As Ivanna trump famously said.
You should go read her post. Most of you probably already have.
Disability isn’t something that happens to other people. It is a normal part of life. Even if you think you don’t know someone witha disability, you probably do. Someone with mental health issues, or the woman at work who’s always ignoring you, maybe she has hearing issues. Or maybe someone close to you who has a hidden disability like chronic fatigue or a non-obvious injury. And you might know someone soon – how easy is it to get hit by a car or have a stroke, and then you have a very obvious disability, you’re in a wheel chair or hooked up to something. And the things you did yesterday without thinking about are epic struggles.
Disabled people aren’t ‘other’. They are not ‘normal’ people with bits missing. They have more to deal with than abled people, but they shouldn’t be scary and threatening and shunted to the side. No one should be ‘too much trouble’. No group of peope should be ‘too hard to think about’. I’m not talking about sanctimoniously wrining our hands and then getting back to our lives where we don’t have to think about those things. I’m talking about working to make disability another part of our everyday lives – about thinking about it without being pushed, and about making a stand, whether or not it’s a personal issue for you right now.
I voted for Dignity for Disability in our recent state election. Lots of other South Australians did, too. And I’ve signed the pledge, and I’ll pass the link around to anyone I think will listen. This is important. Even if it turns out you never do have to care for someone with disability, or to be that person. Even if this never touches you directly.
One of my coworkers likes to say, whenever race is brought up ‘when one of us is diminished, all of us are diminished’. She’s right. How we treat others says something about who we are. And the way my nation treats people with disbility is just unacceptable, frankly. Cos we can, cos we can get away with it, is not good enough. I’m pledging to make this an issue I carry with me every day, and especially when I make decisions about who I want speaking for me. I hope you will, too.