With all the wonderful advances in Accessible Technology; better opportunities for people with disabilities to partake in the world around them; better support systems; and disability awareness - common sense is still in the dark ages.
Accessible Technology such as bionic eyes for vision loss, exoskeletons to help people with spinal cord injuries to walk again, wheelchairs that operate like Segways, and speech to sign language applications are a great boon for people with disabilities.
There are more and more opportunities for people with disabilities to be involved in the world around them such as SSPs (Support Service Providers) for the Deafblind, better access to the internet and social media, improved public transit and travel choices such as Lyft, and more characters with disabilities appearing in television, movies and on Broadway.
With about 19.4% of the adult population in the United States (13.7% in Canada) have some type of disability there should be more awareness and interaction with the general population. Yet far too often these interactions lack basic common sense and people with disabilities end up being shunned, patronized, and mocked.
Let me give you some examples:
* Service and Guide dogs being ousted from businesses, restaurants and public transit:
Veterans and Civilians with PTSD and other invisible disabilities are denied access to businesses because of their service dog, such as Dave Alvarado. These service dogs help these individuals "survive" in their surroundings and get denied just for wanting to eat, shop or ride on their own.
Uber being sued in a lawsuit over denying rides to blind customers with guide dogs. One driver even put a woman's guide dog in the trunk! Seriously? Would you put your own pet in the trunk?
* Basic Lack of Understanding or Help Being Provided:
A Man with Cerebral Palsy was forced to crawl off his flight after an aisle wheelchair was not provided. He said the experience was "humiliating". Where the hell's the common sense and decency of the airlines?
A Blind girl's white cane is banned at her school because it's a health and safety issue. Their reasoning is it's a tripping hazard for teachers there. What about the girl's safety? She needs it to get her bearings, avoid stairs and obstacles, and basically get around on her own!
Recently on Twitter, Nyle DiMarco, a Deaf contestant on "America's Next Top Model" tweeted to American Airlines. Here's their interaction:
This is a Bullshit answer!! I'm legally blind and I used to watch captioned videos on a tiny iPod!!
* People with Disabilities are still being Patronized and Mocked:
People with disabilities are constantly scolded for parking in a disabled parking spot. Such as this Colorado Mom and disabled child being called "lazy".
News Media and Writers still using outdated labels for disabilities. Deaf and Hard of Hearing are still being called Deaf and Dumb, Deaf-Mute, etc.
Many people with disabilities have protested the yearly MDA Labor Day Telethon. They stated that the Telethon had a "damaging narrative that depicted disabled people as nothing more than helpless victims. It implied that as long as we remain disabled, we have nothing to offer or contribute, that our only hope was a cure."
Then there's the recent event of Donald Trump mocking a disabled reporter. To which he denies doing, or even knowing the reporter in the first place.
It's not the first time a Politician mocked a person with a disability. President Obama's campaign did it in 2008 in an Ad mocking John McCain's Vietnam War Injuries.
So....when is Common Sense going to get an Upgrade into the 21st Century?
Probably never. As long as people are selfish, apathetic, playing the victim, feeling entitled, making wild assumptions, or just being plain stupid, people with disabilities will be shoved to the bottom of the "we care" barrel.
I'm not asking for attention, sympathy or "handouts" dammit! I just want some common sense in treating people like you'd want to be treated yourself! Plain and simple!
I am a Woman, Mother, Wife, Homemaker, Writer and yes I'm Deafblind. That'll always be a part of me and affect my life, but should it be the FIRST thing you notice about me and subsequently treat me with lowered standards and expectations? Hell NO!
So next time you come across a person with a disability, don't look down your nose at them, feel awkward and uncomfortable around them, or even gawk and stare at them. Smile, be friendly, and just treat them like any other person you'd come across.
If Common Sense could be bottled, I'd be a Millionaire selling that shit.
One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon