|Photo credit to my sis. April, 2015|
Some great dos and don'ts, as well as the importance of privacy, respect and consent of disabled kids.
"Did the disabled person in your life give consent to have this personal information shared with the wider world? If you are writing about us, let us read it. Let us tell you whether or not we are comfortable with you sharing it with strangers or not. Keep in mind, very small children cannot consent, and disabled people with intellectual or other developmental disabilities may not be able to consent in a way that is readily understood. In this case, even more caution is needed. Think about yourself at a similar age, and what you're about to share with the whole electronic world."
4. Self-Identifying as Disabled:
In the disabled community, we hear a lot about person first language and that it is how we should identify. However, many of us prefer what is called identity-first language:
"As many different able bodied people that exist in the world, there are just as many different disabled people. Some of us prefer identity first language. I know of disabled people who do prefer person first language, too. I even have a friend who self-identifies as a cripple. It's a word I personally loathe, but they find it very empowering. Disabled people are not all the same. If you are curious about the language your loved one prefers, always ask them first, and then respect that preference. Know that the language they prefer might evolve as they do."
3. About Me:
Want to know more about me and my story? Click here and see some adorable pictures and video, too!
"At eighteen months old, I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, which, for me, was the result of oxygen deprivation before or during birth, My CP is called spastic diplegia. It primarily affects my legs, making the muscles in them tight. It also affects my balance, posture and coordination. Growing up, I achieved most of the milestones other kids did, but I achieved them at a slower rate, and had five or six more surgeries by the time I was eleven years old."
2. Book Review: Life Is Short by Jennifer Arnold, MD & Bill Klein:
Oftentimes, I'll review books, movies or TV shows for disability representation and I was so excited to be able to review Jen and Bill's first book. I am a huge fan of their show, The Little Couple! (PS The newest season starts next Tuesday!)
"I have been so excited about this book and having the opportunity to read it over the past four days, I can say that it did not disappoint. I very much enjoyed reading about the lives of Dr. Jennifer Arnold and her husband Bill Klein - and even a little about their two children, Will and Zoey."
1. What You Need to Know About Pushing Someone's Wheelchair Without Permission:
A common (and frankly, scary) problem for those of us in wheelchairs is when well-meaning strangers come up and push us out of nowhere, without asking first. Please read this to find out more information about what you can do instead, and, if you're disabled, to know you're not alone.
"Our wheelchairs are an extension of our physical bodies. (In essence, our wheelchairs function as our legs.) By rushing over, grabbing our chairs and starting to push us, it's as if you are physically picking up a non-disabled child, teenager or adult you don't know, and carrying them to where you assume they need to go. Sounds pretty rude, right? Pretty invasive? It is. It's jarring. It's frightening. Frankly, it's violating. There's a good reason you don't see strangers physically transporting each other in this way - without warning, and without waiting for consent."