By – Mubina Afreen
Emma looked into the bathroom mirror and repeated.
“Your disability does not make you weak.” for the twentieth time.
This was going to be her 3rd interview in a week. She knew she was capable. She finally felt empowered to take a stand for herself after years of being bullied and pitied.
Emma suffered from language impairment and developmental disability. Stuttering and ADHD. But that didn’t stop Emma from achieving all her goals. She graduated with a Masters’s degree in Child Psychology with a 3.5 GPA. She was on the Swim team in H.S. and the Chess club. She was an A+ student. But, despite that, she felt she was not good enough due to her low self-esteem. She didn’t have many friends. If she had a problem, she would talk to her older cousin Alexis about it. Her parents were doctors and busy with work most of the time.
In America alone, 1 out of 5 women has a disability. That is 36 million women in the U.S. Women with disabilities are more likely to experience gender-based violence and discrimination.
Emma didn’t land that job interview. Even with her credentials. That rejection turned out to be the best for her. She still wanted to use her knowledge for the better and volunteered to help children that suffer from speech impairment. Emma Landed a job at the same therapy center she volunteered. In 2019 she specialized in working with children suffering from speech impairment and psychological health problems. She is moving on to start her center in 2024.
Emma’s story helped me understand that even with our disabilities, we are privileged. To get help 24/7 anywhere in America. And to use that privilege to help the less fortunate. As a type 1 diabetic since age 12 and suffering from ADD. I have donated to charities in 3rd world countries that help children suffering from diabetes with supplies and diabetes education.
So if you have a disability, be it physical or psychological, don’t be ashamed to accept it. Overcome it. And be an Emma.