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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Raising awareness one step at a time

Hi,

Sally is still working hard even though the campaign is now finished. A few opportunities have cropped up since the TV appearance on the last day (15th July) and so she hasn't been resting as much as she would have liked. She needs your help - see below.

Hello,

I have been asked if I would like to contribute to a talk being given in my place of work. The talk is about hidden disabilities; my segment will be about chronic illnesses and the support that sufferers need within a library environment; I will, obviously, be using M.E. as the focal point.

I didn't get any support from my library when I was studying at university; I hadn't been diagnosed at that point in time. Although I had symptoms I had no diagnosis to work from. So, I can guess at what support I would have benefited from but need to pick other sufferers brains for ideas.The talk will be delivered to all kinds of library staff; academic, public, corporate, etc. It is not purely aimed at other university libraries.

So, all of you sufferers out there who use libraries for studying, work or pleasure, can you let me know what support you receive but also what support you feel could be useful?

My initial thoughts are that brain fog and concentration may mean we need to borrow books for longer and need reminders about when the books are due back. Extra allowances should be made when fines are incurred because we have probably forgotten that we have the book in the first place. How would we remember to take it back! We would probably forget where the post-it reminder note was! Severe sufferers wont be able to get into a library so distance learning, when books are requested and sent out to the home address, would be essential. That said, would severe sufferers have enough cognitive function to read books? Personally, I found that studying in a library was impossible, noise and lighting intolerance meant I couldn't concentrate at all. So, I used to struggle into the library, take books out and then go home to study under my duvet. My postgraduate was achieved from my bed. I read for 15 minutes, slept for 5, read for 15 minutes, slept for 5....can you see a pattern forming?! Is that the same for other sufferers? Please let me know.

I will be using your responses, ideas and examples within my talk so please email me at mefoggydog@gmail.com.

Thanks,

Sally xx

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