To People Who Feel Sorry for People With Disabilities
Dear people who feel sorry for people with disabilities,
I have heard people say “Aww, I’m sorry.” But here is my question: why are you sorry? Do you assume because we are disabled we do not have a life that is as full as yours? Or because you think our lives are tough because we need help with things? Don’t get me wrong, as a disabled community we do have our struggles, whether that is accessibility, having the right things we need, etc. But at the end of the day, we are people. We have friends, jobs, we go to school and do so much more.
Let’s get real here. A parent hearing the word “disabled” changes all their hopes and dreams for a “perfect” child. Instead they may wonder: Will they have friends? Will they be picked on? Will they live a full, happy life? Let me answer this question. Yes, they can live happy lives. How do I know this? I am disabled. I have cerebral palsy and I am an amputee. I run and founded a small group in my area called Youth Changing the World with my friends. Last year I became a independent self-published author.
I think many people in society have a problem with the word disability. They are scared because they have a picture in their heads of someone who can’t do anything for him or herself. So they don’t even try to see what we are capable of, and limit us because they don’t know what to do or how to help us. For those of you who feel bad for us, or don’t quite get how we do the awesome things we are able to when given the chance, spend time with someone who is disabled. Help us — not necessarily with basic or everyday tasks, but with more accessibility. Give us jobs and support our right to be heard. We have just as much to say as everyone else if not more. So listen — you may learn something.
As a community we have to stand up and stand out and create and define our own lives, not let others do it for us. When we do, the world will see what the word “disabled” really means.
A disabled woman who is limitless
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Thinkstock image by Moisseyev.