If I had a chocolate every time someone has said to me ‘well, you are inspirational’ I would have been extremely overweight! Not to mention the fact I would be bouncing up and down from the sugar!
So here is a short little fact setting rant.
1- Disabled people are NOT inspirational, or motivators or a blessing or have super power or determination, we are just ordinary human beings like the rest of the world’s inhabitants, we are just different in our abilities but essentially we are like any Tom, Dick or Harry.
2- I have no idea why there is this obsession with focusing on ‘the super humans’ disabled, not every disabled person has to excel at something or have a talent. Surely every individual is different and they don’t need to justify their existence by showing that disability has not stopped them from breaking a world record or gaining rewards etc. There are disabled people who like to lead a quiet life, who don’t feel the need to be constantly active or out and about and that is their right and should not be belittled by anyone.
3. As a disabled person I am fairly content with who I am and don’t need to be given a title to appreciate myself, in fact all it does is patronises me and generate an idea in my head that I have done something remarkable when all I have actually achieved is living with my condition which is hardly something to be admired for.
4. There is an assumption that ‘disability’ is a problem or a burden on the actual disabled person but in actual fact disability is more of a problem for society than us. We are perfectly accepting of our disability but in some cases resentment may occur as a result or a reflection of the person’s surroundings. E.g if your family constantly remind you how much they do for you or if you keep getting rejected by potential employers due to your disability or you can’t join your friends on an outing due to access then that will make you reject your disability but not by choice rather a reflection of society’s problem with disability.
5. I often wonder why there is no sense of balance in the representation of people living with disability; we are either a ‘superhuman’ that can do the impossible, even flying over two flights of stairs or there is the other extreme version the poor defenceless, idle disabled who needs help and pity. Reality check is a must, so please just go and speak to 4 or 5 disabled people and you will realise there is no single representation as we are all different with various needs and personalities so…drop it.