by Sally Brownie
Sally was the first woman appointed as General Manager of a hotel in South Africa, but her life in the hotel industry for 22 years was interrupted at the age of 42 when she had a brain aneurysm. She has published 2 books on her experiences : ‘Run While You Can’ and ‘My Life and a Wheelchair’. Sally was the guest speaker at our gala dinner event in 2018 and has since become our Ambassador!
‘Disabled’, is without a doubt the first thing people identify me as when they see the wheelchair – it is a big giveaway! My impairment is part of me. I’ve come to realise that it’s a big part of my life and I have now totally accepted that.
I’m always curious about what wheelchair access will be like at venues I’ve never visited. My friends are now more aware before going out, it’s not that they didn’t care before, they are now just more aware. With a few minor changes like access to changing rooms in shops, an access control button for banks and making ATM’S wheelchair friendly, and the usual accessibility to buildings/buses/taxi etc., to make persons with disabilities feel equal and accepted in S.A. Has this all been done before? And if so could we still do it better?
Disability disproportionately affects women, older people and poor people.
TAKE ACTION! Help persons with disabilities fulfill their potential in a more inclusive society!
I have little quirks as a result of my disability, ranging from intermittent fasting, clothes that are colour coded with my glasses, to taking a mini-sabbatical once a week. We all have the same amount of time in a day, so live each day by being content even with your disability. I wouldn’t have those qualities that make up my identity as having a disability without an attitude of gratitude! I am still Sally, but in a wheelchair! It’s allowed me to focus on doing something powerful by raising awareness of disability and accessibility issues as a brand ambassador for WCAPD.
I want to hear your story to share intentionally to help other persons with disabilities in our communities!