October 4, 2012

Our Voice. ~ Carrie Barrepski

Our voice is our biggest tool to state our opinions or advocate for our needs.

It is our basic right to be involved in discussions ranging from politics to how our country is run.  If we unite as a community, we make a positive change that serves everyone.

Voting is essentially the easiest way to become involved. By voting, we are able to empower ourselves to make changes that benefit our communities while giving us a way to state our opinions.

Yoga teaches us to speak from our hearts with compassion. That empowers our truth and showcases our love and values that represent our vision, and what we also stand for. Yoga also allows us to honor our mind-body connection, on and off the mat. We practice mindful communication in our daily activities from speaking, action and listening.

In the past people with disabilities have lived with the stigma of being viewed as needing to be protected, spoken for and taken care of. Many people often forget that this population has the ability to understand its needs while voicing their wants.

Today we are in the self-advocacy age where people with disabilities are becoming independent participants in their communities.

Having a disability doesn’t limit our understanding, but, in fact, empowers us to be involved in issues that affect us, and make changes through voting. It is important for people with disabilities to be aware of issues that directly affect them while getting an opportunity to be part of the process and discussion.

Nothing is more empowering then using your voice to advocate change.

Carrie Barrespski is living her truth as a yogini, writer and activists with passion and purpose. She lives with multiple disabilities including cerebral palsy, hearing loss and blindness. As a result of these disabilities and the experiences she’s encountered, she developed a strong passion for disability rights and advocating for the disable. She graduated with a BSW from Madonna University in 1996. Having always been interested in writing since childhood, she began writing columns online in 2000 on topics affecting the disabled community. She was married in 2005 after meeting her husband online in a chat room for people with hearing loss. When she moved to Massachusetts, the Springfield Republican began publishing her column, Carrie Writes, every Wednesday in the Metro Plus section. It is her hope that as a result of her columns, people will be more aware of disability issues and she will have a positive impact on the disabled community.

Editor: Anne Clendening

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