Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Some of the best things happen just because they should. I have no idea how I came to know about the seminar 'Ableism and the Question of the Human' but when the flier fell into my hands, I immediately blocked off my calender. I was looking forward to it for a couple of reasons. 1) It looked awesome and 2) I seldom get to go to an event and NOT present. I wanted just to listen, to learn and to soak up the atmosphere.
When we got there I knew that I was in the right place. There were people with disabilities everywhere. EVERYWHERE. We all got in and got settled. I think way more people showed up than they expected because the room was packed. Jam packed full. That in and of itself is a wonderful thing. People came from across Ontario, from Ireland and even from Winnipeg.
I got to listen.
Listen some more.
Think some more.
It was incredible to listen to work from disability scholars who were producing works that were as insightful as they were radical. They took me to ideas that I had never thought before. They gave validation to some of my own thoughts. They held us all in rapt attention.
At break I ended up in conversation with a woman, new to the disability experience, and a woman born with a disability. We had a lively chat. Intimate without being intimate. We were able because we were disabled, to start in the middle of the sentence. Shared experiences will do that. It was freaking awesome.
I left feeling rejuvenated.
I left feeling less alone.
But more importantly, I left realizing that the fight, the daily fight, for inclusion and for access and for respect - is a good fight.
I always knew that.
But sometimes it takes a good reminding.