As someone with their own chronic illnesses and identifying as disabled, and a spoonie (not familiar with the Spoon Theory? Learn more about it here!) I try to do my bit to help spread awareness as much as possible. One of the ways I try to do this is to talk about my own health conditions and experiences as much as possible. Not everyone has a platform to do that, and the purpose of the disability interview series here at Just Geeking By are to help people learn, to fight back against ignorance and continue to spread awareness of the battles some people are fighting every day.
You may have noticed the use of ‘disability’; please recognise that it has been chosen for SEO (search engine optimisation) purposes rather than to force a label on anyone. I’ve used the term disability as it is universally recognised, however, I’m aware that while I am comfortable identifying myself as such I know others are not. I encourage anyone taking part in this interview series to use the language they feel comfortable with, and you’ll notice that I’ve included a question about identity as part of the interview questions. This isn’t to put anyone on the spot; rather it is designed to help spread awareness and help others learn to make their language more inclusive.
About taking part
Anyone can volunteer for an interview! This interview is open to anyone who has a chronic illness, disability, mental health condition, or mobility Please do not worry about seeming interesting, or whether someone with your condition/disability has already completed an interview. Everyone’s experience is different and not every migraine sufferer, for example, will be effected by the condition in the same way or even have the same symptoms. In fact, having interviews from people with the same/similar conditions is a great way to illustrate just how varied experiences can be. You’re absolutely welcome to contact me and have a chat if you’re not sure about taking part 🙂
If you do want to take part then please be aware of these few requirements:
- Due to the personal nature of this interview I want people to feel as comfortable as possible with the interview process, so while I would like everyone to complete all of the questions I am giving participants the option to skip up to 5 questions. If you feel the need to skip any more then I would suggest that this is not the interview for you.
- I require one photo that represents yourself; this is needed for the header image of the article as seen here. Understandably this is a personal interview so you may not feel comfortable using a personal photograph. If that is the case please go to Unsplash and choose an image from there – it can be anything; a pretty image that caught your eye, a hobby, an animal you love. If you are happy to use a personal image then this can be logo, a photo of yourself or a professional head shot.
- I’m also happy to include four photos/images in the article if you have any others that accompany your story. This is completely optional and is not a requirement.
- If you are happy with these requirements then please head over to sign up form and fill it in!
I use the same set of questions for each interview and they are as follows:
Hi …. please tell us a bit about yourself!
Would you please tell us a bit about your condition/s [disabilities]?
When did you first become aware of your symptoms and how long did it take to get a formal diagnosis?
What changes did you need to make to your life?
How does this impact your daily routine?
What is the hardest part about being [chronically ill/disabled/a spoonie/insert terminology of your choice]?
What language/terminology do you use to identify yourself?
What do you always get asked about your [chronically ill/disabled/a spoonie/insert terminology of your choice]?
What do you wish people would ask?
What is the most positive experience you have had related to your [chronically ill/disabled/a spoonie/insert terminology of your choice]?
What was the worst experience related to your [chronically ill/disabled/a spoonie/insert terminology of your choice]?
What advice would you give to someone who is seeking answers, or is newly diagnosed?
What is the best advice you were ever given?
If you could teach anyone anything about what it is like to be you, or [chronically ill/disabled/a spoonie/insert terminology of your choice] what would it be?
Now for some random questions…
If you were the god/goddess of anything, what would it be?
What would your animal form be?
Do you have any fun quirks?
Do you collect anything?
And finally; time for a shameless plug: (You can use this to plug websites, online stores or social media accounts of your own, or a community/charity you want to highlight.)
Interested in taking part? Sign up over here!
Image Credits: Photo from Unsplash.