Given the fact that as an adult, you have probably seen or heard of charity telethons, you have probably also heard the host of such telethons discussing horror scenarios about the individuals you could be, “helping with your generous donation.” These are the same kinds of scenarios many of us with disabilities grew up hearing about in relation to the future of our own lives. You’ve probably also seen at least one film that features a non-disabled person pretending they understood disability, so they became a cripacature, and relied on harmful stereotypes, which does nothing but hurt how disability is viewed in our society. You probably can even name some of the films that have been awarded because the non-disabled world believes their performances are inspiring, heartfelt, and realistic, all while ignoring the cries of indignation from the community such performances have misrepresented.
The way we talk about disability, the way we look at disability, and the way we think about disability in this society is highly problematic. All of these inaccuracies seek to do is harm the disability community, and make all of you who are not disabled, afraid to join our ranks.
The truth is, you shouldn’t be afraid of becoming disabled. The chances of you becoming disabled or having a loved one become disabled, at some point in your life, is quite high. I’ve heard many of you saying things like, you’d rather be dead than disabled, you couldn’t handle my life, and you don’t know how I, or my other disabled friends, do it. You shouldn’t be afraid of having a disability,
Source: Dear Non-Disabled People…Don’t be Afraid to be Disabled | Dominick Evans
2 thoughts on “Dear Non-Disabled People…Don’t be Afraid to be Disabled | Dominick Evans”
I am glad that you brought up that people with invisible disabilities can be treated poorly and be rejected by the visibly disabled community. I developed MS at the age of 46. The process of getting a diagnosis was humiliating and depressing. I felt the doctors did not believe me. Nor did Family or friends. Even if test results showed MS. Then the process of getting SSDI ( leaving my career was heartbreaking) was humiliating at best. I have tried to educate myself regarding disability issues. I am a trained counselor. But I am old , fatigued and now have a mild cognitive impairment. So, learning new words or themes is not only frustrating it is also making me feel very separate from the disability community. Like I am not really disabled because I became ill when I was in my forties. Too late for the party. I don’t belong in the non- disabled community and I don’t belong in the disabled community. Plus within the MS community since it is considered a snowflake disease ( different presentation of symptoms) it feels like the true MS-ers are the ones needing to use mobility devices. I take two different medications prescribed for dementia for my MCI. I am only 50. But unless you are a family member or a friend you won’t notice my lapses in memory. So, at this moment , as I have felt all my life , I feel like an outsider and I am pretty pissed.
Thank you for your comment and I am sorry for the way and manner in how you have been treated. No matter who you are you should be treated with courtesy and you should be respected for who you are.
People should not judge others, for no one knows, truly, how others feel and what they are going through.
Thank you for sharing and when others read your comments they may be more enlightened.