So there’s this guy called Mr. Chris who has created a website and Facebook group entitled Special Books By Special Kids. And all of my abled friends keep sharing it on Facebook and saying how amazing the guy is. For those who don’t know, the guy is a special education teacher who takes precious time out of his day to compliment kids with disabilities (what a mensch) and make videos about their lives. And he’s gotten a ton of media attention, both in the news and on social media, and he’s gotten tens of thousands of dollars in donations.

And maybe I’ve just gotten too bitter but this just seems so wrong to me. Here’s this guy (who, from what I’ve seen, is abled) who is getting all off this media attention, who is having thousands of people donate to him, who is having thousands of people share his posts, all because he dared to be nice to kids with disabilities. This makes me mad for three reasons:

1.) You could make a huge argument that it’s exploitative.

2.) As an Education Major, we’re taught every single day that we should do things like give our kids compliments and try to have their voices heard. Granted, many teachers don’t, but the fact that some do isn’t newsworthy. (Let alone national news and a social media phenomenon!) That’s like giving a contractor national attention for hammering a nail correctly. Or a doctor national attention every time they save a life. It’s part of the job!

3.) Literally for as long as I can remember, the disabled community, myself included, has supported one another and have tried to advocate for one another and have tried to share each other’s stories and have tried to have our voices be heard. And nobody cared. Barely anyone from the ‘abled’ community spared us a god damn passing glance, let alone dozens of news articles, thousands of shares, and tens of thousands of dollars in donations. 

Why is it that when an abled guy starts stating the obvious, that kids with disabilities should be complimented and/or should have their stories heard, he gets all of attention/donations when the disabled community has literally been saying this for years? I know that I’m not the first person to say this but, surprise, surprise, all of the disabled people who are complaining about this have had their voices overshadowed.

Naturally, this is my own opinion (albeit a very jaded one). So, do your research and tell me what you think?

thinkprogress.org
Why Women With Disabilities Struggle To Get The Reproductive Health Care They Need
There's no comprehensive guide to reproductive health care for women with disabilities -- so they're creating their own.

For many women, getting a pap smear or a birth control prescription at a doctor’s office is relatively effortless. Perhaps a little uncomfortable, yes, but only temporarily — with important, beneficial results.

However, not all women in need of reproductive health care find themselves able to be accommodated in a standard doctor’s office. Women with disabilities are far less likely to make essential appointments regarding their reproductive health due to the physical and emotional hurdles they encounter in a typical clinic. From inaccessible exam tables to assumptions that disabled women are not sexually active, barriers in the medical field can leave women discouraged and uneducated about their own health.

I just really want to write a book (in fact, I think that I’m going to) where the protagonist is in a wheelchair. And they live in a city where there’s a group of superheroes. And there’s a big, magical, villain because of course there is.

And since they were a young child, this protagonist has wanted nothing more than to join the group of superheroes. Like they’re a huge fan of the group and they just know that it’s their destiny to join.

And one day, when wheeling through the city, they see the group of heroes fighting the villain. And they quickly wheel over and cry, “Let me help!”

But the ‘heroes’ laugh and instead make a whole bunch of ableist remarks.

And so the protagonist has to prove themselves.

And the villain is trying to warn them to stop.

But the protagonist ends up taking their footrest off of their wheelchair and they swing it. And it hits the villain in the side of the face and the villain collapses and groans in pain.

And so the protagonist proudly smiles and turns to the group of heroes.

Because they just proved that they are strong and worthy enough.

But the group of ‘heroes’ still keeps making ableist remarks.

And the protagonist is shocked.

And meanwhile, the 'villain’ staggers to their feet and is standing next to the protagonist’ wheelchair.

And one of the 'heroes’ goes too far when calling the protagonist the R word.

And the protagonist and the 'villain’ just sort of glance at one another.

And the 'villain’ is just like, “You know…I can zap them for you…if you want.”

And the protagonist hesitates and says, “Yeah, alright!”

One fried group of heroes later, the 'villain’ says, “Why do you think that I’m always fighting them? They’re all a bunch of assholes.”

And the protagonist sadly nods and starts to wheel away.

Then:

“Hey, do you want a job?”

The protagonist turns at the villain’s remark. And the protagonist mumbles something like, “Oh, come on. I don’t need your pity.”

And the 'villain’ is like, “Pity!? Do I look like someone who hands out pity!? I don’t pity you! I’m kind of afraid of you, to be honest! I mean…I’m going to have a giant bruise on my face because of you.”

“Yeah…sorry…”

“Water under the bridge! So, what do you say? Do you want a job?”

And the protagonist thinks about it for a minute before shrugging.

And the 'villain’ is all excited because they’ve wanted someone to work with them for years but no mortal is allowed to 'step into’ their lair.

And then the 'villain’ stops and is like, “Hang on…you can’t work with me in that.”

And they gesture to the protagonist’s wheelchair.

And the protagonist is all embarrassed.

And then the villain goes, “Because we can get you a much better wheelchair! It’ll look great! And it’ll be indestructible! And it’ll have all sorts of weapons and gadgets! Hey, how do you feel about flying…?”

