30 8 / 2014

realsocialskills:

I’ve seen a disconnect between parents and self-advocates when we talk about disability acceptance:

  • Advocate: Disability acceptance is really important. Disability is part of who I am.
  • Parent: You mean I should just accept that my kid is suffering and can’t do anything and not even try to help them?!
  • Or, even worse: Yes, it is. My kid is my special little pillow angel and I love her just the way she is. It’s great having a kid who will never grow up.

By acceptance, we do not mean either of those things. What we mean is more like this:

  • Kids whose development is atypical get treated like they’re failing before they’re even old enough for kindergarten. (See all those checklists that say “by the time your child is 2, he or she should be…”, and think about what it’s like for a child’s earliest memories to involve adults thinking they were failing)
  • Being disabled isn’t a failure, and it shouldn’t be seen as one. There is no should in development, and there is no should in bodies.
  • Childhood isn’t something you can flunk
  • Magical thinking will not help, and neither will centering your life around searching for a cure
  • Children with disabilities who live to adulthood usually become adults with disabilities
  • They need to be prepared for disabled adulthood, not encouraged to think that if they work hard enough they will be normal
  • It is ok to be a disabled child, to develop atypically, and to become an adult with a disability
  • You can have a good life and be ok with your actual brain and body
  • Imagining that you will have a fundamentally different body one day makes everything harder
  • Life gets better when you accept yourself and work with your body and brain rather than against it
  • Shame is not a cure
  • Disability is not an emergency, and panicked intense early intervention will not make disability go away
  • Early education can be important, and kids with disabilities need appropriate support and care, and in many cases medical treatment
  • But their life needs to contain things other than treatment; people with disabilities need to do things besides be disabled and get therapy
  • Their life is already worth living and they don’t need to be cured to be ok
  • Don’t panic

tl;dr Acceptance isn’t about denying that some aspects of disability can be awful, and it’s not about categorically rejecting medical treatment. It’s about working with yourself rather than against yourself, and pursing life now rather than waiting for a cure.

28 8 / 2014

This is a CRUCIAL read:

xojane616:

My sole purpose of writing this is in hopes to educate health care professionals how to treat properly treat women with disabilities.

I am a twenty-five year old  woman with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy (CP).  This type of CP affects my ability to control my muscle movements, makes my speech a little difficult to understand, and affects my balance.  As a result of my balance problem, I use a power wheelchair to get around.  I had to get an MRI, so I went to a very well known hospital in New York City where my neurosurgeon works.  Because of my CP, I had to be anesthetized in order to do the MRI.  As usual, the anesthesiologist had to ask a bunch of questions before they put me under.  They told me that they were going to ask my parents questions and I replied “okay but I can answer them myself.”   The anesthesiologist seemed to understand.  So, they proceeded asking routine medical questions.  Then, they asked me if I lived at home with my parents.  The anesthesiologist said “The only reason why I ask is because I need to know if there is any chance that you may be pregnant.  Is there ANY chance that you might be pregnant?”  I was so mortified that she asked me that in front of my parents.  I replied “No” once I was able to recover from the shock.  My Mother answered the original question and told them that I dorm at a college with an aide.  The anesthesiologist then proceeded to ask if my aide was male or female, as if they were implying that the only way that I could possibly be pregnant was if I were raped.  My Mother replied “Female.”  The anesthesiologist then asked if I was watched all of the time.  My Mother replied “Yes.”  

This anesthesiologist was downright wrong for asking me if I could be pregnant in front of my parents.  i am over eighteen years old.  She should have asked me privately like they would have done if I weren’t disabled.  What if I was living with a boyfriend, was pregnant, didn’t want my parents to know and planned on giving the baby up for adoption?  They couldn’t use my speech as an excuse.  The anesthesiologist could have used an alternative way to get the answer such as “Raised your hand if you could be pregnant.”  Secondly, assuming that I cannot have consensual sex is preposterous.  if I’m intelligent enough to attend college, I can decide whether I want to have sex or not.  Disabled women are perfectly capable of being in relationships.  Lastly, just because a disabled woman has an aide who watches her all of the time doesn’t necessarily mean that the disabled woman is not having sex.  Theoretically, her aide could be helping her and her boyfriend facilitate sex for all the anesthesiologist knows.

This wasn’t the first time something like this has occurred with a medical professional.  This is not only frustrating and embarrassing, but it has turned into a serious health risk that can be easily avoided with training in school on how to properly treat people with disabilities. 

27 8 / 2014

"Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart."

24 8 / 2014

"We’re humans, not just plot devices to be objectified for your entertainment." - Believe It or Not - Media Constantly Perpetuates Freakish Disability Stereotypes

"We’re humans, not just plot devices to be objectified for your entertainment." - Believe It or Not - Media Constantly Perpetuates Freakish Disability Stereotypes

19 8 / 2014

"All was going swimmingly until we arrived in Florida to an apologetic voice mail from the man who was supposed to be driving our rental van to us, explaining that he was stuck waiting for roadside assistance for a flat tire. Of course, things happen, and the incident was entirely not the driver’s fault. However, while I was waiting in the airport for three hours for the van to show up, it occurred to me in the midst of my frustration that I was literally stuck at the airport." [read more]

16 8 / 2014

"Since I tweeted my distaste for the “miracle” meme, several able-bodied people have helpfully explained to me why it is, in fact, funny. One explained that it’s a joke and that jokes work because they show us something counter to our expectations. But watching someone stand up from a wheelchair is only counter to our expectations if our expectations are based on an ignorant and ultimately bigoted understanding of what disability is and what wheelchairs do."

