Whether you have additional needs, or have a friend/relative who does, we know you'll likely have lots of questions. Some about this site specifically - why it's here, how to make best use of it - but also wider questions about disabilities and other conditions, like dyslexia or autism. And while we can't claim to be an authority on all areas of the topic, we can try our best to shed a little light on some parts.
So without further ado, the list!
Highland Inspire is a free-to-access website and resource base, featuring a monthly charity magazine. We have also gathered various disability-related links and blogs together on our Resources page, as well as our own original infographics, posters and testimonials from disabled people and their families.
Unfortunately, we are not actually a registered charity - instead, we hope to encourage donations to a variety of non-profits (you can find our list here). However, we do have a JustGiving page which we use for processing payments for print copies of our magazine, or entries to any of our competitions (see our blog for details on current events!).
Yes, seriously. Our editor, Jodie, is a member of Inspire Highland, but while our project here is supported by this group, we are not technically affiliated with them. Rather, this is a bit more of an 'independent pet project' for the team - although there may be connections between the two sometime in the future.
Firstly, thanks for wanting to make a donation! And secondly, don't worry - all of the charities on our list are legitimate, hard-working non-profits that have been nominated for listing either by a member of our team, or one of our readers. So if you're really not sure which to choose, but definitely want to make a donation, just pay a quick visit to our JustGiving page and unless you specify a charity in your donation message, we'll automatically split the amount between whichever two charities we're 'spotlighting' that month.
There are so many ways to help that don't involve money! For example, we're always open for submissions to our magazine, along with any suggestions or contributions to the general running of the site. You could help us design new competitions and disability resources, or even just help out by spreading the word about the work we're doing. Get in touch and let us know what you can offer - and remember, every little helps!
But no...we're not sponsored by Tesco.
Access to this site and everything on it (including the e-copies of our magazine) is completely, 100% free of charge. We only ever ask for payment if you're requesting a print copy of an issue (coming soon!), or to enter one of our competitions (also coming soon!) - this is all done via our JustGiving page and these are then passed on as donations to the relevant charities (see above).
That...really depends, and changes from person to person. It also varies a lot, according to which specific condition you're talking about. For instance, dyslexia can be classified as an 'additional need', since it means you need more support for reading and writing...but then for some people with dyslexia, they feel that it's a disability/they are disabled, as it impacts their life in a big way.
Interesting question! You see, many (mostly abled) people assume that person-first language (person with a disability) is the better choice. After all, we aren't just our disability, right? There's more to a person than their conditions - you wouldn't define someone by that cold they had last week, so why should we define others by things that are just a bit more long-term?
But sadly, it's just not that simple. While it might seem dehumanising to refer to people by their condition/illness/whatever else, for many of us it's far more helpful than offensive. Take autism, for instance: if you say 'I have autism' rather than, 'I am autistic', then this implies that your autism is separate from you. It also suggests that you could somehow get rid of it - and especially for lifelong conditions and illnesses, this is a very hurtful idea.
This doesn't mean nobody likes using person-first language, though. In the end, it'll be different for everyone - if you're not sure, just ask!
Okay, so, first thing: take a deep breath and relax for a second. A diagnosis is not the end of the world. Depending on what the condition is, too, will have a big impact on what you need to do next.
For example, if it's a disease, illness or condition that has/will have a serious impact on your daily life, you'll need to look into the treatments or medications you might need. You may also be eligible to apply for benefits, such as Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment to help cover any new costs related to your diagnosis (UK only).
(This is a difficult, lengthy process - we hope to add resources on this at a later date.)
You may also be seeking out some kind of community or access to discussions on your condition. Again, we hope to add some links to these sorts of forums and other services in the future, but for now, here's one quick piece of advice: don't obsess over the experiences of others. I know that might sound a little silly, but believe me, it's easier said than done. Especially if this is the first time you've even heard of this condition, it's really easy to take in too much of other people's experiences and let the opinions of those people reflect on your own choices (of treatments, medications, etc.). So just know yourself, and if there are important decisions to be made, take your time deciding. I promise, it'll be worth it in the end. Honestly.