I had a drive growing up. That drive was to one day create my own website. Growing up I didn’t set any records at school and was pretty average in every subject – except P.E which, as you can guess, I was terrible at. Teachers would comment that I was a bright pupil, but I should try harder. I couldn’t try any harder; I was just running up the down escalator.
When I was 8 the school had built and opened a computer suite allowing for I.T lessons, from the start I seemed to have a natural knack for finding my around and absorbing what it had to offer. I had a keen interest in science and had found myself on a website which showed off animations of the planets of the solar system – which I found amazing! It was such an awesome site that it inspired me to want to make my own site. At the time I didn’t know what I could possibly make a website on.
During my time at secondary school, I got into projects using the computer, especially PowerPoint and really loved to make slideshows. Other students wanted to team up with me because on what I could create. I worked on an anti-bullying powerpoint as a distraction to help keep me calm* which ended up on the school’s homepage – my first glimpse of ‘webdesign’
Website making is a difficult craft and coding isn’t a strong suit of mine – I can scrape by and have an understanding on how it works but wouldn’t be able to create much from scratch. When it comes to creating I’m a visual person.
Growing up through school with Dyspraxia was a challenge. The main problem was there wasn’t any understanding or acceptance and I was treated poorly because of it. This attitude followed me into college and my early working career. During my second apprenticeship, I decided to bite the bullet and research into Dyspraxia. I came across a fair few sites and each one offered a little bit of information here and there. I enjoy the detailed and also the trivial facts, but there weren’t many sites that brought it all together. The Dyspraxia Foundation site was the place I gained a good portion of my acquired knowledge of Dyspraxia. Although the majority of information I indirectly already knew from living with Dyspraxia. Despite all the awareness and information that was readily available, Dyspraxia was scarily still unknown – given an opportunity, I wanted to change that.
During my third apprenticeship, I was treated horribly and despite many opportunities for the staff to get a better understanding of my struggles they never really went for it. It certainly angered me. Made me upset. Made me want them to understand. Soon after my contract had ended my half-brother gave me an opportunity to make a blog using WordPress. A chance to make a website was awesome and I spent ages wondering what to do it on. Being a huge fan of Thunderbirds that was the first theme to cross my mind, but as you can guess I changed my mind. This was the golden opportunity I had to try to get Dyspraxia some more awareness.
Planning this Dyspraxia Blog
I spent many weeks planning out my pages and thinking up things for the site. The name Fantastic Dyspraxic came almost instantly, the rhyme was good but it didn’t quite gel with me. After switching the words around it stuck and I have used it ever since.
I put thought into the colour scheme too to give my site an identity. Originally I had blue, red, and green in mind. As raised in one of my posts, dyspraxicfantastic.com/post-106-inspiration/, I chose blue as a homage to Tillie, The Little Blue Engine That Could – a character from my childhood that inspired me greatly.
The colour red didn’t have such an interesting backstory. It was one of my favourite colours at the time and it’s the opposite of blue. I liked the contradiction and opposites – it suited the whole Dyspraxic Fantastic image I was developing. When it came to properly creating the site I found the red overpowered the blue and it didn’t look right. Also, blue and red as a combination has been used many times before – especially in gaming. I thought I try orange instead – mixing the passion of red with the happy warmth of yellow. It looked much better and so I’ve rolled with it. This blog used to have green links as it went well with the dark colour scheme, however now that my blog has lightened up a bit the green looked out of place and I’ve removed it.
The Fantastic Future:
With my success, my drive now is to push this blog further and further forwards. My mission is to get Dyspraxia widely known and accepted as something that isn’t a problem but just a different ability pool. As anyone with experience, and not just for Dyspraxia, but with anything. The population of those with Disabilities aren’t disabled- only the society around us forces this, in fact, those with Learning Differences are overally more creative & cleverer than your average template of a person, we are more hardworking and we have better understanding of other peoples’ thoughts and feelings. All we need is a chance to prove ourselves-some make it and some don’t but that’s nothing to do with us. You can’t make a judgement on a music CD until someone puts it into a player and that’s like us-give us an inch and you can have a mile!
[*I still have the project in its original, cheesy, 12-year-old pupil style format SlideShow-I may upload it to my blog at some point!]