Today's Blog is a Request from a Student Studying Disability:
5 Questions For People Who Have Disabilities?
1) What is the most disabling aspect of your disability?
I remember reading a character in a book, who's blind answering this question with a "I can't fucking see." It's a very funny moment in the book - I can't remember the character or the book. I'm going to move away from disability to answer: barriers and attitudes that prevent free access of movement and participation.
2) Do you sometimes wish you weren't disabled?
I don't like these kinds of questions. I sometimes wish all sorts of things, I have wished to be think, I have wished to have hair, I wished - when I was very young - to be straight. But I have also wished to win an academy award, to write a best selling book, to ride in a dog sled. I'm not sure wishing means anything other than a response to a moment. So, yes, on occasion I have - I need to tell the truth. But it was a momentary wish not an indicator of lifetime longing.
3) Is there a responsibility that comes with disability to actively work for change in how the world sees and treats people with disabilities.
Yes, but activism is sometimes thought out and a result of personal action - writing a letter to a store chain, demanding to see and speak to a manager, organizing with others with disabilities for some kind of action. But activism is also done just be going out and doing what you want to do when you want to do it. Living life freely, and publicly, challenges a thousand stereotypes all at once.
4) If a millionaire was to give you one gift, what would it be?
If I had a millionaire as a friend wanting to give gifts, I'd look forward to every birthday with increased excitement. I would like the gift of a wheelchair accessible van.
5) What advice would you give to a young person with a disability similar to your own?
You will hear a lot of voices telling you about you --- the most important voice to listen to, and it can be hard to hear over the crowd of people around you --- is you own voice. Trust yourself, try it yourself, take heed of your hopes and dreams - they make you you.