The Secret to Living Able

By Kristen Hart, Living Able

After 33 years of living with Spina Bifida, I have learned a thing or two about coming up with creative ways to get things done. And because sharing is caring, I created Living Able, a YouTube channel designed to teach those with some kind of mobility issue how to become Living Able Logomore independent through a weekly video from myself or someone else with a different mobility challenge showing how we overcome a particular obstacle. These tasks include everything from cooking and chores to handling inaccessible hotel rooms and other public places since I travel a lot.

Tips on Living Independently is Just a YouTube Video Away

I came up with the idea for Living Able after going on YouTube when I first moved out on my own in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I was trying to figure out how to drain pasta that was cooking on a stove. Simple, right? Not so much.

Kristen Hart

I knew I could not sit the hot pot on my lap and the sink is across the room so I needed to figure out what to do. To my dismay there were no results! So a few months later, I figured out how to drain the noodles on my own and decided to post the video on YouTube. I believed that if I was looking on YouTube for this kind of thing then so were other people and they needed to be able to get answers. I was right! The video quickly got a couple hundred views just from my own friends list.

During this time I also joined several disability Facebook groups. It was not hard to see how many people did not have someone that knew how to teach them to do everyday tasks. So this became my mission!

Now I know that I don't have all the answers, so I also have a “subscriber spotlight” section of my channel where my friends or viewers can send in a video to help other people. I want Living Able to be able to serve people with all sorts of disabilities, not just people with my level of function.

Clever Ideas for Mastering Everyday Tasks with a Disability

One of my favorite videos I posted was about how to see inside a pot on the stove with the help of what I like to call the greatest cooking invention ever. Check it out and see if you agree!

I travel a lot with my Dad for his job and we oftentimes share a room to save money. The sad thing is that it is almost impossible to reserve a handicap room with two beds so 99% of the time, we end up in a normal room with inaccessible bathrooms. As this is a common frustration for people with disabilities, I make videos like this one to show how I use common objects found in most hotel rooms to be able to use the bathroom.

My most viewed video is actually one of the “subscriber spotlights.” It features my friend Tara getting in and out of her Mazda RX8 sports car, debunking the myth that all wheelchair users must drive a van.

As you can see Living Able has something for everyone!  It does not take long when you have a disability to realize that the world is quick to tell you what you CAN'T do. We can either agree with the world and do nothing or disagree with the world and show them what we CAN do! I hope you will join me in helping others and showing the world just how ABLE we are!

About the author:

Kristen Hart, creator of the YouTube channel Living Able, is 33-years-old and living with Spina Bifida in Virginia Beach, VA. You can also follow her on Facebook.
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