Stef (firecat) wrote,

some quotes from blog against disablism day

The roundup of Blogging Against Disablism Day posts is here. There are over 100 and I got about 2/3 of the way through them. I picked out a few quotes I thought were particularly interesting or informative.
There is an expectation that people with disabilities should basically just "stay out of everyone else's way," which implies that the normatively-abled are more important and "real people" and people with disabilities are simply a nuisance. And this is very similar to the way that we treat children.
It seems to me that somehow Disability makes a person public property.
One characteristic I've seen in myself compared to some allistics (non-autistics) is that I seem more capable of separating denotation and connotation. I grasp both, but it seems many allistics have much more awareness of connotation than denotation. For example, I know of many people who say you shouldn't say mentally retarded, but have no trouble with the term developmentally delayed. But the denotation is the same.
What does it feel like to be prejudiced, oppressive, and unfair? It feels totally normal. It feels like nothing other than everyday life. It does not feel like going around feeling a certain way all the time. It feels like anything else feels.
Spurlock [the creator of Super Size Me - Stef] delighted most of the student body with his racist imitation of an Indian cashier at McDonalds, joked about dope-smoking teachers, dropped multiple f-bombs, and then delivered the coup de grace---mocked children who have disabilities by calling them the "retarded kids in the back wearing helmets".

Teachers escorted the special education students who were attending the event out of the forum, and Spurlock's speaking engagement scheduled for the community later in the week was cancelled.

The Asshat was baffled by the school's response, claiming he "has made similar comments at other educational establishments".
Not all disabilities require cure - some merely need society to make adjustments. [...] It's not "special treatment" to put in a ramp for wheelchair users any more than it's "special treatment" to listen courteously when an elderly person is telling you a tale of long ago. It's not "special treatment" to remind someone with a visual fixation to change their focus when you're talking to them any more than it's "special treatment" to take a grocery list with you to the store each week.
In the real world, if you're hired for an office job, unless you're in charge of moving around and installing computer equipment, nobody is going to make you lift 50 lbs. Elmer Employee says, "sorry guys, I've got a bad back," and somebody else gets the move the supplies around assignment.

But, if you show up to the interview on crutches or in a wheelchair, and they've got the lifting requirement down already in the "essential functions", then they have an easy way to exclude you from the job without getting busted for discrimination.
eventually i think we all get to the point where we realize that many, if not most, of the people around us have some form of disability - some who have always had theirs, and a lot who developed theirs recently - and that, if we don't have our own yet - and our children don't, and our friends don't, and our previously-indestructible-rock-of-gibraltar family member doesn't - it's just a matter of time.

you find out that physical and/or mental limitations of various kinds can be a bummer, but it's just nowhere near the bummer erected by the series of hurdles and obstacles and brick walls and potholes you have to figure out how to navigate, just to carry on with normal life. so, finally, duh, just what your feminist upbringing should have hipped you to in the first place: it's a social problem, not an individual problem.
I spoke to a local radio phone-in producer a couple of years ago who told me that a man with a stutter had called in to make a point on air. She said that she didn't put him on air because people listening might laugh or make fun of him and maybe he didn't realise. She thought she was being nice but she stopped him from being part of a public debate in a democratic country. She asked me if she'd done the right thing expecting that I'd say yes. The answer is: "well he called up, didn't he?"
Suddenly this pleasant and generous individual, whom I considered my equal, and meant me no harm, began to theorise about my lack of maternal urges. It was only natural, she said, that I had no desire to be a mother. Indeed, it was obvious, seeing as my condition was a genetic one, that within me there was some kind of natural failsafe, courtesy of Mother Nature, that prevented me having the urge to procreate, so I would not, and I quote "pollute the gene pool with your faulty genes."
It's about the insulting practise of excluding disabled people and so reducing them to second class citizens. Usually, it's the result of a lack of thought; for example, my local corner shop has a ramp for access, but the aisles are crammed so close together that they are hard to navigate, and where they line the floor with extra stock it's impossible to get by at all. Maybe you practise disablism too - it's about when my mates organise a pub trip, but they choose one for the beer or the charm, and don't care that I won't be able to have a wee when I get there. Or when I'm invited to the cinema, but someone has already bought a block of tickets and none of them are seats I can use.
Then comes the combative identity politics between able-bodied Others and disabled Others. You can go to a meeting for X group but don't try to be disabled in the X group. That's just not gonna fly, and it's going to make everyone in the room uncomfortable.
All over London there are these Chinese Herbal Clinics, with displays in their window offering treatments and pain relief for impairments such as arthritis. Obviously, I'm not one of these people that believes that alternative medicine can provide cures, but I do firmly believe that many can offer some degree of pain relief. So, these clinics are offering to help crips ease their pain - but have I ever seen just *one* that didn't have steps at the door? No. Not even one.
I want to pass as long as I can, because I don’t want my job to be educating about disability but to be educating about my academic specialty. When you’re “out,” you’re also “on.” You become a representative. A token. As a person with an invisible disability, who was non-disabled for three-quarters of the life I have lived so far, I have absorbed a lot of the impatience, skepticism, patronizing and paternalistic attitudes of the society I live in toward my fellow crips. I don’t want to be on the receiving end of it.
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