>I think most people know that I generally have a very positive attitude to disability, especially my own disability. Obviously I have my down days and I do have depression. But it’s really rare that it’s related to being a crip. If disability does come into it it’s often due to the attitudes of others or access issues.
Being positive about having CP and needing to use a wheelchair is something I’ve always been. it’s something I’ve grown into an has evolved throughout my life. I’ve noticed that a lot of disabled people can’t always relate to that and people have even accused me of lying or deluding myself when I say I like being disabled and that there are positive things with it.
My first thought was that it’s lifelong disabled people who tend to be the disability pride, positive type people. But then I came to the conclusion that whilst as a group we might be more likely to be positive in my opinion it’s not that clear cut. Not least because three of the most positive about disability crips I know have acquired disabilities.
At the same time as being positive, I also need to be realistic. The two aren’t always easy to reconcile. And sometimes I have to stop and think about appropriateness.
I went to a workshop at the weekend. As a part of that we did some stuff with Facebook. One of the guys there sent me a message after that asking about my disability as he has a child with CP.
I’m always open to chatting to people about these things. So I wrote a message back. You know saying that yes I’ve got CP and similar things. Then I stopped to think and realised I’d written
“that’s cool that your child has CP”
Totally inappropriate. I think CP is cool but you know it’s not the thing to say to someone you barely know. I was really stuck for what to change it too. That’s good is also out. And I refuse to be all I’m sorry to hear that because disability isn’t a negative thing always.
I edited it and just asked how old the child is. But it really made me think about my attitude and how and why it interacts with other people, their attitudes and experiences. I didn’t come to any conclusions but it was an interesting thing to think about.