Thursday, 1 May 2008

blogging against disablism day

May 1st 2008

There is a full list of blogs at the link above and i will try and write something later myself, but for now i will add a few choice quotes from other peoples blogs today.

from 'my amusement park'

A few weeks ago the driver of the X28 bus refused to let me board, because I could not safely board backwards on the lift. Although New York City Transit policy says we can board either forward or backward, this bus driver wouldn't allow me to board forwards.

When I insisted, he called a supervisor, and we waited.

The other passengers got off to get on another bus.

As they came out, they formed a line. Their eyes were full of hate. Many cursed me: "You selfish b----!"

I was crying.

They blamed me for the driver's refusal to let me on. I was making them late to work.

and then from 'a tedious delusion'

"With a city of such friendly, accommodating folks, you would wonder why the topic of ableism would even matter to me. Why would I have something to say about phobia and prejudice against the disabled, discrimination based on disability, and oppressive climates in which the disabled feel unwelcome or unwanted?

Few things really strike me. One, I don't ask for helpful help and I don't need it. But when I do ask and need help, I don't get it. Help comes on able-bodied terms, not mine. I'm reminded of a South Park episode in which a disabled teacher in an electric body-chair runs out of battery power in the middle of the street. Incapable of communicating, those around her ignorantly ask if she needs assistance, getting angry when she doesn't (hi, she can't) respond. When I deny someone's ignorance masked as chivalry, they get upset. They run away."

lilwanutbrain writes about how she feels when people introduce their children saying 'he/she's ADD' and so forth:

When did it become acceptable to introduce our children by their physical and/or mental capabilities? When did it become the norm to define our children by a condition? I can't think of any moment in a polite and civilized society where we would treat another adult this way.

"Hi, I'd like you to meet my friend Betty. She's a toe fungus!" Blech.

Our youngest son has a lot of wonderful and unique qualities. He has sparkly blue eyes, an extremely literal and quirky sense of humor, and has an extensive memory for even the smallest of details. He likes mashed potatoes. He doesn't like bare feet, even his own. He also has autism. It doesn't define him as a person. It's not who he IS. It's something he HAS.

there were also comments about unemployment:

After leaving school I attended university and landed a Joint Honours degree, yet somehow I've been out of steady work for nearly 8 years. I'm only called for interview if I don't let on that I have a profound hearing loss. It's funny how quick they call me - suddenly I sound employable!

On one occasion they lacked caution and told me I couldn't have the job (working with computer files) because I was unable to answer the phone - even though this wasn't mentioned in the advertisement. I thought it was only about data input and filing, which would have been fine for me, if rather dull.

There's some really good stuff to read out there today, so go have a look and learn something - it's really made me think, and feel bad about every time i have been around a disabled person and felt uncomfortable, and not known what to do (if anything) i think reading and finding out how not to alienate and offend huge sections of society really helps. Although the uncomfortable feelings are... uncomfortable... but they are worth having if you seriously don't want to go around being offensive. just to be aware and to think not everyone has it so easy but still has to get on with life and has the right to be treated just as well if not better than everyone else, understood and respected, not pitied and treated like children. /long scentence

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