Sunday, May 03, 2009

BADD day 

Shakesville points out that May 1 was Blogging Against Disablism Day --and here's another roundup of posts on the topic.
I was brought up short about my own "disablism" when a women in a wheelchair once said to me "You feel sorry for me because I am in this chair. But for me, this chair is freedom -- without it, I would be spending my life lying in bed."
She was, of course, right -- I was looking at it from the wrong perspective and I have always been grateful to her for pointing this out.
Then years later, I spent several weeks using a wheelchair at work when I had a severely broken leg -- I found it too exhausting to manage at work with crutches, so a chair was ideal for me.
It gave me a new perspective, however -- what I found most noticeable was the number of people who simply could not look at me anymore, my boss included. I never knew whether this was because I was below their sight line or they just didn't like looking at the external fixator on my leg, or they didn't like the chair, or whatever. I couldn't really criticize them, however -- maybe I would have acted the same way before I knew how useful a wheelchair could be.
Also, I found that just because somebody has slapped a "handicapped-accessible" sticker on something, like a washroom door, doesn't make it true.

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