I used to enjoy driving a pickup truck . . . and if you’re from Texas you know that once you drive a pickup truck, you never go back to a car. I enjoyed driving a pickup truck for one particular reason that may not be considered a “utility” reason, such as hauling dirt. No, my reason was so that I could have what I call “vertical therapy”.
Let me explain. Since I am always in a wheelchair, I “see” things differently – namely, I’m always looking up. When I speak with people, unless they bend down to my level, I’m looking up. If something is lying flat on an upper shelf, I can’t see it. When friends visit my house, they wonder why my pictures are hanging so low. To me, low is normal because the pictures are at eye level – my eye level.
But when I am in my pickup truck, I am able to sit my wheelchair in the bed and see things in a whole different light, vertically speaking. Just the sensation of looking down more than 3 feet is amazing in itself. I feel that I am somehow able to see farther from that perspective than from my usual 4 feet off the ground. I feel like I’m literally “on top of the world,” although I’ve only raised myself vertically 2-3 feet.
In another blog I will discuss that people with different abilities can work together, as long as their focus remains on the finished product and not so much on “how” getting there will be accomplished. Some folks, using adaptive technology, may perform tasks a little differently, but they do so with the same quality standards as anyone else. Performing tasks differently allows us to see from a different perspective. That perspective can lead to more ways to accomplish a task or solve a problem–not only in our professional lives, but in our personal lives as well.
It’s important to note the value of another person’s perspective.
• Other people bring more knowledge and experience to the table. We don’t know everything, and there is just too much information out there to take it all in individually.
• Other co-workers see things differently. Sometimes we become blind to other ways of performing a particular task, especially if we’ve done that task repeatedly for a long time. Another perspective may provide a better way of doing things – even if it is nothing more than breaking up the monotony of a routine task.
• We are blind to our own mistakes. It’s so easy to overlook our own errors, so having another set of eyes is valuable in identifying mistakes.
What I am suggesting is not that we have to always embrace other peoples’ points of view. What I am saying is that it’s important to at least consider them, and in doing so, we might just expand our own.
David Spears is a member of the Workforce Solutions Navigator team for the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Combining training and education to real world examples, David brings personal and professional experience with disabilities to the table in order to help job seekers with disabilities realize their potential. David has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration with over 20 years of experience in the business world.