Kicking off its second month of programming, My Life Without Limits (MLWL) aims to reach adults with a range of disabilities to start conversations with each other regarding various aspects of life.
Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ provide individuals with the opportunity to connect with each other nationally in groups and form conversations virtually. MLWL provides this same function but is a program branching from and with the support of United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). UCP aims to educate, advocate and serve people with a range of disabilities (from those with Down syndrome or autism to persons with developmental or physical disabilities) and their families. Being a part of UCP gives the program a strong dynamic and allows for credibility to build quickly. MLWL provides a forum for continuous conversations in various areas of life topics, including assistive technology, education, employment, entertainment/lifestyle, finance, health & wellness/recreation, healthcare, housing, travel & transportation and relationships & social life.
The need for such a resource sparked from other UCP programs. My Child Without Limits (MCWL) provides parents and families of those with disabilities with resources and a community of support. The program has seen huge successes but there was never a similar resource for adults (particularly young adults) with disabilities.
O’Ryan Case, UCP’s Director of Membership and Public Education, and others at UCP saw the need for young adults with various disabilities to have a place for casual conversations with each other (as parents and families do through MCWL). They understood the benefits it would have on the community outside of a mere social-media group.
While Case runs MLWL and the content on the site himself (with the incredible support of colleagues at UCP), all content and individuals wanting to be a part of the MLWL community start the conversations. Blog posts are written by guest bloggers on various topics that adults with disabilities may struggle with or want to learn more about from their peers.
Continuing to build traffic flow online is a major goal for Case and the program; however, his “pie-in-the-sky” dream for the program is to have offline programs and meetups nationally and regionally by building the community to initiate these face-to-face interactions.
With the support of The National Youth Transitions Center and Youth Transitions Collaborative, an offline program has already launched in the Washington, DC metro area. Engage: A Diverse Event Series brings together youth and young adults with disabilities and young veterans in the area through a series of networking and educational events. This series is just the beginning of meet ups that will hopefully be happening among adults with disabilities across the country to share life advice.
Giving opportunities doesn’t just include monetary donations when it comes to MLWL. Certainly, donating makes a difference to any organization but so does awareness. Be a guest blogger. Use the hashtag #MyLifeWithoutLimits. Find events or create your own to bring together adults with disabilities. Comment on valuable resources to start conversations.
To be a guest blogger, start a conversation or simply become a part of the My Life Without Limits community, connect with MLWL at http://mylifewithoutlimits.org/connect/contact-us/.
If you are interested in donating to UCP, visit the
“Donate Now” button at UCP.org.
Donations can also be mailed to:
United Cerebral Palsy
1825 K Street NW, Suite 600
Washington DC 20006