We often take for granted certain things such as having a partner, a good job, or living in our own home. These are ordinary and everyday things that make up our life. Disabled people and people with mental health difficulties are often faced with barriers which make these everyday, ordinary things very difficult to achieve. Some of these barriers may be internal, but more often than not society places barriers in the way of individuals. These barriers can be other people’s attitudes, a lack of creative thinking or physical barriers.
In Changing Our Lives we are committed to disabled people and people with experience of mental health difficulties leading ‘ordinary lives’. We know from experience that when an individual has tailored support, the right home environment and good healthcare, they are able to be active and valued citizens in the community and have a good quality of life. Changing Our Lives defines Quality of Life as ‘the degree to which a person lives and enjoys an ordinary life, living in their own home, making their own choices about everyday life, having responsibilities, being part of their community, having friendships and relationships, having the opportunity of employment and other opportunities for personal development’.
We know that an ordinary life is achievable for everyone. The stories below illustrate just that.
Christian's video encapsulates that no one is too disabled to live an ordinary life.Read more
See how Oscar is developing his skills as a visual minute taker with Changing Our Lives.Read more
A meeting of two minds engineered imagination and friendship.Read more
No one's too disabled, or too affected by mental health difficulties, to lead an ordinary life.Read more
Sonja has been employed in Sandwell council for 10 years and is flourishing in her career.Read more
Marion’s story reveals the impact of community connecting.Read more
From the Young Leaders programme to university in Caprice's own words.Read more
How Beth broke the mould around post-16 options by designing her own future.Read more
Jayne journey from a segregated life in services to being an active member of her local community.Read more
How the world of work opened up opportunities for Lesley.Read more
David was labelled ‘challenging’, but as a result of powerful family advocacy, now lives in his own home.Read more
Jenny’s life story told from her experiences in a long stay hospital through to life in her own home.Read more