The Disabled Blogger Tag was created by Elin from My Blurred World and I was kindly tagged by Elin and Holly to take part. I’ve seen so many different tags from other bloggers, but never a disabled blogger tag, so it is amazing that this one has been created. It will be great for us all to share our experiences as disabled bloggers and raise awareness of our individual disabilities. I’m excited to share my answers to the disabled blogger tag questions. Let’s go!
The Disabled Blogger Tag
1. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog in October 2014, but I didn’t properly start blogging on a regular basis until the following year. I had been thinking of starting my blog for such a long time, but I didn’t think I would be able to do it and I had never written before. Finally, I decided to go for it, but I don’t have any regrets other than my initial hesitation. I really wanted to share my experiences of living with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. I thought it was important to share both the good and the bad in the hope of raising awareness of disability and accessibility.
2. Did you intend to talk about your disability online from the beginning?
Yes, it was always my plan to talk about my disability from the beginning. When I first started my blog I also wrote about beauty related topics, but I quickly realised that my passion was more focussed on accessible travel, live music and disability in general. There may be a beauty post from time to time, but it is likely to be related to disability in some way like my review of The Scholl Velvet Smooth Electronic Nail Care System I did a few years ago.
3. Have you ever been sceptical about talking about your disability online?
There have been moments when I’ve had some doubts and been a little unsure talking about my disability. More so in the beginning, I worried that I may be revealing too much. I even kept my blog a secret from some people I knew because I was worried what they would think of it. Over the years I’ve gotten more confident and comfortable discussing my disability. I always remind myself that there is nothing to be ashamed of and my aim is always to hopefully be able to help others in a similar situation or change perspectives. Learning to embrace my disability has massively helped.
4. What kind of response have you/do you receive in terms of your disability-related blog posts?
The response I’ve received from my disability-related blog posts have been incredibly positive and supportive. It’s not only from people online but also offline from friends and family. I appreciate every bit of support whether it’s a comment, a message or a ‘like’. It means so much especially if I know I’ve been able to help someone or given them even a tiny bit of information.
5. Do you write/talk about other topics apart from your disability?
Yes, I write about other topics and experiences including travel, accessible holidays, gig/venue reviews, days out, accessible walks, wheelchair fashion and general lifestyle posts. Each topic I discuss on my blog is related to my disability in some form since it is a part of me. As my blog name, Simply Emma, suggests I discuss all things that I am passionate about, interest and affect me. These things all make me who I am, simply me, ‘Simply Emma’.
6. What steps do you take to make your blog accessible to yourself as well as other people?
I think it’s important to have a clean design as well as a clear and easy to read font. This will hopefully make it easy for everyone to read. I also put image descriptions and alt tags on all my images so that blind and visually impaired people who use screen readers are able to know what the images are. However, I’m completely open to suggestions on making it more accessible, so please let me know if I can make any improvements to the accessibility of my blog.
7. What is your favourite thing about blogging about your disability?
There are so many things that I love about blogging. It’s given me the opportunity to meet other disabled people and people in a similar situation to myself. I have made some great friends through blogging which I’m incredibly grateful for. Blogging has also given me the opportunity to raise awareness of disability through various channels and experiences, which I hope helps change perceptions and attitudes toward disabled people.
8. What are your top three disability-related blog posts that you’ve ever published?
This is a difficult one to answer as almost every blog post I’ve written is disability related, but here are a few of my favourites.
- My Identity And How My Disability Defines Me
- How to Survive a Long Haul Flight as a Wheelchair User
- An Accessible City Guide To Barcelona
9. Do you think that the disabled blogger/YouTube community is overlooked?
Unfortunately, I do think that the disabled blogger/YouTube community is overlooked to some degree. We don’t always get the same recognition from the overall blogging community as non-disabled bloggers and YouTubers. Although the disabled blogger community is growing and the support within the community is amazing.
10. Do you find it difficult to think of new disability-related content to publish?
When I first started blogging I found it difficult to come up with new ideas. I think it was a lack of confidence in my writing and a fear of putting myself and my disability out there too much. Over the years it’s gotten easier to think of new content. There are definitely times when I feel like I’ve hit a dead-end and get stuck for ideas. I always want to write about things I think my readers will enjoy and benefit from. This can sometimes make me doubt my ideas. Again, I am always open to suggestions for future posts, so please let me know if you want me to write about something and I’d be happy to.
11. Do you think blogging about your disability helps to change people’s perceptions?
I really hope blogging about my disability can help change people’s perceptions. There is a huge lack of representation of disabled people in TV and media. So changing perceptions isn’t going to happen overnight. Misconceptions and stereotypes about disability are all around us every day. Sowly but surely we will change them one by one.
12. Who do you tag?
It would be amazing if Carrie, Hannah, Ross, Claire, Fi, Gem, Kerry and Gemma could answer the questions. I would also love it if anyone else wants to answer the questions below. I want to thank Elin and Holly again for tagging me, as I’ve really enjoyed taking part and answering the questions.