Updated: May 19, 2019
That’s right. I have a disability – actually, I have more than one. Can you tell?
How can you tell that someone has a disability?
Do we have a neon sign on our foreheads? Not usually.
Though apparently we do all wear glasses, go to church, never drink alcohol or swear and we can’t walk either.
Lately I have been continually slammed with judgements on what being disabled means to people. I have heard countless comments along the lines of ‘how can you be disabled when you can go on holidays?’ and ‘You talk really well for a disabled person.’
Well, funnily enough I fart and my shit smells too – that must mean I’m not disabled, because disabled people can’t do that.
I have news for you. Disabled people can do anything they darn well want to do. Just because we live our lives coping with a disability does not exclude us from living our lives like any other fully able bodied person on the planet.
Despite living with multiple disabilities ranging from neurological to intellectual and physical I refuse to limit myself to a life that is deemed appropriate by society as ‘acceptable’ disabled behaviour.
I will continue doing the things I love, such as writing, reading, debating, walking (when I can) and travelling abroad (also when I can). I am not going to lay in bed all day waiting for someone to feed me and wipe my arse.
Yes, there are some people out there who are disabled and have limitations that I don’t have, just as there will be people out there that have less limitations than me and will still be living with a disability.
We learn to cope with what life has thrown at us, be it painful, frustrating or downright annoying. We do the best we can with what we have.
Sometimes we may need additional help with something that may seem easy to many others, but that doesn’t make us ‘lazy’, ‘attention seeking’ or ‘a problem’. Don’t place such labels on people who require more assistance than you, you don’t know what battles they face each and every day of their life.
Even the simple task of tying a shoelace can be a battle for someone without an arm. Sometimes certain tasks aren’t as easy – but that does not mean we can’t do it.
We just have to put in more effort that some people to achieve the same result.
That does not make us any less human than anyone else.
Living with a disability is hard. There are good and bad days. We battle through the bad times and live for the good times – and the last thing we need is some judgemental sod coming along and diminishing our abilities. We live for the things we can do and no one has the right to take that away from us.
So please stop thinking disabled people are all holed up in some nursing home and only come out to go to church on Sunday.
Yes, some of us go to church – just like billions of other people.
Yes, some of us live in nursing homes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go out once in a while and live a fulfilling life like anyone else.
We are among you.
We stand in lines at banks, order take away, have jobs, get stuck on the phone to Telstra and we even use your public toilets!
We’re everywhere and we are doing ourselves proud by getting out there and being EQUAL members of society.
And if you don’t like it suck it up, because if you think you are better than us merely because you are ‘normal’ and we are disabled, I have some news for you...
Even arrogance can be classed as a learning disability – so welcome aboard!