The holiday season is not always a joyful time for everyone, and I have been moved to remind people that there is help. I wanted to remind those that feel terrible and feel that there is no help out there that people do care. The Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273 – 8255. It is free of charge. The number for deaf and hard of hearing is 800-799-4889. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
Please don’t be afraid to ask because there are times that we all need help, and there is no shame in it! Let me tell you that I have had some bad times. Years ago, a doctor told me that there was little that could be done for me – that my body was was 60 years old, while I was still in my 30’s. My Cerebral Palsy was only going to get worse, and I felt that I was only going to be a burden to my family. However, there is hope on the other side and I am living proof because I decided to prove that doctor WRONG!! But, it took me digging through and out of a dark hole to reach that other side!
This is a summation of an article that I read for a discussion in school, but it covers my own thoughts and feelings well, so I thought I would share it with my friends and family. I hope you find it worth reading.
About 20% of us have some sort of disability. Therefore, ableism is a construct in our society that we cannot remove too soon. The problem is that it is deeply rooted in our vocabulary and in our subconscious. We need to stop viewing people with disabilities as defective and different (in a negative light). After all, we all have similarities and differences. In other words, we must do away with the idea that we need to be “fixed” and that we have no gift or talent to offer others. The ablest ideal allows us to marginalized, discriminated against and treated as though we have far less value than nondisabled people. (Zellwinger, 2015)
As a society, we often fail to offer full accessibility beyond getting in the front door – wheelchair ramps. After all, are wheelchair ramps, larger restrooms, curb cuts, larger dressing rooms etc. a huge bother for nondisabled people? Other accommodations can also include “braille, seeing-eye dogs/assistant dogs, ergonomic workspaces, easy to grip tools, closed captions … class note-takers, recording devices for lectures” and other services and accommodative devices or equipment. Lack of these restrict our autonomy and make us more dependent on others. Not only that, it takes away from our well-being and self-esteem. We begin to feel like a “burden.” More than that, a person with a disability often does not always have full access to healthcare. How does a person in a wheelchair get on an exam table? How does a nonverbal person communicate their problems and medical needs without a caregiver there? Medical providers need to be more aware of these difficulties (Zellwinger, 2015)
The language of ableism leads to both individual oppression as well as societal oppression as a whole. Inclusion should be the goal. Such pejorative terms include: mentally retarded, moron, high functioning, incapacitated person etc. need to be stricken from society’s vocabulary. I realize that many of these terms are used to describe a condition, or level of a condition, but more work needs to be done to find and use language with a more positive connotation. As I have said previously, I prefer the term “challenged” because a challenge does not have a negative feeling; it is just something to be dealt with or overcome. Finally, it is very important to remember that not disabilities are visible, however, that does not make them any less real.
People with disabilities should have the same rights to housing, employment, medical care, and educational access as anyone else who is considered nondisabled. In other words, they should be treated with respect and humanity individually and referring to them as a group. People with disabilities deserve to lead the best life possible.
Women everywhere should never complain about being pregnant or in labor. How would it be to give birth to a baby about 6 feet tall? They are not quite sure when the conception occurred. This link is live if you want to keep track of her progress:
This inspirational man with Cerebral Palsy, CP, gives me hope! I also have CP, and if he can keep such a bright outlook, I can as well. He bought a store with the help of his mother. She passed away a few years later, but he is running the store with the help of a partner. Can you believe that 2 drivers have run into his store in the last 3 months?! But, take the time to read the rest of his wonderful story!
As I have said in earlier writings, people in the care giving role are very susceptible to fatigue, illness, burnout, guilt etc. Many find themselves in this position at one time or another. I encourage you to look at this website, and I hope that it does help! Please let me know if it does!
This story headlined my Seattle CBS news affiliate. Ballard is a suburb of Seattle. We must remember that a society is judged by how well it treats its elderly, disabled and children, its most needy and vulnerable population. This is an example of how terrible we are doing; 48 seniors have to find a new, affordable place to live March 31st because the owner wants to convert these assisted living apartments into regular apartments. I would appreciate your thoughts on this important issue. Here is the link to the full story: