This is Eric, your friendly OMOD project coordinator, here with my top five reasons why you should join the OMOD team. We are constantly seeking new self-advocates to participate in OMOD, so I encourage you all to read this and see if OMOD is the right program for you or for one of your friends or family members. Feel free to email me at [email protected] for an application or more information.
Here are the top five reasons:
- Face your fears. Writing and public speaking are among people’s greatest fears. In OMOD, you will have the opportunity to face these fears head-on in a supportive environment and with a great team of sidekicks backing you up. As star OMOD speaker Jessica Guerrero often says, “Feel the fear and do it anyway!” Facing your fears will give you a great confidence boost and reveal strengths you didn’t know you have.
- Reach a new level of independence. Do you want to travel out of town, experience new places, and meet new people, but you get bogged down by the stress of needing an attendant, finding accessible lodging, or getting a ride? Then look no further! OMOD offers a safe and supportive setting for you to test the waters of the unknown. As you travel to conferences across the state, we will be at your side helping you to secure your needs and solve the problems that may pop up along the way.
- Make new friends and learn about other people with disabilities. Think the only thing you have in common with other people with disabilities is a disability? Think again! In OMOD, we write and share stories that run the gamut of human experience. No mopey, stay-at-home couch potatoes here – only the most wildly entertaining, stereotype-crushing, creative storytellers this side of the Mississippi. In OMOD, you will learn more about where you fit in the world and make lasting friendships with passionate people just like you.
- Tell your story. Everyone has an important story to tell. Yes, even you. And OMOD is the place for you to tell it. In the OMOD workshop, you will write, edit, and share your story under the close guidance of a professional writing facilitator and with constructive feedback from a class of your peers. It’s a positive team process that isn’t finished until you have a story that everyone – and you, especially – can be proud of.
- Change the way society views people with disabilities. Storytelling may be one of the most powerful tools available to advocates of any civil rights movement. Your personal story shows mainstream society that we are all human, and we all share more similarities than differences. You might even be the first person with a disability that some able-bodied people see, so show them a person of dignity, humor, and power. Not an object of pity. Not an inspirational hero. Show them someone real. Show them who you are.