Hello my name is Emma Buhse. I’m a nearly 40-year-old woman who was born with a genetic disorder and I am currently an ambulatory wheelchair user. I grew up all around South East Queensland, but became a permanent resident of Gympie in 2004 when I met and fell in love with my wonderful other half on my first visit to the town and never really left. We have a little dog named Nutmeg who is a big motivator for getting me out in my community and meeting people while we’re getting around in my power wheelchair. We have a Facebook page of our adventures that is called Up & Down Around Gympie Town - A Power Wheelchair Adventure.
Reading and writing has been a comfortable escape from the world for me. As my disability has progressed over the last decade, I’ve become a prolific email and newspaper letter writer to try to get the help and services disabled people need in my community, in Queensland and in Australia from those in political power.
I find myself in the strange position of being vocal about issues affecting disabled people including accessibility, intersectionality, medical services, how the housing crisis is impacting us specifically, public transport and the challenges of being disabled in regional/rural areas. I say ‘strange’ because I’m not well known for public speaking or enjoying being the focus of attention, but I find representing and giving a voice to people with disabilities to be so important that I’ve found myself in newspapers, on radio and TV despite my uncomfortableness to hopefully encourage other people with disabilities to join in with me to make their voices heard.
I hope to encourage such participation through my work with Qbloggers also. Let’s get out there and demand that space to share our experiences with the world to not only improve and enrich our lives but to make things better for the many generations of disabled Australians that are following our path.
I like to learn, say yes to unexpected opportunities and I am curious about new experiences. I’m currently the Chairperson for Disability Action Week and International Day of People with Disabilities this year here in the Gympie region for that very reason. It’s my first experience of organising an event or being a leader. But I hope to give my fellow disabled people in my area a chance to have some fun and have some much needed acknowledgment of how awesome they truly are throughout the week while also giving non-disabled locals some insight to our lived experiences to what it is like to have a disability in a world that still doesn’t quite cater to us fully. We hope to change perceptions by also showcasing the skills we’ve developed to bypass or problem solve those limitations we encounter. And really just show everyone how bloody handsome, talented and funny we all are.
My passions are causing good heck, being a good ally for all those in need of love and support, advocacy, and social justice. I also have some pretty basic hobbies like movies, music, video games, comedy, creating art, watching The Golden Girls and patting as many dogs as I possibly can.