It’s Not Disablism (But Really It Is)

Today is Blogging Against Disablism Day (BADD). I’ve taken part since the beginning which I think was 2005. And I’ve written all sorts of things about different aspects of being disabled, different experiences I’ve had. Even a poem.

I don’t have anything major to say today.  I don’t feel like I’ve experienced any real disablism for the last few weeks.

If you asked my friend Angela she’d tell you different. She’d say I should write about a couple of weeks ago and people I know relatively well assuming I would do something and completely ignoring that several months before I’d said maybe and what I’d said to them about reasonable adjustments I’d need and the level of effort it would take for me to travel to the middle of nowhere village where that would take place.  She was annoyed on my behalf when I told her what had happened. The whole thing did really piss me off but it’s mostly resolved now.

If I asked my journalism tutor, Sarah, she’d probably suggest I should write about the lift at London Waterloo down into the tube station being broken when I went in March. She was horrified when I told her about my having to use a goods lift that was usually used to move food. And more so that it was still broken when I went back more than 24 hours later. The words “you are not freight, goods inward or food” were used when she was talking to me about it.  I find it hard to get worked up about the odd occasionally broken lift (ones that are long term broken are a different matter) but the level of faff involved in sorting that was ridiculous. Because nobody knew when I went back that it was still broken.

A friend and I were stopped when we were in London by someone random woman who wanted to tell us about god and how we wouldn’t be disabled if we believed. She told me that god loves me and she loves me. I told her she doesn’t know me and I am, in fact, quite a bitch. That might be the story my friend would suggest I wrote if I asked her. And is reason number 743 why I’m an atheist.

Mum and I are going to visit an Andy Warhol exhibition in Oxford tomorrow. If I asked her about disability experiences the difficulties in finding out how I get the free carer ticket the website promised I could have might be her suggestion. I booked my ticket but no where did it say how to book for a carer and email went unanswered. Twitter, eventually, came to the rescue but the promised response on there took longer than it might have.

All of those things (and many more) are niggles that I face on a daily or weekly basis because of my disability.  Many of them are outright disablism.

But I don’t often think of them that way.  Because they’re just my normal. Little things that have become expected and “just how things are.” and worn me down until I can’t acknowledge the shock and frustration they bring until a friend or family member does. It’s just not on my radar.

3 thoughts on “It’s Not Disablism (But Really It Is)”

  1. “Because they’re just my normal. ”

    These anecdotes can have a big impact. The monthly elevator outage stats are not as vivid or human as your story.

    I related to the extra energy needed to get to a nowhere village. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I get fed up too. Everywhere, every day, we are told that if we work hard, everything will work out well. It doesn’t always, and I wish that the authorities recognised that – as it should – instead of making things harder with pretty, meaningless fixes.

    What we want – and deserve – is whatever help allows us to find a level playing field, where we can enjoy ourselves too, thank you very much, instead of simply having to keep up, or endure. Sigh! The only good thing about reading about the injustices of able-ism, is that I fire up my arguments against it.

    You do make me laugh, though. “She told me that god loves me and she loves me. I told her she doesn’t know me and I am, in fact, quite a bitch.”

    Thank you, Emma. 🙂 xx

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