Prejudices about the world of disability are like fixed, immovable walls that are hard to break down. It is right to be aware of how many there are and how personal the list can be.
Instagram is my stage
I’m a passionate user of Instagram and have great fun cutting out my own space in the 2.0 live world through stories on this social network: mini video clips lasting 15 seconds each, spots where you can talk directly to the public on a range of topics or the passing of time. Everyone decides for themselves how best to use them.
That’s my stage, and I didn’t say pulpit, where I can talk about the world of disability and my daily routine and where I try to break down all those prejudices that stick to your wheelchair like chewing-gum.
We all suffer from prejudices at some time in our lives, but some categories suffer a lot more than others leading to downright discrimination, and in some cases it is actually society that accepts prejudice and makes it hard to resolve.
Prejudice is a false myth
Prejudice is a false myth, an idea that has become fossilised onto a topic. What gains most ground regarding the world of disability is: physical appearance, emotional and social limitations, human relationships. People often ask me what the commonest prejudices are and if I limit myself to a short list, I would pick out 3 points:
- suffering whatever: the belief that our life is eternally a situation of uninterrupted pain;
- being a hero whatever, something close to saintliness: just because we live our daily lives with some limitations does not mean we are dispensers of courage to the bitter end;
- divinely-wrought punishment: blame is never something intangible, but our kind of existence is not something that can be blamed on the kingdom of heaven;
My list of 3 points is really cutting it fine. I cannot resist adding a last point, number 4):
Being unable to fall in love with an able-bodied person and have that love requited; there is always a tendency to think that anyone who has a sentimental relationship with us is a special person or that it is hard to talk about love and enjoy it openly in the world.
If only we were all capable of looking with our ears and listening with our eyes, life would be a much less bumpy ride with a whole lot to celebrate.