Picture yourself with a severe disability–unable to talk, walk, feed or bath yourself–yet all of your daily needs are taken care of. Now, picture yourself with a lesser impairment due to #CerebralPalsy. You can walk, talk, and care for yourself. You have the ability to use two of your limbs, but you have a learning disability. Now, there are many conflicting claims to truth–you are caught in the middle. You have to navigate and earn the right to live on your own terms, and with your own personal sense of social justice. Where is the building of strong alliances? Where is the working together to integrate within the CP community?
The first disability is easily understood. The second is more subtle, but no less real. We try and try, but we get nowhere fast–no matter how much effort we put forth.
The organized helping is designed only to meet the needs of the most open and obvious disability. It is not designed to help those with disabilities who have their own dreams. They are looked down upon. It is a one-size-fits-all approach. The round peg will be forced into the square hole at all cost.
People who are disabled but also possess decision-making power are left to fend for themselves. The system is designed for the comfort of those who administer it. The trouble is too many experts see themselves as superiors rather than partners with those they help. This system does not work for anyone with any level of disability.
Daily, no matter where I am emotionally, physically, or mentally I put myself in the shoes of my sister’s and brother’s with a disability only to give of myself and understand them completely.