published in the Republican July 2020

This week we are celebrating Independence Day.  Independence means something different to everybody, but for people with disabilities being independent is everything.

For people with disabilities, even the simple things such as having their own identity, making their own choices and being in control of their lives is what independence means to them.  The first step to being independent is accepting the disability, but not letting it define you.  There are many ways to minimize your disability by being your own advocate, focusing on the things that can be controlled and setting personal goals to overcome your disability.

The next step is to take advantage of the support services and accessibility options that are available to you.  Support can be found through disability organizations, family and friends.

Most importantly, discover your purpose and find activities that bring you happiness and fulfillment.  Volunteering can be an excellent way to achieve this goal.  Always be on the lookout for new experiences and hobbies to broaden your horizons.

You should always make your health a top priority.  Look for exercise activities that you enjoy.  Try to eat healthy food on a regular basis.  Manage your stress with relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation.

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