Join Jill: Jill reflects on what she'd tell her 18 year old self

'Speak up for yourself and live life as normal as you can' - Jill shares her thoughts on leaving school and moving to adult life.

While I was at school I had everything on a plate such as getting equipment or seeing somebody like a physio therapist, speech therapist or dietician and any support I needed. 

When I was getting ready to leave school my parents and I was a bit worried about after I had left school, like when I need something like support workers to take me out to college or work, and getting equipment.

Once I left school I went college and now I work. In order for me to do these things I needed to get  2 support workers.   I get support workers from Key community and thankfully I am still in touch with a speech therapist and a dietician if I need anything.

I use communication device and when I was at school my communication device was funded by the education board but once I left school that was worrying me that ‘what if I need a new Communication device? Who will funds it?’. You do hear  about disabled people that  can’t get equipment that they need because of funding but I have been one of the lucky ones. I have  found it easy to get equipment which I need.

Leaving school and going in to the big bad world it can be quite scary for anyone.  And if you have a disability, it is very worrying. You wonder a lot about ‘What will I do what if I need anything like equipment or support?’

I know it is really hard not to worry but you have a voice so use it  and speak up for yourself .

Don’t give up until you get everything you  need because why you can’t live your life as normal?  The way I see it, if you are quiet and don’t ask for anything people will just think that that person is OK. That isn’t what you want. 

Next week: We'll hear from Marion Burns about her experience of the transtion from school to independent life.