My TEDTalk experience:
A few years ago my younger cousin introduced me to TEDTalks. I instantly became addicted and spent many an hour watching podcasts in my spare time. The concept was simple, yet it effectively fed my need to experience new ideas and consider previously unexplored topics.
I soon booked myself a ticket to watch TEDxAlbertHall 2013 live and enjoyed every minute. The ability to deliver a talk that was engaging, novel and thought provoking became a skill I wished to acquire and prompted me to set myself the goal of one day being invited to provide a TEDTalk.
Fast forward to April this year, and imagine my excitement on receiving an email inviting me to talk at TEDxUCLWomen 2015. Needless to say, a flurry of discussion and brainstorming of ideas ensued in the office, embodying the very essence of TEDTalks.
Ideas worth sharing
TEDTalks provide people who have ideas worth sharing with a platform to discuss them. As head of the Spinal Injuries team at law firm, Bolt Burdon Kemp, the opportunity to share a concept that might change the way something is done or approached, provides me with immense satisfaction. For example, between 2012 and 2014, I was a Patient Representative on a specialist panel tasked with developing and drafting NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) Guidelines on the prevention and management of pressure ulcers. The Guidelines, which were published in April 2014, inform clinicians and patients about the prevention and management of pressure ulcers in NHS institutions.
Pressure ulcers are a spinal cord injured person’s Achilles heel, and are often a barrier to someone being able to fully participate in the rehabilitation process and reach their potential. Being able to represent the patient’s view and suggest strategies that will provide greater quality of life provided me with a sense of momentum. This momentum increased further when these strategies then became the gold standard guidelines.
While preparing for this TEDTalk, I considered what Momentum means to me. It occurred to me that, once paralysed, Momentum is a bittersweet concept. First you lose it entirely. With time you begin to get it back, it is reactivated, but it is not the Momentum you once knew. Soon, this new Momentum becomes your pulse.
Historically, fewer women than men suffer spinal cord injuries;, around 20-25%. As a consequence, the way in which a spinal cord injury affects women, from the initial onset of trauma through to the long term effects, is not as well understood or documented, compared to our male counterparts. As a female who became paralysed over 20 years ago, I have passionately advocated for the needs of other females to be addressed through my role as Senior Vice Chair for the Spinal Injuries Association and through discussing spinal cord injury on Daybreak and Sky News. These experiences have all been part of my journey to the Tedx talk.
The sharing of unique experiences is the key to providing better services to enable achievement post injury. Women, for too long, have been overlooked in this field.
15 May 2015 was Spinal Injuries Awareness day. The hashtag #mymilestone trended on Twitter with people demonstrating all the things that they have achieved after sustaining a spinal cord injury. It is undoubtedly a privilege and a definite #mymilestone moment to be able to accept the invitation and become a TEDxUCLWomen speaker for their 2015 ‘Momentum’ event.
Raquel Siganporia provides specialist legal advice to people who have suffered a spinal injury as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Contact Raquel Siganporia for further information or connect with her through Twitter @SiganporiaRD