Dave Lindo, Gleaner Writer
MANDEVILLE, Manchester:CHANICE TAYLOR, a resident of Mandeville, Manchester, has proven that she can live a normal life despite her disability.
Taylor was born with spina bifida, a condition where she is unable to use her legs so she has to move around in a wheelchair.
Speaking about her experience at a young age with her disability, she said: "It was difficult at times. I went to normal schools, but I had challenges."
Taylor added: "I was laughed at at school - all kinds of stuff," she said. "Sometimes I think of not going back, but I just pushed myself."
She continued her education at Hope Valley Experimental School in Kingston.
With a determination to achieve academically despite her disabilities, after leaving Hope Valley Experimental School, Taylor returned to Manchester where she attended Knox Community College.
"I did my CXCs at Knox and did information technology for two years, and I have a certificate in that area," Taylor disclosed.
Knox Community College was a more pleasant experience for her.
"The teachers were great. They were very supportive, as well as my schoolmates. I had fun there."
However, Taylor has been unable to secure a job since she left school in 2001. "I am looking to create my own job if I don't find one soon, it can be really frustrating," she disclosed.
Notwithstanding not having a job, Taylor is still enjoying her life, especially after finding her true love in 2008.
"Well, now, I am coping quite fine. I have a daughter who will be two in February," she said. "I am hoping to be married soon … . Yes, so it's been going okay."
Her fiancé, Kevin Graham, works as a security guard and shares a home with Taylor and their daughter Jada.
They described how they met as "a long story". However, the short version of it is that they met over the Internet in 2008 and fell in love.
Graham said they pretty much live a normal life despite Taylor's disability.
"We try to live as normal a life as possible. It is sometimes hard. The biggest challenge is like if we are in the town (Mandeville) and want to go somewhere. There is nowhere to push her up (ramp) or people are always parking at the entrance of the ramp. It can be frustrating at times. Otherwise, I don't really find it as a challenge."
Taylor believes that the Government should do more for people with disabilities.
"There should be more places for training people with disabilities where you can learn a skill," she said. "And when they do it, they should implement it in all parishes, not just in Kingston."
She added: "There is nowhere in Manchester for someone like me to learn a skill. I have my subjects, but with no job in my area of studies, it would help if I could learn a skill."
Taylor and Graham, in the meantime, will continue to cherish the love that they share and look towards securing a bright future for their daughter Jada.