About the Author: Danielle Marx is a YouTube, model, and artist who was born with Spina Bifida. She has an amazing platform where she shares stories about disability in hopes to educate others and shed a light into what it is like to live with a disability. She keeps it real while always staying positive, and her message is "I want to thrive, not survive". To see more of her awesome positivity and some beautiful photos, check out her instagram here, and to see her latest video on youtube about the ADA you can check it out here.
For as long as I can remember, I've had people ask me about how I live my life. Everything from how I drive my car, to how I can possibly be so happy all the time. I know there are a lot of people with disabilities who choose not to answer questions related to their disability because they feel the questions are intrusive and on a need-to-know basis, and that's a totally valid choice. But from an early age, I decided that I would much rather answer people's questions and give them an accurate understanding of what life is like with a disability than to decline answering and leave them to make inaccurate assumptions.
I would much prefer to correct someone's false ideas and open their eyes to how wonderful my life really is than for them to go on assuming that I'm someone to pity or that I can't do anything for myself.
The older I get, the more I realize I want to share my life with people. I want to be known by the people around me. I don't want to go through life in the shadows. I want the things I experience to help people learn and grow and not feel alone. Whatever it is - if any of my life experiences can help someone in even a small way, then I will consider that experience well worth it. I'm not really sure why our society carries the idea that disability is something to shy away from. We all have disabilities of some kind or another, it's just that some are more apparent than others. I don't want to shy away from the hard questions, but instead meet them head on.
I started my YouTube channel with the intention of giving people the ability to ask hard and uncomfortable questions. To have a resource if they are newly dealing with a disability or figuring out how to raise a child with a disability.
It can be scary and overwhelming, especially because the medical field often provides worst-case-scenario information. How much better to get information from someone who lives and breathes the situation they are finding themselves presented with. There's an unfortunate lack of representation for people with disabilities in most areas of life - media, fashion, public spaces. And so I hope that in some small way my YouTube channel also helps others with disabilities to feel seen, heard, and represented.
The downside is that I can only speak from my own experience and opinions. I only have one perspective to share, and yet people with disabilities are as varied and different from each other as the fish in the sea. I can't possibly cover all the bases. I know of a handful of other YouTubers with disabilities, but not nearly as many as I wish there were.
Which is why it's crucial for more people with disabilities to use their voices. Not just as a YouTuber, but authors, actors, writers, models, the list is endless. Our stories are worth telling, our perspective is important, and we should be showing the world how strong and capable we actually are.