I feel like a two-year-old always asking questions, as if I never understood the answer. I just looked at the вЂњDisability Challenges SurveyвЂќ I posted a couple weeks ago. Only 12 people have responded, so it is hard to make generalizations. It gives me more questions than answers. I probably shouldвЂ™ve expected this. My father research scientists always said, quote with every answer there comes to more questionsвЂќ.
The first question was to give me some idea what type of disability people had. There seem to be as many physical and mental and emotional disabilities. I was surprised that no one thought they had a spiritual disability. For most of the world spirituality is part of health. Americans are and exception to this rule. Yet, we are more church going than most industrialized countries. This will give a spotter for further discussions on Facebook and in this blog.
The second question asked about the duration of the disability. As I expected some had been born with a disability some had acquired a disability in some sense said they became aware of the disability. I inserted the latter two categories because I donвЂ™t know when I became legally disabled. My condition was slowly progressive. I knew early on I couldnвЂ™t pass the physical to drive a truck. It was only many years later that I had to stop driving a car.
The third question asks about how we felt about our lives. Most felt pretty good about their lives and the disability did not diminish the satisfaction much. OneвЂ™s satisfaction with their ability to work seemed equal to their ability to care for themselves. I will want to see if the same people felt the same about their self-care and work.
The fourth question asked about satisfaction with factors outside of our immediate control. People seemed most unhappy with their medical care and Social Security. This does not seem to be surprising, since most disabled people spend a lot of their energies and time with medical care and the Social Security system. People felt good about their family and friends. At work their employers seem slightly more supportive than her coworkers. I have been active in many faced based groups advocating for disability services. I often see many barriers in churches. It surprised me that faith communities were very supportive.
The fifth question asks about what changes people would like to see. Medicare and Social Security led the list. In this small survey one person complained that their family treated them the same as they did prior to the hearing loss. There also seem to be a desire to have others treat them better.
The seventh question asks about assistance and what type of assistance people would like. I am not surprised that finding work led the list. The disabled person is twice as likely as an able-bodied person to be unemployed. Relationships with families and family and friends were good.
When asked how optimistic or pessimistic they were about their future, people tended to have a good attitude about the future and their personal future. They were not as optimistic about finding work or being able to care for themselves.
These are preliminary observations. I hope more will answer the survey. More answers will give me more certainty as to what disabled people feel. If you know of others or groups that might not have been asked to take the survey please ask them to take it athttp://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CZL8LN3
As All Ways Seek Joy,
Coach DR Dave
Author of the forthcoming book, вЂњRecipes for Lemonade (thriving through disability): Dr. DaveвЂ™s personal RecipeвЂќ.