Everyone seems to be inspired by people or animals with disabilities, videos of blind kittens, legless dogs, or a Deaf Football player. It tugs at the heart strings and makes us go Awww.
How about this scenario - "A guy walks into the kitchen, pours himself a cup of coffee, grabs his car keys and heads out the door", would you be reacting the same? No? Is it because he is doing something plain & ordinary? Well is not that what we are doing too? Just living life "our" way?
I'm not trying to undermine our daily struggles, but to me it feels condescending to be "cheered" on something that's gotta get done. "Wow look at her crossing the street all by herself and she can not see or hear!" Come on, I don't have time for that.
I understand where it comes from, it's that "I'll never be able to do that if it ever happens to me" mentality. Well we have no choice, either by birth or accident or however we happened to be this way. If it ever did happen to you, you'll live. Sure, there'll be a period of grief, anger, denial and all those other "stages". But once you've accepted it, you'll find ways to keep on going won't you? There's very few people with disabilities that pity themselves, wallow in grief and cry out for help with everything, which some people perceive is the "norm". Sure there's obstacles - discrimination, barriers, stereotypes, and just plain stupidity. But everyone experiences that at one time or another, it's just more for us.
All we, people with disabilities, can do is slowly educate those we come into contact with, change those things affecting us and just push on!
You, people without disabilities, can do is slowly learn about us, treat us with dignity and equality, and just push on!
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon
Under My Fingertips
I have been Deaf & legally Blind since birth. I've been married to my hearing Husband for 15 years and we have 2 hearing children, a boy 14, and a girl 12.