Thursday, July 20, 2017

Chairless Tongue

"You don't sound disabled," the voice on the other end of the phone said, suspiciously, "are you sure you need these accommodations?"

I don't sound disabled.

That's what I was told.

And what exactly does "disabled" sound like? I don't know for certain but I know that whatever it sounds like, it doesn't sound like me.

Do people think when they speak about disability? Do they realize how offensive their words are? I wonder and I wonder more if it matters to them at all.

I was in a position of needing accommodation. I didn't blow up on the phone because I needed what I needed and I didn't want to piss off the person who could give it to me. She was the gate keeper to my successful accommodation so I simply let it go.


I don't fight every fight.

I capitulate when I am in the powerless position that need places me.

Do people who are employed in disability services begin to get a sense of the power they hold in their hands? Does it corrupt them? Does it make them mean? Do they begin to believe that the resources that they manage, which weren't created by them and weren't paid for by them, are theirs anyway? Do they think they can say whatever they want and be suspicious of every person requesting service?

I didn't "sound disabled" so I must have been scamming, I must have been trying to access what isn't rightfully mine. That's what we do us fake disabled people who don't even both to sound disabled.

Well hear this: Disabled doesn't have a sound you fartwit!


Unknown said...

Well, there is no point in having a battle of the wits with an unarmed opponent!
is it capitulating? or doing what you need to do to get what you want - strategic?
sometimes when i can reframe stuff that I can't change it helps me let go of it quicker.
its not like saying it doesn't matter, or that it isn't the rude words/actions that it is, but the only part i can change is how i view and react to it..i can't change what comes out of the other person's mouth, in most cases.....

take care, Dave and Joe.


Unknown said...

I'm stealing fartwit. The other day I was shopping, pushing a cart ahead of me, me in my chair. Took some maneuvering but it was fine. Chatting with the register person, she said "wow, you sound so smart I can't believe you're in that thing."

ABEhrhardt said...

An insult to disabled people of ALL kinds, intellectual, physical, and combined - in one short sentence.

And if you asked her, she'd be offended and say that she's just trying to make sure the facilities are available for truly disabled people.

No getting around a marshmallow like that.

That's what feedback forms and surveys and everything else AFTER is for. But I agree with you that you need to pick your battles.

She probably thinks she's doing her job.

L said...

I went to a rally for Disability rights. A LOT of Disabled people attended, so there was a BIG queue at the train station for elevators/lifts.

While sitting in my power-wheelchair waiting for an elevator/lift, a woman who was with her mobility-scooter-using-husband said to me

"You're VERY well spoken/articulate! Do you mind if I ask what your disability is?"

in a tone of voice that suggested that she considered that I wasn't *really* Disabled.

I felt angry and hurt, and also, surely being married to someone who used a mobility scooter she should know better?

Shannon said...

Well, that is one thing i have not heard yet. I think I would have had to ask her what she thought disability sounded like.