When people first meet me in public, all sorts of questions come into their minds and usually out of their mouths.
Well, to formally introduce myself, my name is Gretta and I’m a 32-year-old woman from Western Sydney.
I’m a writer, motivational speaker, graphic designer, workshop designer and facilitator, manager of my own care team, and a business owner. And I’m also a non-verbal wheelchair user as I’ve had severe Cerebral palsy since I was born.
Growing up with my disability did have its challenges. However, when I think about what I’ve achieved over the last two decades, I really am amazed. I never would have imagined that I would be living by myself with the perfect care set up and a university degree in my hand.
Once I got through the excitement and shock that I was offered this incredible ambassador role, the main opportunity I saw was to represent the non-verbal, severely disabled sector.
There are still very real stigmas joined to this group.
I am hoping that this opportunity will shed some light on the integration of the disability-enabled community and especially our rights to have mainstream relationships.
Because honestly, these are the most difficulties I struggle with surrounding my disability.
The thing I would say to people who meet someone with any disability is always assume they are cognitively functioning.
Even if they display signs of intellectual impairment, always acknowledge them in the conversation and speak at their age level.
Gretta Serov (she/her) is a motivational speaker, graphic designer, founder and head writer of On Our Own Tracks, a blog dedicated to sharing the stories of people who have overcome unique challenges. She is also a non-verbal wheelchair user, born with severe Cerebral palsy.
Gretta is passionate about representing the severely disabled community. She hopes to educate people with disability on how they can get involved in mainstream activities like dating and employment.