It can be daunting and lonely to navigate through the challenges that come with disability. However, knowing people with the same disability as you may bring healing and empowerment.
Let’s go through the reasons why you should join a disability support group and the different types of support organizations for the disabled. Then, learn about support groups for people with disabilities in New York.
Why Should One Join a Disabled Support Group?
Sometimes you may feel like no one understands what you are going through emotionally or physically. In that case, you can talk to someone you trust to alleviate the stress and better your well-being. However, finding such a person can be challenging. That is why experts recommend you join a disabled support group.
In such groups, you’ll find people with similar issues as yours, and you might be able to trust someone and share whatever hurdles you are experiencing. As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem solved. Here is how sharing your problems can help you.
● Understand the problem clearly
● Approach the issue differently
● Relieve built-up tension
● Get to know you’re not alone. There are people sharing the same issues with you.
● Identify new solutions you didn’t know before
If possible, attend such meetings with a spouse or friend to help them understand your situation better. Some groups support that; you just need to find the right one.
Next, let’s unravel the two basic types of disabled support groups so you can make an informed decision.
Types of Disabled Support Groups
As you look for a support group, keep in mind what you want to avoid wasting time. Here are the variants to expect while searching for the ideal disabled support organization.
· Groups supporting people with a specific disability
· Groups supporting all disabled people
Both groups can connect people in-person or through online platforms such as social media groups. In an online support community, you can interact with others via live chats or video meetings. It only calls for a reliable internet connection, and you are good to go. So how do you find a suitable community?
You may find the ideal group through your physician or caregiver because most communities hold meetings in local hospitals, meaning a health worker might be aware of them. Additionally, you can find one via church meetings, advocacy groups, news, and many other channels. Note that it’s crucial to find out how often people meet before settling for a particular group. It helps you plan your schedule. Here’s an insight on the same.
How Often Do Disabled Support Groups Meet?
In most cases, people meet once per week or once a month, depending on the group organizer. You don’t necessarily have to attend the meetings regularly; you can join others when going through a hard time. However, if you enjoy other members’ company, you can frequently attend the meetings. Speaking of which, here is a list of reliable organizations you can join if you are in New York or any other American state.
Support Groups for People With Disabilities in New York
More often, these groups are headed by people with a certain condition or experienced counselors who have interacted with disabled individuals in the past. They help manage members and offer guidance if need be. Let’s look at some of the legitimate disability groups anyone can join and share their life issues:
American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD)
It’s a nonprofit organization focused on advocating disabled rights. Its policies include increased political and economic powers as well the promotion of equal opportunities for the disabled. Currently, the organization covers more than 60 million US citizens living with disabilities.
The group has more than 1,000 national and community programs for disabled individuals. It focuses on the following initiatives:
● Criminal justice
● Environmental research initiative
● Future planning
It’s a leading nonprofit platform that provides customized disability inclusion consulting for corporations and connects them to their peers. It aims to create an inclusive global economy where the disabled can access meaningful and full participation.
Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN)
EARN is a free resource that helps employers benefit from various disabilities diversity. It does so by educating private and public sectors on how to adopt inclusive workplace cultures.
Deaf Initiative in Information Technology (DIIT)
DIIT is an NSF’s Advanced Technological Education program that organizes various educational workshops. It aims to provide computer education, graphic communications, and business training to the deaf.
American Council of the Blind (ACB)
Created in 1961, ACB focuses on the blind to increase their independence, security, equal opportunities, and quality of life. The organization has everyone covered, whether you’re a college student seeking financial support, a policy wonk or you’re new to blindness.
You Can Choose Not to Be Alone
Joining a disability group can be a little challenging when you’re starting out. However, you don’t have to stress about it by applying some of the tips above.
Your group coordinator will introduce you to other members who will welcome you to their community. You won’t be expected to share much at first; you will just sit and listen to others. After gaining courage, you can now start sharing your challenges with fellow members.