International Day of People with Disabilities

International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPwD) is held on 3 December each year and is an opportunity to increase public understanding of the challenges faced by people living with disabilities. It is also a chance to celebrate the contributions and achievements of people living with disability across the world.

Recently we spoke with 27-year-old NIISQ participant, Ebby, who had her life flipped upside down in 2020 when being a passenger in a motor vehicle accident resulted in a spinal cord injury.

“It completely changed my personality. After it happened I felt as though I was grieving the death of my own existence. I really struggled for a long time to come to terms with what had happened and the disconnect I felt,” Ebby said.

Ebby has come a long way in the past few years. She was able to secure specialist disability accommodation in Palm Beach, connect with a supportive allied health and care team, and recently trialled a beach wheelchair to maximise her lifestyle and enjoy the Gold Coast shores that she grew up on.

When asked about what life was like now, Ebby replied, “It’s definitely pretty good considering what I’ve been through. It has taken a while to adapt to living with a spinal cord injury, because it has not always been easy, but I’ve really grown as a person throughout it. NIISQ has been amazing and so helpful with linking me to the right supports and creating these opportunities and accessibility options that suit me.”

Ebby spoke about how she enjoys visiting her local shopping centres, but also of the stares she gets from the general public when she is out and about in her power drive wheelchair. “It has certainly been a struggle for me to cope with mentally. Its uncomfortable when you just want to have a relaxing time at the shop.

“It is really important for the general public to be considerate, open-minded and non-judgemental when walking past someone who a visible disability. Put yourself in their shoes and think how it makes them feel. We are all people and we all have wants, dreams, desires and struggles, they’re just individual.”

Thank you Ebby, for talking with us for International Day of People with Disabilities and sharing a little of your journey.

Last updated: February 2023