Smart Ass Cripple - July 9, 2014
Harriet McBryde Johnson, Mouth Magazine
I hesitate to write about the negative side of disability. People are already predisposed to think that disability is more horrible than it usually is. They don’t need to hear more depressing, horrific stories. However, I think it is important to note that in both of these articles, powerlessness and fear stem as much, if not more, from how people and “systems” deal with disability, than from disability itself.
To get the help they need to live independently and productively, people with significant physical disabilities have to run their lives by committee, and prove their worthiness in ways few non-disabled adults are required to do. And, in moments of crisis and our greatest need, our wishes and knowledge are often overlooked or ignored. One can argue that we wouldn’t be in these positions if not for our disabilities. On the other hand, there is no valid reason why our disabilities should require us to surrender our autonomy or safety. To the extent we do, it is because of how other people, and society at large, choose to deal with disability.
Anyway, these articles moved me in different, though equally powerful ways.
(Thanks to Emily Ladau at Words I Wheel By for recommending the "Mouth" article).