies for the disabled community.
Entrepreneurship: Often, working individuals face a traumatic phase when they are not able to continue their employment due to disability. Veterans who have served the community for decades often feel dejected with disability as it affects their self-esteem. Loss of work can lead to financial as well as psychological losses. To overcome this, many social media groups and communities for disabled people offer opportunities to earn through freelance work. This provides an excellent scope for individuals who can utilize their skills in photography, videography, writing, editing, teaching, consulting, etc., and make money at the same time. Other groups work towards fostering more disabled-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
Hence, before joining a community, you need to know what you are looking for. Not all communities or groups might fit your needs. Once you know your purpose, do research based on your primary goals. You may find many groups and non-profit organizations that match your preferences. One piece of advice is not to have high expectations. The communities might have similar issues common in any other social group. At times, you might not feel inclusive with your disabled peers, which is very typical. The reasons could be many. You might need to refine your criteria further while searching for the right group and have patience to gel with the other members. Look for suggestions, as other disabled people from your family or friends might recommend the best community for you.