Interview: "I want people to know that my disability does not stop me"
"I live a relatively normal life with extra challenges."
One challenge facing a lot of women in Ireland is healthcare.
Whether it's struggling to get a diagnosis, cocooning due to Covid or living with health issues, it's something that affects the lives of Irish women everyday.
26-year-old Dubliner and disability advocate Kayleigh McKevitt chatted to us recently about living with cerebral palsy, and what changes she would like to see for people with chronic illness and disabilities in Ireland.
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement and muscle tone or posture. It's caused by damage that occurs to the brain as it develops, most often before birth.
Cerebral palsy causes impaired movement and involuntary movements and its effect on a person's function varies greatly.
"I was officially diagnosed with my condition at two years old," says Kayleigh.
"I'm reliant on my power chair to get around and I also have a personal assistant to help out with certain aspects of my everyday life.
One of my biggest frustrations is having to rely on other people, I like to be as independent as possible.
I'm really proud of the fact that I completed college and that I've been able to move out of home.
I've been living independently for the last two half years which is something I've always wanted to do."
Kayleigh says that there are many misconceptions about being a wheelchair user. She wishes people would realise that those with disabilities are still just like everyone else.
I've had people say to me: 'Aren't you great going out on your own?', which just seems weird to me as I'm 26. Of course I'm out on my own.
What I want people to know is that my disability does not stop me from dating, or stop me going out with friends. I live a relatively normal life with extra challenges.
Usually these challenges are more to do with society's lack of wheelchair access and ignorance.
That's something that I would really like to see change."