I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how to approach this subject and I’m not totally sure I have an answer to it or a solution. I do know I am not alone in considering it. Social media has enabled me to be in contact with other disabled people around the world and there’s a common subject coming through.
Disabled people feel they are being forgotten about. Not deliberately but it does feel like we have to pipe up more or raise our hand. Even as I write this I feel nervous about speaking up and I worry about getting it wrong. But it’s not helping if I stay silent.
Here is an example from a recent buzzfeed article that better illustrates my point
when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs released a statement in January in response to #OscarsSoWhite, she called for “inclusion in all of its facets: gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.” Her omission of disability was something journalists largely failed to note. At the summit, Woodburn said the press “blatantly overlooked disability as part of the diversity discussion.”
You can read the full article here
Post election in the USA many disabled people were concerned because they weren’t being mentioned. There was a lot of support offered to many minority groups. genders, races, sexual orientation. They are all important and I don’t want to be seen to be taking away from those groups. But it would be great to be mentioned, to have awareness spread.
As a disabled person I feel that the stereotype of the “inspirational crippled” is part of the problem. It encourages independence but it can also lead to being afraid to ask for help. Which means people are unaware there’s a problem.
Prejudice against the disabled is called ableism. It needs to be called out more and by more people. I have seen a few people in media in New Zealand call it out but not enough.
The issues the disabled face are the same issues as other minorities. There is a pay gap, a perceived lack of intelligence and so on and so forth.
I’m not saying that our issues are bigger than anyone else’s. I am just asking to be included in the discussion. For a seat at the diversity table.