Today I want to write about a product (or indeed company and a number of products from that company) that I use most days and on days I am out I use constantly.
I am talking about the brilliant Stickman Communications
Stickman Communications are a range of products that can be used to explain, express or tell people something about your disability, or sometimes more general things.
Most of the products I have are the key ring cards. Essentially a card which gets across a message in an effective way, with a funky drawing on it.
Some of the cards are specific to a disability or condition, whereas others are more general.
I have a lot of the keyring cards and always have them on me, however two of them are on a lanyard (also from Stickman Communications) cards and one is specific and one more general.
This is the card I have on top, which hangs down and is visible to people.
[Image desription: a card with a white background and a rainbow border on the left side around half of the text. The text reads “I have Tourette’s. I frequently make involuntary movements and noises called tics. These may include obscene and socially inapppropriate words and gestures. I can’t control it and it’s exhausting. Please don’t stare or take offence.” There is then a drawing on the right of a stick person with the drawing made to look like movement in various body parts, including words. Below the drawing it says “copyright 2014 H.Ensor”. end description]
This card is obviously quite specific to people with Tourette’s Syndrome. I wear this so it is visible as it can help reduce anxiety a bit, it can immediately let people know I have Tourette’s and am not just being rude. There have been times people have just been staring at me, I realise my card has twisted round, I turn it round to be visible and within a few seconds people stop staring. It can help with anxiety, make things that little bit easier and make people realise I am not just being rude. It also explains that tics are exhausting and out of my control, which I don’t think people realise often.
The other card round my neck (behind the above) is this one.
[Image description: card with a white background, with a rainbow border around writing. The text reads: “I can’t speak but I can write what I want to say” with a drawing of a pencil making a line to the right of the text. Below the drawing it says “copyright H.Ensor 2012″end description]
This card is obviously more general, there may be people with a whole range of disabilities who may need this card at various points. I keep this card also on my lanyard as I often go non-verbal and as I said I have a lot of these cards, so going through them all to find this one when I need to explain I can’t speak is frustrating. I keep it within easy access and I use it to quickly explain that I am non-verbal, but can communicate via writing.
There are so many keyring cards on the website, for different disabilities and different situations, plus more are regularly being added. What is great about the way Hannah Ensor (the person of Stickman Communications) works is she both takes suggestions from people for future keyring cards, or will try to do you a specific one for yourself if needed. She also communicates with people who have the disability she is making the keyring cards for. I think it is great when disabled people realise they don’t know everything about all disabilities and work with those who have that disability, instead of trying to guess.
As I also mentioned there are also other products as well as the keyring cards available, from clothing, to fun books, to signs for cars and windows to pin badges.
I have one of the pin badges, and again I wear it whenever I go outside.
Here is the pin badge I have
[Image description: a round badge with a purple background, in white writing it reads “Light sensitive” then a pair of glasses are drawn in white with white lenses. writing in white below the drawing reads “tinted lenses needed”]
I need to wear tinted lenses always, I have recently been assessed and diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome and am waiting for student finance to confirm funding for the next stage to get proper Irlen lenses. For now however, I wear a pair of prescription sunglasses, which help a bit, but I am hoping the Irlen lenses will help a lot with my severe light sensitivity and my reading and other issues relating to Irlen Syndrome. This badge tells people simply and easily that I need them on and that I am not being rude, because yes I have been told to take off sunglasses inside as I am being rude and I am severely socially anxious that I wouldn’t explain, so took my sunglasses off and suffer.
Stickman Communication products are a wonderful different variety of products that can help me to explain myself to others. I know of many people who use them. I am always checking the site for new products as often new things added are relevant to me.
The service is always quick and any email communication I have had with Hannah has always been helpful.
A great resource, that really does help me cope. May seem simple things to some, and that explaining I need to keep sunglasses on inside is easy, but to me it is impossible and Stickman cards and other products can help a little and make hard situations that little bit easier.
I love the products and am always recommending them.