Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
On a less than sunny Saturday spent strolling the aisles of a local pharmacy, I return home, get in observance mode and begin scrolling social media pages when low and behold my brows furrow and lips purse. My clenching and displeasure credited to non-disabled friends sharing bullshat conspiracy theories on how disabilities are acquired, stoking the flames of fear…and intensifying my frown lines.
In the disability community pushing these kind of false narratives and discrimination whether online or in-person is known as ableism and is actually quite dangerous contributing to things such as stigma, treatment disparities, misconceptions, harmful policies, and negative worldviews along the lines of “better off dead than disabled.”
Disability manifests differently in different bodies, comparing bodies using ocular proof is inconclusive, not convincing, and downright silly since each person has a unique genetic makeup and health/wellness considers determining factors including but not limited to nutrition, sleep, hormones, stress level, access to affordable/proper healthcare etc. which would impact *any* body and may present with *emphasis* in a disabled body. Also, depends on whether disability is present at birth, resulted from accident, illness or age-related.
If you are viewing disability through the lens of limitation with laser focus on what folks *cannot* do then perhaps you should widen the lens to the comprehensive view beyond diagnosis to identity-marker past indictment..and also psst…past “overcoming” to encompassing.
Disability is so much more than the burden you perceive it to be. It bears repeating and sharing unlike those pesky conspiracy theories.