Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Heard Whilst Disabled

#heardwhilstdisabled is another discussion going on (primarily on Twitter) where disabled people are going public with the kinds of comments we hear too often.  Thought I'd add some of the things I have heard.  Check out the Twitter hashtag for more.

- "It's a shame she's in a wheelchair!  She's so pretty!" (said to my sister about me)

- "You're so brave!"  (when I'm seen in a public place)

- "You're doing great!" (walking in my own apartment building)

- "You know you won't be able to earn ribbons on Track and Field Day like all the other kids, don't you?  But you can earn red, yellow, or blue stickers!"

- "You're an ishy retard!"

- "God is going to heal you!"

- "Don't you want to be healed?"

- "God has already healed you.  Your lack of faith is the reason it has not come to pass." (after having my crutches taken and walking back and forth with a pastor who kept trying to let go of my hands.)

- "I'm so glad you'll be able to walk, just like everyone else!" (written in a Get Well card in 5th grade after I had surgery for my CP.  It didn't make me walk like everyone else.)

- "Can you walk at all?  Not even if I hold your hands?"

- "I just love watching you!  You're so inspirational!"

- "Can I pray for your legs?"

- "I refuse to stand with you under the lies you're believing." (because PTSD is apparently a lie.)

- "Yeah, you run, cripple!"

- "Why can't you just push it across the floor?" (when I asked for help carrying my plate to the table.

- "It's funny!" (to intentionally trigger my startle reflex)

- "Well, we're in a rush tonight, so we're just going to run out quickly with the other kids to do Christmas shopping."

- "There!  Just the top part of you!  No crutches or anything!  It's better that way, isn't it?" (being videotaped as a child)

- "She's so cute!"

- "Make way for the princess!"

- "As the disabled person, you have the ability and decision to decide how to approach situations. Angry or able to put things into perspective. Able to decide when someone is being invasive as opposed to curious. Approach this type of recurring situation with some intelligence and dignity rather than coming across like some sort of angry disabled person." (about able-bodied people feeling entitled to ask invasive questions of disabled people.)

- "She goes so slow!"

- "You have more of a right than anyone else to be here."

- "We don't have a place for you here.  The only place available is under the bleachers."

- "If you just try, maybe you can walk!"

- "Half the kids on this team.  Half the kids on this team.  ...You can be the scorekeeper."

- "I was going to call you to come and hang out this weekend, but we were jumping on the trampoline and I didn't want you to feel left out."

- "I feel so bad for you."

- "She has a DISEASE!"

- "Hurry up.  I hate having to wait for you."

- "We don't have room for your wheelchair."

- "You have to work twice as hard as everyone else to get a job."

- "You should take your wheelchair when you go in for an application.  It makes you look more competent than when you walk with your crutches."

- "Hey, Wheels!  How are you?"

- "Are you in a race?  Did I miss the Indianapolis 500?"

- "She can TALK?"

1 comment:

  1. The ableism here is egregious and unacceptable. I'm fortunate to not encounter much ableism in my day-to-day life because my CP's so mild. However, I've experienced more ableism recently because a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my CP and shared it with my friends. I got some "I'm sorry" responses (because I did write about physical pain) and a whole lot of "YOU'RE SO INSPIRING!!!" While those types of responses to disability sound positive, they're dripping with ableism, as you stated here. While I'm thankful that no one was outwardly negative about my life circumstances, it's upsetting to think that people assume my life with CP is tragic, awful and sad. I'm the same person I was before they knew I had CP. I'm thankful for those who simply accepted the information, but the fact that I received more ableist responses proves the need for more awareness of what ableism is and how it can affect people. :(

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