This normal means finding a significant other, tying the knot and loving one another as well as loving life. Having a disability does not mean that one cannot love, nor does it mean they don’t long to be loved. Persons with disabilities desire relationships too and meaningful, fulfilling relationships at that.
Annae Jones, from her article '8 Misconceptions and Tips About Love For People with Disabilities', tells her story of how she was able to find love and give birth to two beautiful children despite her disability of having lost both arms. She says that it takes a special kind of person that can accept a person for who they are, especially when they have a physical disability, but sometimes it is forgotten that people with disabilities have the same desire to love and be loved as others. And sometimes it is assumed all persons with disabilities are completely unable to cope with daily life, quite a far cry from the truth!
Joining communities for moral support
There are great communities that were founded to enable people with disabilities to connect and face life with more courage. A great community to join would be EnableMe, an initiative that was started with the intent to create a robust community of persons with disabilities and chronic diseases in Kenya. From such communities, one can find people with similar experiences and situations and be able to connect and experience life together. This experience can extend to a romantic relationship and thereby a lasting marital relationship.
Going out more
Going out is a good way of meeting new people and seeing new places. Over time, what may start as a casual relationship could turn out to be quite a Romeo and Juliet kind of a story. A good example is Bill Ott, 38, and Shelley Belgard, 36, who met at a local social club in Maryland when he was 12 and she was 15. He has Down syndrome and she has an intellectual disability. Years later they reconnected when both signed up for a Caribbean cruise for persons with disabilities and got married shortly after.
The story of Susan Njogu, a Kenyan national born in Elburgon Nakuru County married Philip Eling, a man with a physical disability. Susan had apparently enrolled for a diploma in working with the disabled and after completion was invited to a company for an interview.. It was in this company that she met Eling.
Finding disability-friendly activities
There are activities that persons who use wheelchairs can enjoy such as going to public parks and open spaces, many of which feature accessible trails for wheelchair users. These are great places to spend time outdoors, have a picnic, do some bird watching, or gaze at the stars at night. Parks can also be a great spot for wheelchair users to play outdoor games like bocce ball and croquet. It is in such places that people get to meet others and friendships can develop.
Make use of Technology
Technology helps us to stay connected with the people we love and meet new people we did not know before. Technologies such as Whatsapp, Skype, Facebook and Instagram help us connect with support groups and local charities. Though not every person you meet on social media may be good, there are many long-lasting relationships that have developed as a result of social media.
Engage in activities you love
It is good to find what you are passionate about and through that it’s highly probable that you will meet people that think like you and share common interests with you, leading to a friendship or a lifetime journey of love. Look out for the gift in you and through making use of that gift, you create an atmosphere of meeting people with the same kind of gifts
There are very real stories of people that found love despite their disabilities: Nick Vujicic, Annae Jones, and Reuben Kigame, a music minister with visual impairment who is happily married, and many more. I believe that having a physical, intellectual or emotional disability is no impediment to finding love. People with disabilities can and do find love, and can enjoy life just like other human beings.