So apparently it's Blogging Against Disablism Day. Thanks to [personal profile] trouble for pointing it out to me.

There's been a lot of talk around Dreamwidth about disability and accessibility. It's made me take another look at things. I've (re?)learned about the spoon theory. I've seen the care Dreamwidth takes to make sure things are accessible, right down to alt text on userpics. I've "met" people who are disabled, and yet doing amazing things.

I've been thinking about how the word applies to me. I've been on medical leave from school - and from life - for 8 years now. No job. Half a degree. A pile of sleeping disorders. No way to make any kind of regular commitment. It's the reality I've been living. I've been toying with the idea of registering myself as "disabled" in the state of New Jersey, but (in large part due to laziness) never managed to get a clear idea of the legal ramifications of doing so. And yet, until this week, I never really thought to apply the label "disabled" to myself. It doesn't feel right, claiming that. Sure, I walk with a cane and I've got aches and pains and I'm always tired and I've lost a major chunk of my brain's processing power and all that, but... it's not like I'm in a wheelchair or anything, you know?

But being involved with Dreamwidth people has widened my perspective on the issue. And the word.

And yes, I am disabled.

Feels weird to say it. But it's true.

I can't say I feel like I've been discriminated against. But I have been limited in many ways. Haven't reached out to places where I could be discriminated against, I suppose. And Spoon Theory reminds me of how people - even people close to me, even my own mother, who is my staunchest defender - fail to understand what it's like to live like this. And when they do understand, they never know what to say. It's just pity. And awkwardness. Or well-meaning but completely useless and cockeyed advice.

I remember, as a child, when Mom got a case of Mono and it was the most blessed few weeks because she finally got it.

I remember having to switch schools because the expensive prep school I'd been attending didn't know how to deal with me. I remember the local public school bending over backwards to allow me to get a quality education. I remember dealing with colleges, too.

Those are just a couple of the more obvious things, though, and not things I really pay much attention to now. I know how my medical issues have affected my life. That's obvious. But the bigger picture - how it's affected the people around me, how it's affected the way they treat me, how I've had accessibility issues... I've never really thought about it. Not in those terms. I think maybe I should start.

So thank you to [personal profile] trouble and the organizers of BADD. And thank you to Dreamwidth. Because awareness is important. And that's not something you really appreciate until you start to have it.
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

From: [personal profile] cesy


Yeah, Dreamwidth has opened my eyes a bit as well.

From: (Anonymous)

BADD got me thinking too

I was at your stage a few years ago on the acceptance front and it does take time. The deeper you think about this, the more it will make sense and you will be able to embrace a new part of yourself. Seahorse, the Beauty Offensive.
avendya: blue-green picture of a woman's face (Default)

From: [personal profile] avendya

I've included this post in the BADD 2009 on Dreamwidth masterlist at [community profile] disability.


hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)

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