Designing for people on web not only gives me an opportunity to earn a living, but the web’s openness. ease of access, and the ability to contribute are all of the most important things that make me enjoy what I do. Not many people that know me online are aware that I have Cerebral Palsy, [...]
Designing for people on web not only gives me an opportunity to earn a living, but the web’s openness. ease of access, and the ability to contribute are all of the most important things that make me enjoy what I do.
Not many people that know me online are aware that I have Cerebral Palsy, an impairment which gives me limited ability in my left hand and leg. It’s not totally dibilitating but it does make some thing straining. Walking is fine apart from a limp, and I can type (albeit slowly) with two hands, and I am for the most part, fully independent. Accomplishing some tasks just require an extra bit of creativeness. Up until 4 years ago, what I thought what was going to be most challenging was to find a job.
At the end of 4th Year in secondary school, I had my only meeting with my Guidance Counsellor, and he asked me if I had a career path in mind. I honestly didn’t know what to say. I had to think of something that a) I could do without assistance and b) something I enjoyed doing.
I originally thought about being a photographer – which I now know to be the del facto career path for anyone who literally has no clue (sorry to the professional photographers reading this). I also thought of game progammer/tester and black hat hacker during this brainstorming session with myself and counsellor, but none of those really stood out to me.
I have always been a techie sort of person. I first had access to computer at age 6, a Dell running Windows 3.1 (shudder), which required me to learn command prompt to play the games. Perhaps it was due to the fact I didnt get a steady internet connection until 2006, but I didnt even consider the web before that. HTML and CSS were these things, which, while cool, were totally above my head. And PHP? Dont even start…
It seemed insumountable at the time that I could become anything more than an admirer of the web and the people who create for it. But I kept at it for the next two years, perhaps to the detriment of my actual schooling and official state-appointed examinations.
By the end of school, I had become relatively proficient in HTML and CSS, but I didn’t know or believe I could still, excuse the term, “make it” as a designer on the web. So I did the next thing that people who aren’t totally sure of what to do : Creative Multimedia.
Perhaps thats harsh, but its what I thought. And I was wrong. My four years in college in LIT Clonmel have been great. I have met some truly great people in different fields, become exposed to different and upcoming areas of multimedia I wouldnt have known or engaged in otherwise. I also became certain that what I was doing on the web was something I could do, and do it well.
That self belief is tied in with helping others. I realy do love helping people. And to help people in this way, assisting people in get their word out – the reason for the entire web in the first place – is genuinely great.
Apart from this post, I don’t disclose my “disability” online to people, mainly because it doesnt affect me. My work speaks for itself. It doesnt change what I do. If anything its helped me improve.
Because of it, when doing normal tasks, it may take up to twice the amount of time to complete a task, mostly due to the thought process behind doing something alternatively from everyone else. But when you keep learning to think about how to do certain things a different way, it becomes habitual.
It this “think-outside-the-box” innovation is what has made me good at what I do, and the reason as to why I make things online.