Our world is in a state of persistent change. Over the past century perhaps the most indelible change has been the advent of modern technology. Many of our industries, from the stock market to the military to social work, have become increasingly or entirely reliant on computers to provide the services and functions to the general population necessary for a safe, efficient world. Unsurprisingly, many people have come to rely on their personal technological devices. But while these devices are a luxury for most, Adil Sanai is a person for whom technology provides more than just entertainment or distraction… It provides him with an outlet to fully connect with the community.
Adil, who is supported through services provided by AHRC NYC’s Day Hab Without Walls, has taken his relationship with technology to the next level by creating his own website. “I’ve been taking computer science classes at Pace University,” Adil says. Using skills he gained during his classes, he created a website titled, Adil Sanai: My Voice and My Dreams.
The website highlights many facets of Adil’s life, including his incredible journey, his work at Marshalls, and more. Some interesting tidbits about Adil that you can learn from his site are:
- His favorite TV program is a “funny political show from Pakistan” called Hasb e Haal, a satirical television show similar to the Colbert Report, and the most watched program in Pakistan.
- As a Muslim, Adil is deeply religious, and uses apps on his iPad to help him read the Quran. Additionally, he observes the Islamic holy month of Ramadan by fasting from sunrise to sunset for 30 days.
- Adil is an ambassador for Saltillo, the company which makes many of the adaptive technology apps and devices which he uses to communicate.
“I want more people to look at and know my story, so that is why I created the website,” Adil says. Born in Pakistan with severe impairment in his legs and unable to speak, Adil and his family moved the New York in 1999, when he was 15 years old, with the hope that in the United States, Adil could have a better life. After surgeries and therapy Adil learned to walk and to speak, and now he is an increasingly independent person with a future filled with possibilities.
“I want to share my life story, especially with other self-advocates so that they can learn from me,” he adds.
Creating a website is a great way for the people we support to express their interests and to give themselves a voice that they might otherwise not be able to have. A number of platforms exist that provide free, simple ways to do this. Adil used Wix to create his site. Other services include WordPress and Squarespace. Social media also provides an opportunity for people to connect with others and to convey their thoughts and feelings. Two of the most popular social media sites are Facebook and Twitter.