People with disabilities constitute the nation’s largest minority group, and the only group any of us can become a member of at any time. There are approximately 66.5 million American adults (age 18 or older) who live with a disability, that’s more than 31% of the population living in the United States, and about 46 million that have movement difficulty.
I am 1 of the 66.5 million people living with a disability. I have Cerebral Palsy which was caused by lack of oxygen during birth and affected the left side of my brain which in turn impaired my mobility and my speech. Although I have limited mobility throughout my body it affected the right side the most. I call my right arm my snake because it does whatever it wants whenever it wants. Over the years I have found the best way to ‘tame’ it is to sit on it. Although I have a lot more control over my left arm, it’s still limited, I type with two fingers and I can’t write. I can walk independently most of the time, but when people are around that I don’t know well I tend to get nervous and unstable. Same goes with my arm the more nervous I am the more out of control it gets.
I live by myself in a one bedroom apartment on campus with assistive care services. They help with bathing, grooming, restroom, and cleaning, but to me they are primarily a nuisance since I am pretty independent and only need help with laundry and some cleaning. The only time I use a wheelchair is when I go to class for distance and stability purposes.
I try to unlimit my limitations everyday through practice, products, and determination. I have bought many products that aren’t aimed towards people with disabilities, but they have helped me as if they were.
I put my Unlimiters idea on hiatus for a little while hence my last and first blog being 18 months ago. I came up with another idea and decided to put Unlimiters on the backburner for a while. My 2nd idea was a frozen custard milkshake shop. In my mind it was a lot less risky because I always saw frozen custard shops with lines out the door and I also knew there were none in the downtown Houston area. I thought specializing in making milkshakes too would add my own twist and not be just run of the mill bland custard shop and increase my chances of being successful.
Last year I applied to the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston (rated the #1 entrepreneurship program in the nation) where they accept only 32 people a year. I heard you needed a business idea to be able to apply so they can help you develop the idea and have you ready to start the business upon graduating. After I applied I got called in to do an interview and I told them about my frozen custard idea. Two months later I got accepted to the program.
One of the many perks of the program is that each person accepted gets a specially selected mentor to help us along our entrepreneurial journey. My mentor is amazing. One day she and I were talking on one of our lunch outings about my business idea and she wasn’t too keen on frozen custard. I told her about Unlimiters, an idea I came up with a year ago and she loved it. She thought I should talk to my entrepreneurship teacher about which idea I should pursue through the program. So the next day I went to meet with him and he thought that I should definitely drop my custard shop idea and continue with my Unlimiters idea.
I told my mentor what my teacher said and soon after she got me in contact with people that could help me develop my idea and help me minimize the variables. About a month ago I sat down with my mentor and the people she introduced me too, and showed them a power point presentation on UNlimiters. After seeing the presentation They thought UNlimiters would be a complete success.
What is UNlimiters? An online destination offering tools, resources, and products to make every day life easier for the physically challenged. UNlimiters, Your New Flight to an Unlimited Life.
Through this blog I hope to share my own stories along with educating people about disabilities and helping to create a global community where we all can share our successes.
Hello! My name is Justin Farley, I turn 21 next week, this is my first blog ever, and I have Cerebral Palsy. My handicap (or disability) affects my whole body, it impairs my mobility and my speech. I couldn’t sit up until I was 4 years old and stepped my first step at the age of 5. Throughout my life I have set tough goals for myself. The first goal I remember setting for myself was to walk 100 steps. I managed to accomplish that goal at the age of 10. A lot of that is thanks to my parents for making me use a walker instead of leaving me in the prescribed wheelchair and my own persistence to accomplish goals.
I am starting this blog because I just bought the web domain “unlimiters.com”. My ultimate goal for unlimiters.com is to make it into a web store that sells items to make people’s everyday life a little bit simpler. Having a disability I get tired of people telling me I am limited to what I am able to do, so that is where the website name unlimiters came from. Hopefully I can make it into a recognized brand name. “Unlimiters, unlimit yourself.”