by Bree Robertson (originally published on SelfAdvocateNet.com)
My name is Bree and I live in Prince George, B.C. Last summer I was invited by Vela Microboards to speak at conference in Melbourne, Australia! It was the World Congress for the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD).
My presentation was about my self-directed life, which is possible as a result of my having a micro board. I shared how I get to decide what I do and when, from the time I get up to where I go during the day, to who I do it with.
I get a say in who supports me and how. I get to travel to lots of places, close to home and far away.
I wanted my audience to learn that no matter your level of disability, you can lead a good life, full of fun and adventure.
You can control your life, with the proper supports. For me this is important because I am a person who can literally do nothing for myself, other than breathe, and yet I have a great life, doing what I want to do, when I want to do it (within reason of course – I have to be safe, and my money isn’t exactly unlimited). I really wanted people to learn and remember that despite my obvious limitations, I enjoy my life.
The best part of the trip for me was meeting new people at the conference, and sharing my story with them.
It is important to me to share my story because I know there are lots of people with disabilities and their families and other caregivers who don’t think that they can control their own lives, and that they can’t experience the kinds of things that other people without disabilities can.
I know that that isn’t true. My life, because of my micro board and my family, has been a great adventure.