The Character of Disability

Dedication: To my mum and dad - mum now has her angel wings and I know she has my back until we meet again, and dad, still my biggest cheerleader.

Having been born with a physical disability in the late 70’s my future was already decided by the doctors, occupational therapists, the education department… to them it didn’t look bright, shiny and successful.

My parents had just two wishes for me, to grow up independent and to grow up happy. This I have achieved. My journey has been one filled with dreams and hopes, ultimately leading to my competing at two Paralympic Games, winning 3 Paralympic medals, achieving a Masters degree at University, and moving to the other side of the world – the ultimate expression of independence. What my journey has shown me is that disability does not have to be a set back or a tragedy, in fact disability can build character strengths that can help a person achieve their potential beyond what can be imagined possible.

My vision, my mission is now to empower young people with disabilities to believe in their ability to achieve, to strive, to thrive, and to flourish in a society that stands very much against them.

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Elizabeth Wright