I’m An Angry Disabled Woman. Here’s What I Want You To Know About Inaccessibility

Disability Dice

 

By Sylvia Colt-Lacayo in Huffpost.

 

Recently, I was in the grocery store, minding my own business, when I heard, “Daddy, what’s wrong with her legs?” I looked to the right and saw a young boy with a now-embarrassed father, who quickly shushed his son. The dad made eye contact with me, trying to relay his remorse through his furrowed brow. I stepped in, as I have been trained to do, before he could verbally apologize for his son. “It’s no problem, I am in a wheelchair because I was born with a disability.” The father’s shoulders sagged in relief. He introduced his son and I am cued to teach the boy about disability etiquette.

I know how to have these conversations because I have been having them for as long as I can remember. ​Let’s ask the disabled student about disability! What is it? Why do you have it? I’m so sorry! Wow, your wheelchair sure does look fun! I was born with a neuromuscular disability (similar to Muscular Dystrophy). I have used adaptive equipment my entire life and began using a motorized wheelchair full time in elementary school. I have always faced obstacles surrounding accessibility and inclusion, which, from a young age, has led me to deal with overwhelming anxiety. Now, I am a 19-year-old undergraduate student and I can see that my mental health is intrinsically linked to my disability. There is no way to separate the two.

 

To read the rest of this story, click on the link below:

 

Link to Accessibility story

Leave a Reply

The York ME Community © 2015
Powered by Live Score & Live Score App