Just a Shropshire Lad, father, fiancee with a love of being outside, whether it’s on my Allotment, fishing or just out in the countryside or on the national trust with the family.
I Vlog and Blog because I’d like to help more people accept disability and embrace aids and adaptation to life that will prolong hobbies and interests. being disabled isn’t easy, but nor does it have to be the start of a reclusive life, never let a disability stop you doing the things you love.
A bit more about me…
I was born with a rare muscle disability, there are only 7 people worldwide known to have it, it’s so rare it doesn’t even have an official name, I am literally one in a billion!
born in the early 1980s there wasn’t much in the way of inclusion with sport or activities, I went to a mainstream school and played football, rugby and hockey with all the other lads, to be totally honest schoolboy me didn’t consider himself disabled and thats to a few schoolyard bullies I soon learnt how to fight my corner, quite literally!
I also am dyslexic, so school really was a huge bag of laughs for me. add to that, that the school I went to. Wrocwardine Wood was possibly the worst school for dyslexia. my mom was told many times that I wasn’t dyslexic and that I was just lazy. But she organized an assessment, as the school wouldn’t, and she was told and I quote “Ross is classic dyslexic” The school then decided to drop me top science and middle maths and put me in all the bottom groups, plus a graphic design teacher told me “doing graphic at college will be a waste of your time”… that really helped my GCSE’s. thankfully they knocked the school down a few years ago but I can honestly say I hated school.
I will say this there were a few great teachers there, Mr Milne, Mr McKeown and Mr Harris all had positive impacts on me and my education.
So the lad for who college was a waste went to Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology and there I fell in love with education. Andy Butler the graphics teacher who had been there done it and brought the sports car and decided to pass his knowledge on to others. one of my first lessons with he sat there and said. “for those of you that don’t want to come everyday and learn F&%k Off!” needless to say the following week the graphics class was half the size, one lad even quit at lunch on the first day and was forever the joke for the remaining two years.
I loved college I liked everyone in the art school and I learned more from Andy then I ever thought I would. so much so I did and an extra year with him and got a HND on graduation day Andy said “congratulations, you now have more qualifications than me”
the sad thing is that in today’s society a teacher like Andy wouldn’t get a chance, but he was the best teacher I ever had
So from college, I went to university and achieved a BA in Graphics, i left with a 2:2 and to be honest, that because I didn’t try. I liked Uni, but I didn’t love it. I love the drinking and the social life, but no one there really inspired me like Andy and so I just wanted to get it done and get out and earn some money.
After a year or two working my son came along and I wanted to better my prospects so I returned to university and was excepted onto a MAster in Advertising course. It was great and the lecture Colin Davies was brilliant, 2 years part-time and Colin inspired me in the same way Andy had at college and yet they were two completely different personalities So by this Point I’m Ross Minton MA, BA, HND not bad for a lazy student that further education was wasted on.
So I’m back into work (years pass) and I’m doing well, pretty active fishing, gardening and playing a bit of football but then I start to notice my disability, the elephant in the room I have been hiding for a long long time. I notice the distance I can walk is reducing more and more, the pain in my muscles that I’ve always had, is more and more and even sleeping is becoming an issue, medication goes up, and lifestyle comes down. For the first time, I start to fell disabled.
sparing you a lot of detail, because after all my disability does not define me, I deteriorate a lot in just a few years and seek help from my employers, help didn’t come and surprise surprise I find myself redundant… it’s a long story and something I discussed here. https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/supreme-court-tribunal-fees-ruling-i-couldnt-afford-to-gamble-on-justice/
I had gone from 16-30 and never been without work, I had either always gone from job to job or been approached while in work by “headhunters” personnel agencies etc
It was hard, especially as at the same time my condition was clearly getting worse and my mind was willing but my body clearly not able, I’m not ashamed to say I became very depressed, I wouldn’t talk about disability, I hid away and even lost a few friend as I just didn’t enjoy being out and always felt judged for not working, as if having a daily pain and mobility problems was some kind of fast track to retirement. it’s not, it isn’t and if there was a magic cure pill that I could take tomorrow I would. being sofa bound 4-5 days a week isn’t nice and it definitely was not how I expected my life to be.
I sought help, and it took time but eventually, I was able to talk about disability, I was able to accept it and because of this I applied for an amazing opportunity with the charity FSDP. http://www.fsdp.co.uk/scholar-stories/ross-minton/
My story is here, (Link above) plus I did my best to Vlog about it on youtube.
Its taken 34 years, but I am finally now at a place where I can accept my disability, and with a degree of pride I can say “I have a disability”
Thanks for reading.