Truth About Disability – Standing Up, While Sitting
This blog has been in my mind for almost a year. The inspiration to finally begin this time finally showed after a few friends and I discussed the many issues we’ve encountered while living independent many miles away from our hometowns. Advocating for a minority demographic has become glamorous. Americans have polarized themselves and shown support and unity for minorities in America, but none are so poorly represented as the disabled. It isn’t that there are not enough of the demographic – 1 in 5 Americans have a disability – it’s the lack of disabled within positions of power (within businesses, government) creates an “out of sight, out of mind” environment.
Until a loved one or someone you care about becomes disabled or has a child that has a birth defect, many Americans do not understand the lack of accessibility that actually exists. I have become super creative in adapting to inadequate conditions, but when the one set of Federals Laws cannot even provide a bare minimum to ensure a decent quality of life to 20% of Americans it’s laughable. When those creating the ever-growing, ever-changing cities, parks, neighborhoods can’t even follow those bare minimums or use general logic to realize their design is asinine, I wonder how we can have so many other issues in the world, and how we can cry discrimination on so many different views, but this one that affects all races, genders, backgrounds so often gets overlooked or brushed under the rug. I wonder why we’re treated like we have contagious diseases or the ugliest person someone has ever seen, when body shaming is so vehemently frowned upon and pimpin’ joy is supposed to be trendy.
I can be trendy. I am a normal weight. I can carry on a better conversation than most people my age. I have the same needs, desires, and dreams as any 24 year old woman… but society says I have to be homeless, dirty, and have everyone speak for me. There are days when I feel gross and helpless. There are days when I feel like I can conquer the world. I’m either invisible or a hero and there’s no in between. I am the most positive person and I’m not ashamed of myself. But it comes from a LONG time of not being okay, of putting myself down and finally having enough of feeling inferior all the time. I know I need to start talking, and I need to start sticking up for those who feel like they don’t have a voice, or don’t know how to have a voice or what they want to say. I know I have to stand up, even while sitting.