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The Mobility Resource Blog

Emotions

I’m a girl. And like a lot of girls in their 20s, I like to feel pretty. You wouldn’t really know it by looking at me, though – my standard uniform is a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, maybe a pullover or zip up sweatshirt in the winter. In the summer, you can always find a pair of Crocs on my feet; in the winter, a pair of UGG or EMU boots.

Discrimination in a fact of life for many groups of people, but to be honest, I never really gave much thought to discrimination growing up. It wasn’t until I became disabled when I was 14-years-old when I finally understood what discrimination meant. It meant not only being misunderstood, but being rudely mistreated. No one truly understands what discrimination is until they’re on the receiving end of things.

Spend a week or a decade in a wheelchair, chances are you’ll be asked some pretty crazy things. And I get why–people are uncomfortable around things that are different, especially wheelchairs. (Even more so if they don’t know anyone who uses a wheelchair on a personal level).

Going out in public is often riddled with obstacles for people with physical disabilities. While this is largely due to inaccessible structures like stairs and narrow doors, so many unnecessary barriers are created by able-bodied people who place themselves where they shouldn’t be. That’s not to say I believe I should have access to special privileges because of my disability. Rather, reserved access locations are intended to give people with disabilities equal opportunities to experience the world around them. Here are four accessible places where able-bodied people should never be:

Whether you were born with your disability or if it was acquired, we all go through different stages of accepting it. And then there are those of us who never quite get there, that, if you ask me, can be one of the most tragic things.

Life is change. Something we must learn to adapt to. This is true whether you are the picture of perfect health or living with a disability.

I’ve heard some pretty crazy things come out of people’s mouths in my few short years as a wheelchair user. Most people definitely mean well, but some sentiments aren’t received the way many able bodied people might expect. In the disabled community, it’s not uncommon for us to joke with each other about some of our interesting conversations with family, friends and strangers that often involve some off putting statements. below are the top 10 things that I’ve heard people say since my injury that don’t necessarily leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Real, thought provoking and honest describe author Rob J. Quinn’s I’m Not Here to Inspire You: Essays on disability from a regular guy living with cerebral palsy.

When living the life of someone with a disability, you get a very unique perspective of the world and this perspective can only be shared by other people in your very same situation. If you use a wheelchair especially, there are several things that happen, some good, some funny and only someone else in a wheelchair can understand what it’s like.

Exactly one month ago was National Coming Out Day. In honor of that, I’m focusing this article in my “We Need to Come Together” series to relations between the LGBTQ and the disability communities.