When I was in high school I had many amazing teachers and staff working alongside me and my family. They really pushed me to be greater than I ever thought I could be. I started using communication devices and they encouraged me to educate others about cerebral palsy and other unique abilities by putting a slideshow presentation together. It took the whole school year of hard work, but I’m so grateful for all of their effort and encouragement to complete it. I felt terrified and nervous at the thought of public speaking, but I eventually got quite comfortable delivering my presentation in front of many classes. As I took time to present and educate groups of students, the schools would thank me with an honorarium and I soon took this very serious as my job. I’ve presented to high school classes, university classes and my local church in the small city of Powell River where I live.
I wanted to expand my audience without having to leave my home town, as traveling can be quite challenging for me. My mom heard about a video contest and I eagerly got to work. I won first place and a cash prize for a video I put together explaining what inclusion means to me. This inspired the idea to make more videos after receiving so much positive feedback. Even though a 5 minute video can take weeks for me to complete, I decided to start making video blogs regularly using my eye gaze communication device. One of my funding support staff watched my videos and suggested that I share them with www.selfadvocatenet.com. She told me that they feature selected videos for their monthly newsletters and this could really expand my viewers. To my great surprise, selfadvocatenet responded not only saying they’d feature my videos, they also said they would pay me to post them and offered me my own column to post regularly! This has been a huge stepping stone in my dream to be an advocate for anyone living with unique abilities and for those who are quite often misunderstood. I never thought I would be able to have a job, nor did I anticipate my dreams to ever come true, but I am ecstatic to be able to have both. Thank you to everyone who believed in me.
Here is one of Julie’s video blogs:
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Julie is a successful blogger and is payed by @selfadvocatenet for her weekly posts! With the support of her teachers, staff and family Julie gained confidence to begin presenting at multiple schools and churches. Soon after, Julie won first place in a video contest for explaining what inclusion meant to her! Because of Julie's ambition and determination, she has become an advocate for people living with unique abilities. . . Check out Julie's videos at: http://selfadvocatenet.com/dont-dis-my-abilities/ .