The 'Othering' of Life With a Disability

I am an amateur poet and have been writing poetry on and off for the past 30 years. I’m also a social worker by profession and I live with a disability. Sometimes these three different aspects of my person converge to produce poetry that delves into the complexity of disability. Today’s poem talks about how disability fits in (or doesn’t) to mainstream society.


My visibility
is ruled by your sensibility
to the tangibility
of my sociability.

My mobility
depends on your agreeability
to the feasibility
of accessibility.

My livability
is based on your reliability
to keep the municipality
in a state of maneuverability.

My workability
is seen as a liability
which augments my vulnerability
to end up in poverty.

My rentability
was not your responsibility
because my stability
was tied to my disability

My susceptibility
to exploitability
is a reality
I face with plausibility.

My lovability
and desire for fertility
are met with questionability
and recommendations for sterility.

My credibility
often mistaken for senility
was greeted by hostility
instead of sensitivity.

My tranquility
is rooted in humility
because teachability
is the way to sustainability.

Without variability
in capabilities
we lose civility
to fragility.

Getty image by Grandfailure.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Disability

Woman in dark dress with long hair.

When People Started Calling Me Disabled

What is a disability anyway? Is it considered a noun, a verb, or an adjective? I have just realized that over the past eight years of being sick, I am considered disabled. It was always like this right from the start. For Pete’s sake, I’m filing for disability, so shouldn’t I consider myself disabled? I [...]
Application form.

Closing the U.K.'s Disability Employment Gap

It’s more difficult to gain and retain employment if you’re disabled. There are increasing numbers of disabled people of working age in the U.K. and a growing awareness around issues of disability, diversity and the need for flexible working for various reasons but there is still an employment gap of 31.4 percent between disabled people [...]

21 Signs Parents of Kids With Disabilities Need to Focus on Their Mental Health

Several years ago, one of my daughter’s therapists had the courage to call me and say, “Ellen, I see many signs of PTSD in you. I think you should consider neurofeedback or seeing a therapist.” Her suggestion didn’t upset me. Instead, I broke down crying because I felt someone was seeing me and everything I [...]
Scooter with gate check tag.

13 Tips for Air Travel With a Mobility Scooter

A mobility scooter can be a real lifesaver when it comes to getting around. With a bit of pre-planning, your scooter can go along any time you fly, even if you don’t have a direct flight, to make your vacation travel more convenient, less expensive and more fun. Here are 13 tips to help take [...]