As I start to get back into the world from my thirteen year hiatus, I notice that the world treats me differently to how it did before I got ill…because I am disabled. I noticed it most this week, when three events happened that made me realise the problem.
Before I became unwell, I wouldn’t have even thought about wheelchair accessibility. Society doesn’t teach us to be aware of such. If you don’t deal with it on a one to one basis, then it is not a problem we see.
I went to London recently, and an event that I was very much looking forward to was not accessible. The organisers were distraught as every other part of the building was accessible. The question is: why not everywhere? There are so many people who are wheelchair bound; why do we have to go to specific places that can cater for our needs? Why not everywhere? Am I less of a human being than another because I cannot walk? The answer in my head is no. The answer in the big wide world is: yes.
I don’t exactly understand why to businesses and the bigger wider world, we are seemingly less. All I do know is it starts off with how we are taught. If wheelchair users were integrated into people’s everyday at school, it would force the future (young people) to be faced with a much richer and diverse pallet. We identify with what we know; this is why we should be taught sign language, taught about different disabilities and then focus on disabled people’s abilities. To do this, we need things that stop us from being ‘different’. A great example of this is Dan White’s Department of Ability comic book. Why should those using a wheelchair not be superheroes too?
To read the rest of this story, click on the link below: