A while ago I read a statement that threw me off balance. I saved the statement but forgot to save the source (sorry).
"It is not the job of disabled people to "overcome" their disability or change their attitudes to fit society. It's society's job to change to accomodate disabled people"
Uhh, lemme see here.....
1) I feel that as a person with disabilities, I'm not "overcoming" anything. I'm just doing what I have to do to go about my daily business. Sure there's more roadblocks to endure: unaccessibility, discrimination, ignorance & stupidity, but that comes with the territory, I push past it and continue on.
2) "or change their attitudes to fit society" - what exactly does this mean? Does society expect me to be sad, angry at the world and demand entitlements and physical support? God forbid we be happy, capable and productive without their handouts and pity. Just because "YOU" don't think you'd ever be able to live like this doesn't mean I deserve your pity and ignorance.
3) Is it really entirely up to society to change for us, or for me? All I can do is educate those I come in contact with, and tell them what I need from them for me to be involved, whether it's getting an interpreter, asking to switch seats so I can see better, or asking the school to use relay to contact me.
Sure there are times we "rally" for equality, making closed captioning mandatory on TVs, Service Dog Access, Braille on public signs, etc. But that's when there's so much similarity in our "needs" that it should be done.
What irks me are those people who do it for the sake of "Political Correctness" and decide to label a "group with a disability" one way or another, and usually without really consulting said group. For example, who the hell came up with the term "Hearing Impaired"?? Did you ask the people with Deafness what they want to be called? We'd like to be called "Deaf, or Hard of Hearing".
Then there are those who get carried away with their "Correctness", such as one incident on Fox's "The Five" (Yes I'm a fan) where co-host Eric Bolling opens the show by pointing at his "five" hand. Suddenly Twitter bursts with complaints "What about those fans who don't have five fingers?" Oh come on!! Seriously? Do yo think those "phalange impaired" (note the sarcasm) are really upset if others have complete digits or not?
How about switching that statement around a bit?
"It's society's job to "overcome" their stereotyping and change their attitudes towards people with disabilities. It is not the job of people with disabilities to lower their standards to meet society's views"
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon