Disablism "is so pervasive as to be unrecognized even by many people with disabilities. It is like the water of the ocean to a fish, or the air we breathe," writes Stothers in his May 1 blog entry. May 1, for those of you just visiting us, was Blogging Against Disablism Day. Lots and lots of blogs took part.
"Like most people with a disability, " Stothers writes, "I have stories. . . . "
Many disability bloggers gave us those stories on Monday:
An entry from Did I Miss Something's Imfunnytoo takes up the subject of what it's like to grow up with a disability -- a look at the kinds of jabs and jeers one gets from other kids -- and an incident that might be called sexual predation. Lisy Babe gives readers and overview of what disablism has meant in her life, as does Crip Chronicles'
How Disabled Are You? Is That Your Final Answer? Agent Fang of FangWorld in her BADD and Proud entry offers a wonderful-horrific story of her encounter with a nosy biddy who thinks, after all, it's best that Agent Fang not have children...
Law prof Sam Bagenstos, who's argued a number of pivotal disability rights cases (including some before the Supreme Court) devoted his May 1 Disability Law Blog entry to what he called "a long personal post". It's an excellent read that offers insight into why non-disabled people get involved -- and stay involved -- in disability rights. We particularly liked this part:
I guess the thing I keep coming back to is how hard it is to get people to take disability rights seriously even today. People too often think of people with disabilities as complainers who want everything to be changed around for them. What I wish folks would understand is that all human institutions and structures were built with a nondisabled population in mind. When people with disabilities ask for accommodations, they're just asking you to think about them, too.. . . (Read blog entry)
The Gimp Parade's contribution is good overview of where we are currently as a nation in the much-discussed but rarely-implemented idea of letting people move out of nursing homes and into their own homes. And Kevin Gadsey gives us another very good post in his continuing look at what's gone wrong with "independent living" and ways to maybe fix it, at Chaironwheels Blog.
And, last but not least, the blog entry from Goldfish, the blogger who started it all:
My Blog Against Disablism: "Some of the very first experiences of disablism came from myself," she writes; "in my mind, being disabled meant all sorts of negative things I did not wish to take on board." Her entry takes an indepth look at her own internalized prejudices against being a disabled person, and her gradual transformation:
now I saw that while some of my limitations could be put at its door, some of them were my own doing and some of them were to do with the way other people behaved, the way that the world had been built with agile legs in mind, the way that systems designed to serve me actually held me down.
I was disabled. By myself, by society and the environment we had created for ourselves.
And I was cross, to be honest. I had thought that I was the problem. . . .
And then, to compound my anger, I found that most of the people around me still felt that it was basically me, as host to an unremitting disease, which was the problem. . .
Really this is an amazing blog entry, encapsulating pretty much the entire philosophy and rationale behind why British disability activists insist that they should be called "disabled people" and not the bending-over-backwards "people with disabilities."
This blog entry truly rewards a close reading and re-reading. Here it is. Read it.