Coping with Being Disabled, Disadvantaged, and Discouraged

by Philip Kutner

People who are physically attractive, able-bodied, advantaged, wealthy, well educated, and encouraged usually have little difficulty in coping with problems - let alone minor ones. This is not the case with those of us who are disabled, may be disadvantaged and may get discouraged. In the continuum of reactions to our physical appearance, our health, our social, financial, educational, and mental status, where do you stand?  Very, very few have it all, and very few have nothing.
For those of us who live in the San Francisco Bay area, we believe that we live in the best part of the best state in the best country in the world. Having said that, how can we (who have these 3 D's) cope with being disabled, disadvantaged, and discouraged? We must live with our disability - in some cases it is congenital. However, we do not have to remain disadvantaged or even discouraged.  Just as real estate has the mantra of "location, location, location," the way out is through education and networking. With the Internet today, both are feasible even for the most disabled.
Yes, government programs have been severely curtailed and non-profits are having difficulty in fundraising. Taking advantage of the educational facilities of libraries will help you to locate the free or low-cost necessities.
There may not be a well-paying full-time job for you, but part-time work comes in many forms. Perhaps you cannot mow lawns or do housecleaning, but answering the phone, tutoring, counseling, writing, receptionist, or working as a translator may fit your abilities.