15 8 / 2014

"What is it about our culture that has led people – especially women, it seems – to view receiving compliments as an awkward experience? I notice time and again that when I extend a compliment to someone, the person deflects, or even outright rejects it, rather than accepting it."

12 8 / 2014

the-exercist:
This man’s name is Kyle Maynard.
He is a middle class white man who had access to sufficient medical care from a very young age. He was encouraged to join team sports due, in part, to his parent’s available time and resources, as well as due to his school’s ability to maintain athletic facilities that were accessible to him. Maynard has appeared in both Vanity Fair and Abercrombie & Fitch’s catalog, earning him a significant paycheck. He has also received awards from ESPN and GNC, which helped to jump-start his career as a motivational speaker. Maynard was able to attend the University of Georgia and, after finding a publisher for his autobiography, could afford to leave the University and support himself by appearing on various talk shows like Oprah, for which he received significant pay. Maynard has been the subject of a documentary (A Fighting Chance) for which he continues to receive royalties. He was even sponsored to climb Mount Kilimanjaro: Maynard didn’t have to pay a cent for the custom equipment he wore, for his accommodations or even for the donations that were given in his name to local schools.   
So what’s my excuse? I never had access to half of these resources.
Memes like this are Inspiration Porn and they’re ridiculously problematic. Read up on it. Educate yourself.  
Disabled people are still people and deserve to be treated with respect, not like magical motivation fairies who exist just to make you feel better about your own life. Just because Maynard is a quadruple amputee does not mean that he is devoid of privilege or that he “has it worse” than any other viewer. It is dehumanizing and disrespectful to erase the many facets of his life in order to shame people into working out according to your personal standards. 

Just noticed this links to one of my blog posts, but more importantly, I’m always happy to see people taking on the problems with inspiration porn. We’re really not “magical motivation fairies.” Seriously. Objectifying disabled people for your own warm fuzzy feelings, or to feel better about your own life, is never okay.

the-exercist:


This man’s name is Kyle Maynard.

He is a middle class white man who had access to sufficient medical care from a very young age. He was encouraged to join team sports due, in part, to his parent’s available time and resources, as well as due to his school’s ability to maintain athletic facilities that were accessible to him. Maynard has appeared in both Vanity Fair and Abercrombie & Fitch’s catalog, earning him a significant paycheck. He has also received awards from ESPN and GNC, which helped to jump-start his career as a motivational speaker. Maynard was able to attend the University of Georgia and, after finding a publisher for his autobiography, could afford to leave the University and support himself by appearing on various talk shows like Oprah, for which he received significant pay. Maynard has been the subject of a documentary (A Fighting Chance) for which he continues to receive royalties. He was even sponsored to climb Mount Kilimanjaro: Maynard didn’t have to pay a cent for the custom equipment he wore, for his accommodations or even for the donations that were given in his name to local schools.   

So what’s my excuse? I never had access to half of these resources.

Memes like this are Inspiration Porn and they’re ridiculously problematic. Read up on itEducate yourself.  

Disabled people are still people and deserve to be treated with respect, not like magical motivation fairies who exist just to make you feel better about your own life. Just because Maynard is a quadruple amputee does not mean that he is devoid of privilege or that he “has it worse” than any other viewer. It is dehumanizing and disrespectful to erase the many facets of his life in order to shame people into working out according to your personal standards. 

Just noticed this links to one of my blog posts, but more importantly, I’m always happy to see people taking on the problems with inspiration porn. We’re really not “magical motivation fairies.” Seriously. Objectifying disabled people for your own warm fuzzy feelings, or to feel better about your own life, is never okay.

(Source: the-fitspo-world, via fatbodypolitics)

12 8 / 2014

1) Be bold and brave.

2) You can’t please everyone.

3) Stand or sit by your views.

4) Don’t take criticism personally.

5) Examine your own beliefs.

[read more]

08 8 / 2014

disabledgirlism:

she-rocks-and-she-rolls:

"I suppose a major celebrity in a wheelchair could somehow elevate the status of wheelchair use because mainstream media has so much power to alter the public mindset, (though in the Bieber case, that’s rather doubtful), but in no way is that the same as encouraging society to develop a deeper understanding and acceptance of the complexities of disability.

Instead, it makes a wheelchair appear to be a toy or a costume piece, and it’s neither of those things. That doesn’t mean it’s not cool; it happens to be one heck of an amazing machine. But my wheelchair is essential to my life because it’s the only way I can get around. My wheelchair is intertwined with my being and I cannot remove myself from needing it whenever I please. Using it is not a game to me, or to any wheelchair user.” [read more]

I think it’s also important to support disabled peoples dreams and ambitions, film directors overlook legitimately disabled people and hire fakers to play the parts we live, which just tells us able bodied people are always more valuable to them and that we are just a form of entertainment.

Agree here! Where are the disabled celebs?