Born without arms and can't find a job: Woman who uses her feet to perform day-to-day tasks reveals no one will hire her
18:08 GMT, 28 September 2012
A young woman born without arms, who made a series of YouTube videos demonstrating how she uses her feet to carry out a range of daily tasks, has told how she can't find a job.
Tisha Shelton, 25, from St Louis, Missouri, decided to create a video blog this summer in a bid to show employers that her disability is not an obstacle. In the clips she is seen doing everything from eating with chopsticks to applying make-up.
However the graphic design graduate, who has attracted more that 1.5million hits worldwide, says that she is still unemployed and is finding it difficult to secure work in such a 'tough market'.
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Independent woman: Tisha Shelton, who created a series of videos that went viral, reveals that she still cannot find work as a graphic designer despite her online success
Miss Shelton, who is known online as Tisha UnArmed, told KTVI: 'If I’m gonna go on an interview they’re gonna look at me and go, “oh, she’s disabled, we’re gonna have to worry about this. How’s she gonna take care of the job”
'I just wanted to ease their mind, and be like, I can do anything that you can do.'
As well as creating the videos, which show how she uses her feet to do a range of tasks, Miss Shelton has also been sending her resume to prospective employees and examples of her graphic design work. She has been job hunting since June.
While she hasn't had luck securing any full-time work, Miss Shelton says that she has been contacted by a number of teachers and physical therapists wanting advice on how they can help other young people in her position.
Determination: Miss Shelton graduated from university in June and has been job hunting ever since
On the case: As well as her YouTube videos Miss Shelton has also been sending prospective employers examples of her work along with her resume
'Teachers, physical therapists.They’ll contact me and they’re like, “we have this four year old born without arms and we don’t know how to deal with her. We don’t know how to teach her how to do things.”
Her first video titled 'Eating a sandwich with my feet' attracted more than 300,000 hits
worldwide in a matter of weeks, prompting her to launch a Twitter account and Facebook fan
Tisha explains that she was born with no
arms, and instead she has little holes where her upper limbs should be.
Her right leg is curved and also shorter than her left leg, by about
eight inches, with her heel turned outwards.
She says there is no explanation for
the defects, adding: 'My mother didn’t do any drugs, there was no
explosion of chemicals, she didn’t dye her hair or anything.'
Chopstick challenge: Tisha UnArmed who was born with no arms, demonstrates how she goes about life on a daily basis via YouTube videos – this image is from a video titled 'Eating sushi using chopsticks with my feet'
Yummy! Although it takes just over an hour, Tisha manages to polish off the sushi selection with no help
Educating viewers: Tisha shows how her right leg is considerably shorter than the other and her heel is curved outwards (left) while she has little holes where her upper limbs should be (right)
doctors recommending a right leg amputation when she was a toddler, her
mother refused pointing out that her daughter would then only be left
with one limb.
'My mum was like: ''What are you kidding me, she has no arms and you
want to cut her right leg off That's not right, she's only going to
have one limb.''
Dissatisfied with shoe lifts, Tisha now
has a specially designed prosthesis which was created to fit the shape
of her right heel and foot.
To date Tisha, who lives alone with her
dog Jack, has posted videos showing how she makes and eats a peanut butter
and jelly sandwich, how she applies her makeup, how she takes a shower,
how she gets dressed and how she drives her car.
Cruising: Tisha drives her specially adapted car using her right foot to steer and her left to work the pedals
Wardrobe challenge: Tisha demonstrates how she gets dressed using a small rod fitted with a fishing hook which allows her to pull clothing on to her body
Inspiration: Tisha pictured wearing a lower artificial limb as she takes her dog Jack for a walk
Tisha says that getting dressed is
one of the most time-consuming rituals, and that it's easier for her to
wear simple items of clothing such as tees, lose trousers and dresses.
a small rod with a fish hook attached to the end, between her toes and
in her mouth she demonstrates how she puts on a bra, trousers and can
even do up buttons using a few special moves.
She said: 'Getting dressed in the morning can be difficult when you don't have arms. If I decided to
wear a button up shirt or tight pants it would take longer.
'A lot of
what I wear has to do with how easy it is to get on. for example I can't
wear skinny jeans, besides the fact that i just don't like they way
they look they would be extremely hard to get on and off.'
To drive, Tisha uses an adapted car which has been fitted with a range of special devices including a left foot accelerator, a turn knob on the steering wheel and a voice command computer box which controls functions such as the turn signal and horn.
Getting on with things: Drawing and painting are two of Tisha's favourite pastimes
All glammed up: Tisha shows how she applies makeup using her foot
Squeaky clean: Using a bath mat to stop her from slipping Tisha sits down to shower
She steers with her right foot and
uses her left foot to work the pedals, while special buttons in the
headrest also allow her to activate the voice command computer box.
In a video where she is filmed eating a sandwich with her foot, she simply explains to viewers: 'Because my right foot is shorter than the other it’s closer to my face so it’s easier to eat.'
Sense of humour: Tisha wears a tee with the words 'If you're happy and you know it clap your… doh'
notes that eating at restaurants with her feet resting on the table often
requires at a bit of explanation, but so far she's never had an issue
with waiting staff.
Thousands of YouTube user have commented on the videos, with many citing her as an inspiration.
Blue4telluride said: 'And I thought I couldn't get up, dress, and go to work because I had a hangover. Damn, you are awesome.'
While Jennifer Gingras said: I think you are awesome!! Too many people feel sorry for themselves for every little thing, and you have taken a truly enormous challenge and made yourself a major success. And on top of that, you have shared your story, inspiring thousands! God bless you! You ROCK!!'
Tisha notes that she has received some negative messages, but she chooses to ignore them or delete them and concentrate on the positives.
Talking about her experience on YouTube and her new-found fame she said: 'My experience of YouTube has been completely awesome, it’s not anything that I expected at all.
'I was just being silly and funny at home. I just never expected to have so many views in so little time. And I’ve had a lot of comments good and bad but mostly good.'
Tisha who is now looking to secure work as a graphic designer added: 'I live independently and I do everything by myself.
can’t sit at home and you can’t be like ''I don’t have any arms I’m going
to sit at home and do nothing for the rest of my life.''
VIDEO: Tisha shows how she drives using her feet
VIDEO: Tisha eats sushi with chopsticks using her feet!