Why not?  Chaeli Mycroft

How cool is it that you have to be disabled to do certain sports? Like goalball (for the sight impaired) and boccia (for people with cerebral palsy and other neurological disabilities).

I would probably have played almost every sport going if I wasn't disabled, but I don't let the fact that my-legs-don't-listen-to-my-brain stop me from competing. I play boccia and do Ballroom and Latin-American wheelchair dancing. I tried out karate for a while - but it's not my thing.

I've just gone back to boccia but I've been dancing for seven years now and it's been my passion ever since I started. I recently got a new partner "about a month ago, haha" and we are learning new moves together, learning about each other and figuring out how to communicate on the dance floor. It's avery entertaining process.

I love dancing so much because you're not doing it alone, you have apartner. You get to do really rad moves, fall on your face, get up (or get some help to get up) and try again. The falling on your face part might not appeal to some of you guys,but for me it's part of learning, growing relationships and creating memories.

When we dance we tell stories. They are different stories all the timebecause our lives change and so our stories change. The stories that I tell areones about how inclusion is important for the wellness and happiness ofsociety. The stories that people get are so much more than that.

Don't be afraid to tell your stories. People need to hear them, you add to their stories. We, as disabled people, become the lessons in the stories ofthe people we share our lives with - just as they become lessons in ours.

Just saying!

Good Vibes

There is nothing like a great night out with friends, but for people with disabilities a place needs to have a little bit more than just a good vibe and cool music.

A place needs to be accommodating of certain needs because, for a disabled person - particularly a wheelchair user, there is nothing more degrading than having to use the bathroom with the door open because it is not big enough for a wheelchair.

Things are, however, becoming much easier as nightclubs around the country are being revamped to allow ease of access for disabled people so they can have as great a time as anyone else, without worrying about simple things like getting up and down flights of stairs or whether the toilet door closes or not.

Newscafe, at the Woodmead Retail Park in Joburg, is one such place. The place has a great vibe, a wide selection of drinks (!) and DJs that play the coolest house music. I'm not an accessibility expert like Joan but it does have:

  • Wheelchair friendly parking bays
  • A ramp leading into the entrance
  • A bathroom I can get into - very important if I'm planning on having a few drinks!
  • A spacious interior, making it easy for me to get from A to B without fear of riding over people's toes, even when it's packed
  • The balcony area is a real breath offresh air - it is spacious and easily accessed by smokers and those of us who simply prefer the cool night breeze as opposed to sitting indoors. (Might be abit chilly now though!)

So, next time you are in search of a cool place to hang out with friends, why not give this Newscafe a try? All you'll need to worry about is getting your groove on!

Y is it dat wen ppl wana do a numba 2 they always gota use the "Disabled peoples toilet" then they look all stupid wen they cme out and u waitin outside 2 go in #jstsayn- Mbalenhle Nkhumeleni

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