These 3 concepts have totally changed my life when I’ve come to the question: “How shall I believe that my disability is a trigger and never should it be an obstacle?”
From the first time of my life, I was hearing that my disability is a kind of a barrier: “Lobna, beware! Mind trying too stand up otherwise you may fall and break you hand or foot… Lobna, don’t worry mom or dad will help you to it, drink and of course get dressed…” I heard so many pieces of advice that were resonating with orders to get me out of my cocoon.
Being fed up to play the role of a barbie, I started to play the game of those miraculous hands; I tried to be more reliant upon myself: My biscuits in my plate trying to hold it with my lips, my teeth cut it into pieces or halves… For the cake, I used my lips and tongue.. Waw! Only by that way I was able to feel how delicious it is! Yeees, there is no one who asks me to hurry up… Hurry up when eating in the kindergarten was like stuffing a duck, I had no chance to relish my chocolate bar that I have been waiting for from the early morning till 10 a.m… No one knows how awful is to make some of your peers make you eat after sniffing his nose… And yet, you have to nodd “Okay!” To be hungry was my choice but to keep him silent with that arm. Yup! To give him wholeheartedly that chocolate bar thanking him for a lie to get read of my snack which I normally like.
No matter what you do, to be thirsty is the worst. But what could I do? Mmm… Perhaps die out of it! No, come on! Putting the glass (a simple one closer to my mouth and catching it with my mouth or jaws sipping it up till the half and ooop! I seize it with my mouth and little by little, I lift my head up, that is drinking but in a different way… And yet, you need training to make it!
Well, I grew up with a wonderful parents who brought us pencils and soo many colors… Looking, watching, dreaming... Come on that was not enough being a pupil and so smart! Lobna: “I shall act.” Ahhh… Again that magical mouth! I took the pencil, the pen and even the compass, I started to manage them with my mouth. Mommy's scared… “Noooo, mom look at me!” I many times said… I started to draw, to write and even to have futuristic sight for me being an architect.
Believe me, when my pen is close to me, the Muse helps me to shed all my inner light and the divine grace of my creator down… On that way,, I perused my books, did my homework and after my graduation, my new favorite song is to type using my nose on my smartphone or my laptop. I’ve chose English literature and criticized gothic novels and Romanticism… Afterwards, the rays of iinternett came to my house, and I conquered all the cities with no mouse… Indeed, this time my nose and my chin were my tools. It was and still amazing to use programs to conquer the realm of your dreams that I couldn’t make surely on any sheet. I started to know people, develop social programs through which I shared with other people my experience, try to assist families with surveillance. I conduct my advice for parental education and try to get out from my room to explore other places in different parts of the word. My target was and still is to enhance parents not to be ashamed of their children, to make them look at them delightedly and share with them the adventures and the stories of success.
I started having a tremendous capital of relations. I started to become a source of many people's inspirations… Then, I have started to move to other cities meeting my virtual friends and acquaintances in 2007, I have got my masters degree. In 2009, I was asked to participate in most of the national forums of education and social issues, and hence forth, I innogurated the talk about the importance of the internet in our lives. The ministers were writing to the ex- president about me and I was appointed to work in the Presidential Palace. As a real dreamer and a real lady, I believed more and more in my capacities. Therefore, I was looking in the Internet for any new tool to develop one's self. So, I learned more about the IT, which I studied in both Tunisia and England. I developed my blogspot, created my YouTube channel, invaded LinkedIn, Twitter and Instegram staffing their rubrics with my videos, comment and articles. And here comes the phrase of how to “ACT” to deal with social, educational and the ICT accessibility issues. By that way, in 2015, I was appointed to be the President of the ITU for people with disabilities in the Arab Region. Through the internet, I presented my project to the International Technology Union (ITU) for the Wworld Summit Information Society’s Prize (WSIS Prize2016, and was invited to do a speech in the UN headquarters in Geneva. I was oppointed “the Ambassador of Smart Tunisia” by the Tunisian Minister of telecommunication, Information and Digitaal Economy in
October, 2016. The Rehabilitation Inernational Foundation’s memembers of both the Executive Commeetee and the Administrative Committee have voted for me to be the RIF’s Deputy of the Vice President (DVP) of the RI for both the Arab Region/North Africa in the meeting of Edinburgh in October, 2016. My visits to all the universities in Tunisia made me feel like I have thousands hands and feet and I am now an international activist who tries to pave the way to the present and to the coming generation to accomplish the rest of our dreams.
Well, I feel happy nowadays when I learn about the competition between the ICT companies to make their products as more accessible as any one can imagine to read, write, get a job, play music or even draw...
Yes, this was my experience which I still develop throughcthe magical key concepts not words: Dream, Believe and Act.
Ms. Lobna Smida
International Disability Rights and Technology Expert and Advocate