Introduction to Paddy Smyth and his Disabled Life
My names Paddy Smyth (@paddyysmyth) I do a snapchat based around #mydisabledlife it showcases my life whilst I deal with having Cerebral Palsy in my legs and walk with crutches fulltime! (they’re black and glam)
I document all aspects of my life, the good and the bad of having a disability whilst living in Dublin city in my 20’s. I call my followers #mydisablers due to the fact that I want to ‘disable’ the stigma around having a disability. I chose that word as I wanted to choose a word that would get people to listen and follow me, but in a fun kind of way. Being gay and disabled it hasn’t been an easy ride!
I didn’t think it would take off in the way it has and I’m kind of in shock at the publicity I’ve gotten from it, but also very happy because my main goal is to normalise peoples impression of me and others like me – I wanted to show that I like to go out and get drunk and find fella’s and most of all have fun just like everyone else in their 20’s – but also I showcase how I use my disability to my advantage and how sometimes it holds me back or pushes me forward. But in entirety, how I’m trying to find myself and own what I am!
So I’ve teamed up with @disableinequallity to get awareness out there for the up and coming general election to get more rights for those with disabilities. #DisablersUnite!! Watch this space for what’s to come!
Follow Paddy to see what he gets up to @paddyysmyth on all aspects of social media
#Mydisabledlife – To Work or Drive – Do I Have To Choose?
I’m 28 and quite frankly you don’t have to tell me, I know it’s a crime to myself that I don’t drive! – It’s something that I’ve put on the long finger to the point that my friends are getting annoyed at me ‘this would make your life so much easier’ they say, which I can’t argue it would… But this hasn’t been easy for me to organise – being somewhat ambitious and wanting to make a name for myself in the world of business has somehow set me back on my driving!
I’ve tried to learn to drive twice now and it always starts the same, I go to a load of lessons only then, to stop and forget what I’ve learned in the first place – why do I stop? You may ask, well this is due to the fact that in my research of trying to obtain a licence I’ve found that the only time you can do the dreaded 12 lessons is during working hours (9am till 5pm) Monday – Friday. Which means I have to take time out of work to get this done!!
This shocked me and infuriated me for a couple of reasons… Why are they in working hours only and why can’t they be in the evenings or weekends like those without a disability have the privilege of? Do they think we do not work?
Now, I’m not saying that this is the entire reason I’m not driving because it’s not, my laziness did add to it, but this definitely did not make it easier and in an age like we’re in where equality is all the ‘rage,’ don’t you think we should be able to work and make a career whilst learning how to drive? The experience I’ve gotten from our system is that you have to choose – your career or a car and this for me is not only very annoying, but also, upsetting as I want the option of both, just like everyone else – This has to change!