It’s not always bad to “age out” of the system.
For example there are folks who look back with relief on having aged out of adolescence. Others feel relieved to age out of the Selective Service System or the Miss America Pageant. Personally, I couldn’t wait to age out of high school and begin the process of becoming a therapist.
Something that should never age out, however, is a good idea. Sadly, nothing is more effective at causing a good idea to age out than neglect, so we as therapists must be wary to help our ideas survive.
If you believe you have no “ideas” to contribute, consider that a good idea doesn’t have to be revolutionary to be helpful. It doesn’t have to be on par with the automobile cup holder or non-stick cookware. In our line of work a good idea is simply something actionable that will improve someone else’s life.
Scan the following list and consider whether your mind has strayed toward any of these ideas. Maybe you neglected to follow up because you thought the idea required too much time, too much money, or you were too embarrassed to present it. Consider the people whose lives your idea might touch, however, and whether they would be stopped by those same inhibitors.
Present a suggestion for a new platform, or improve an existing one. Do you know someone who is in a position to shape disability policy, regardless of the level of scope or influence? Enlist that person to support your idea.
Get the gear someone needs, but can’t afford
Start a program that cultivates private sources to fund mobility devices. There are individuals of means out there who want to do a bit of good. Find them. Convince them. Some of them you may already know.
Think of an enterprise for which mobility users would add value
I just saw a post on the RM Facebook page about amputee actors who help prepare military personnel in responding to combat-related trauma. What other jobs can you think of in which individuals affected by a disability might uniquely serve?
Design a wheelchair accessory
That mental blueprint you’ve been carrying in your head? Time to let it off the porch. College kids design projects each year for grades. Maybe that design you’ve been keeping to yourself could create a legacy.
If you have the skill or resources to take action on only part of your idea, partner with someone else who can contribute the other pieces. We are “idea people” by profession. Let’s unleash those ideas and allow them to thrive, because a good idea should never die.