Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Statement of disability?

I am often accompanied, as I journey through life, by my wheelchair and flak-jacket-look-alike cooling vest.

These obvious aids create a statement. Interpreted differently by each reader.

 Or could it possibly be "I'm getting on with my life"?

Venturing out without wheels or vest: I am disabled. Staying upright takes all my concentration. I cannot look around. I cannot talk. I cannot relax and enjoy being alive. And I'll probably fall over anyway. But no pity and no general public reaction. No repeated offers for help and no 'you are so brave'. I am just another person, assumed to be going about my business.

When on my wheels, with my trusty cooling vest, I am alive. I am free. I can chat. I can interact. I am another ingredient in a rich community.

Yet with these beautifully expanded horizons, my aids - read as statements of disability - are recognised as setting me apart.

Yes, I am different. Limited in certain ways.   

But perhaps, reading between the lines, the statement actually says:

 “Now I can be alongside you” 


  1. The world, sadly, is full of cretins who see wheels as an impediment. The question of why anyone would willingly use them if they really were never seems to occur to them.

  2. YES! When I stagger about it's hell. Every cell is concentrating on locomotion, etc. In my mobility scooter I can talk, whizz about, mingle, interact. It's great!!! You're soooooooo right.

  3. You are completely right, Hannah. We are all individual, with disabilities as well as abilities. We are all human beeings, that is, what unites us. And everyone of us is a worthful person with the right and the duty to bring our special abilities to the community.

  4. I like this. I have EDS and Fibro and recently started using a powerchair because of pain and fatigue walking around. My crutches are no longer enough. In my powerchair I feel the opposite of disabled - I can keep up with walking people (so much easier than walking painfully slowly on crutches), I can interact, pay attention to my surroundings, enjoy going out and about! I have much less pain and barely any fatigue, and I feel normal! The difference it has made to my self esteem is amazing.


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