Should we be defined by our disabilities? In my opinion, absolutely not. We are all people. We want the same things in life. We have the same dreams. The same needs. The same wants. We are going after them. To me, some people tend to see the physical characteristics of a person instead of looking at their personality. That’s not right. In the disabled community, some people feel sorry for or feel bad for people who have disabilities. Personally, I do not want anyone feeling sorry for the way I was born. I have had cerebral palsy for twenty three years and I manage to do everything with the use of one hand. I have had epilepsy for twenty one years and I have overcame a lot. There is a down side to people taking pity on disabled people and that is those slick and hurtful comments that they can make at times. For example, this guy told me that my hand was broken because it was bent down and fisted. Was that really necessary? I have gotten odd stares and people saying, “Why are you walking if one half of your body is weak or paralyzed?” It’s possible if the other side of your body is functioning normally. That’s all that I say. Other responses I get are, “Let me give you a hand since it seems like you’re struggling with doing that.” or “Should I call an ambulance if you drop to the floor and start seizing?” Right there, you are putting all seizures into one category and that is tonic- clonic seizures. That is not the only type of seizures. I know their intentions are in the right place but the way that it comes off is a bit off scale for me. In other instances, people have asked me, “Why are you wearing braces?” My response to them is, “I wear braces to help me develop a better walking pattern and it loosens the stiffness in my limbs.” Then they say, “Well, you’re already walking. I just don’t see the point of them.” I try to explain it to them again and they still don’t attempt to understand. So, I just give up. It is difficult to explain my physical disability to others. Especially in a way where they can understand what I am talking about. We are so much more than our physical disabilities. Look deeper. You might discover something you never knew about that person. We like to have fun, goof around, party, and are making a living for ourselves the best way possible.
The point that I am trying to make is don’t exclude people with disabilities from doing activities that everyone else can do. We want to feel accepted not restricted. We do not want anyone treating us as if we are not able to do certain things by ourselves. That makes us feel uneasy and very uncomfortable. Let’s include everyone and make them feel special.