It is tough having to live in a world where there are no allowances for disabled people. Dealing with disability alone can be draining, tasking and challenging. And if left to continue, may eventually wear you out in the long run. In these type of situations, support groups ensure that this does not happen again.
Support group comprises of a group of people that share the same concerns and issues. The principal aim of the group is to provide succor, comfort, and encouragement to its members. They also dole out advice in cases where it is needed. A person with a disability can form a support group. Someone who has an interest in the disability can also establish a support group. Organizations on their own may also decide to create a support group. Support groups are known to focus on a specific challenge or situation. The benefits that come with being a part of a support group are numerous. Some of them include:
- Regaining control of your life.
- Reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Helping you to know your disability better, what to expect from it and how to cope with it.
- Furnishing you with advice or information about available treatment options.
- Giving you an avenue to talk openly and honestly about how you feel.
- Giving you a sense of empowerment.
- Connecting with others having the same difficulty.
With the benefits listed above, it can be easy to see all the advantages you stand to gain when you join a support group. Outlined in this article will be a list of support groups catering chiefly to persons with physical and cognitive disabilities.
Paraquad: The primary focus of this support group is empowerment. It does this by challenging its members to explore other options. It also motivates members to find solutions to problems concerning their condition. Paraquad adopts a unique method of peer mentorship in its program. Here, well-balanced peer mentors having the same disabilities come together with members. The mentor and member both share their personal experiences with each other. These peer mentors also introduce their members to several resources and skill training relevant to their condition. Participants who adopt this program can be empowered to live on their own without the need to rely on others. Social activities are also not left out. Paraquad ensures that its members can access information and opportunities. Armed with these resources, members can take part in any social happenings of their choice.
Disabilities-R-Us: It does not have any affiliation with Toys-R-Us. This group started out catering exclusively to people with physical disabilities. It has since then adjusted to accommodate individuals with all types of disabilities. Founded over 19yrs ago Disabilities-R-Us is a friendly place devoid of all forms of hostilities. Members get the chance to interact with and make friends with people all over the world. The group has forums where you can interact with a broad range of individuals at the same time. And if you are private, the chat rooms enables you to have one-on-one conversations. It also has in stock resources related to any disability. Its users generate this information. So whether you are looking for information on a particular disability or available disability organizations, it can easily be found at their resource center. They provide links to legal resources. They also have information on disability attorneys available across the United States. This contact list of attorneys will sure come in handy for times when you need to appear in court. And the kicker? It costs absolutely nothing to join. Indeed, the best things in life are certainly free!
The Arc: This is a support group devoted exclusively to people with cognitive and mental disabilities. Included in its lineup are people of all ages. This group began in 1950 with the gathering of a little group of concerned parents and community members. The Arc is an all-encompassing body that is concerned about the welfare of its members. Personalized services and support are doled out to each member. This group does not only focus on the disability of its members. It also ensures that its members are thriving in all areas of life including finances, relationships, etc. As a member of The Arc, your duty goes beyond trying to cope with your disability. You get to be involved in championing the rights of people with similar disabilities throughout America. The group has about 700 state and local chapters scattered across the United States. Chances are there is one right in your locality.
The Whole Person: This is a group that seeks to reduce the reliance of its members on others for support. It has specially packaged services that are guaranteed to increase its members’ ability in performing day-to-day activities. It also builds on the confidence of individuals in the program. To ensure the continuous survival of members of their respective communities, they teach them skills relevant to their area of specialization. The Whole Person provides current information on services such as transportation, housing, adaptive equipment among others. They also assist individuals interested in moving out of nursing facilities or state institutions. Peer mentoring is another of the options available to participants. Members have meetings with people that can relate to their challenges. The Whole Person is actively engaged in activism. They advocate for the rights of individuals living with disabilities. And they demand the equal treatment of these people.
Interacting with people having the same concerns as you can be of tremendous help. The right support group can be a source of strength and comfort to you. You no longer have to feel isolated and shut out from the world. Note that your support group should not be a replacement for your medical care. You should only see them as a valuable resource to help you cope. Finding the right support group can be time-consuming. But the cherished relationships that come out of it makes the experience totally worth it.
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