By Ryan Wilson
Team Trust, CEO
Because I have a disability, I think people assume I need help with everything.
They may think I need help with everyday tasks, and require a whole staff of personnel assistants (PAs) to fill my needs.
This was the case for about 24 years of my life, but not any more.
I used to have a staff of about eight PAs in college, and I had an aid in elementary, junior and high schools to help me navigate crowded hallways and carry books.
I even had PAs up until the pandemic hit, and then the world shut down.
My PAs were all college students, and they were gone indefinitely.
I had three options:
Stay with my parents for the duration of the pandemic;
Scramble to find any human being who would help me;
Forge ahead independently without any PAs.
I chose option 3, perhaps the riskiest of the three options.
While I had no help, I did have athlete friends with disabilities who led independent lives.
They didn’t have PAs, and it seemed, with my increasing strength, I didn’t need PAs, either.
When I did have PAs, I carefully tested my strength and independence.
Could I cook without burning my home down? Yes.
Could I do laundry independently? Yes.
Could I transfer into the shower independently? Yes.
Turns out, I didn’t need PAs at all.
While this Is not universal for all persons with disabilities, it is one dose of a small, yet large achievement anybody with a disability has.