And all of that is literally in the first chapter and then the rest of the story follows the two going around the city like BAMFs, forcing people to stop being ableist, one way or another. And maybe it’ll have some commentary on the scale of morality and what it truly means to be a hero and what it truly means to be a villain.

Would anyone be interested in this!?

Because I really want to write it!?

npr.org
From Canes To Closures, Designing With Style For People With Disabilities
Almost 60 million Americans have a permanent disability, but the fashion industry hasn't tapped into that market. Activists and designers are trying to change that, a signature and a stitch at a time.

People living with disabilities deserve to look good. Now activists and design students are changing fashion to make it more inclusive for people with disabilities.

Submitted by free2beperfectlyme.

It’s not fair that people with disabilities have to submit so much documentation for every single thing. When is the last time a ‘normal’ person had to prove they were healthy and average? Why do I need to prove my disabilities? I sure wouldn’t fake them

6

Futurama actually did a really great episode that serves as criticism for the ‘cure-all’ effect that so many authors/writers like to use.

The episode starts with Leela going to a reunion at her old orphanage. She remembers how everyone used to pick on her because of her eye. It turns out that everyone’s still picking on her, even though she’s a successful captain and they’re all bums. One of the guys who used to pick on her when she was younger is the only one to stand up for her. The guy tells her that he’s a surgeon and can give her two eyes. Leela excitedly accepts the offer, saying that it’s her one chance to finally be normal. Fry is against the surgery and tells her that she’s already beautiful the way she is. Leela has the surgery anyway and soon dates the surgeon. The surgeon keeps reminding her that she is completely normal. When things get serious, the two decide to adopt a child. Leela’s heart goes out to a girl with an ear on her forehead. Yet the surgeon dismisses this and says that there are plenty of normal children that they can choose from. Leela’s insistent and then this conversation happens:

Adlai: Oh, alright. If you really want that one, I can give her an operation to make her acceptable.

Leela: She doesn’t need an operation! She’s fine the way she is!

Adlai: Oh, and I suppose you were fine the way you were?

Leela: Damn right I was!

Fry: Yay!

Leela: Shut up, Fry. Now look, Adlai. I’m proud to be different. And I just wished I’d realized that when I was her age.

She then has the surgeon put her eye back the way it was.

And this is so important to me!

So many abled authors, even great ones like J.K. Rowling, think that they’re doing something good when they say that the disabilities in their world would be cured. It’s so refreshing to actually see a show that points out that the character don’t have to be cured - that they’re fine the way they are!

6

Some disabilities aren’t exactly visible. They don’t require a wheelchair, a hearing aid or any other piece of equipment. Millions of Americans live with what’s commonly referred to as “invisible” or “non-appearing” disabilities like depression, epilepsy, chronic pain disorder or learning disabilities.  These facts help us better understand these disabilities — and how they can even be empowering.

I should not have to enumerate all of the reasons why using a wheelchair for a haute couture magazine cover is misguided and offensive. If the goal was to empower people with disabilities into believing we can be as fashionable as everyone else – which we can and are – then the magazine should have used an actual person with a disability. If the aim was to simply be provocative, then it’s highly offensive. My disability is not fashion. People with disabilities are literally just trying to survive in this country that pushes 63% of us (probably more by now) into poverty. Literal poverty. A wheelchair is a powerful image that needs to be used properly to change the views of people who see us as less than human. Additionally, using a wheelchair in such a huge platform like this should be used to draw attention to diseases and conditions that need better medical care and research, not draw more attention to a media hungry family. So few people with real disabilities can break into the media because of cultural biases that decide we’re not beautiful or talented. Placing someone in a wheelchair who doesn’t actually need one is taking a job away from a model with a real disability who could be on this magazine cover with just as much beauty and style. Stop having able-bodied actors and models use our mobility aids for fashion. Stop pretending real disabled actors and models aren’t out there searching for very little work open to us. And furthermore, it’s actually very degrading that I’ve answered casting calls for people with “deformities” and “mutilations”, which a very popular superhero franchise has actually asked for on more than one occasion. That, my friends, is exactly how Hollywood views us. So what you might see as a cool gold wheelchair with the pretty girl in it, I see as a privileged able bodied woman taking media jobs from actual people in wheelchairs like me. Reconsider the next time you do something like this, Kylie Jenner and Interview Magazine.

Someone important should start a wheelchair photo day to combat Kylie Jenner’s photo shoot with real photos of amazing people in wheelchairs who can show that their wheelchair does not limit them.

…Wait a minute.

*Raises arms*

I’m someone important!

(Not really but sometimes I like to pretend that I’m self-confident.)

And for some reason, a lot of you follow me.

So let’s do this!

Let’s create a day where every blogger who uses a wheelchair posts a photo of themselves in said wheelchair. (Keep in mind that you shouldn’t feel forced to post a photo; this is entirely voluntary.) You can mimic Kylie’s poses/clothes if you want to but that’s not required! You can just take a selfie/photo of yourself in your wheelchair rocking it because you are amazing! As a bonus, feel free to tell us a little about yourself and how the wheelchair does not limit you (and how Kylie is completely wrong). Let’s shoot for:

Saturday, December 12th

We can call it:

Reclaim The Chair
#reclaimthechair

(Use the tag when posting photos!)

Since we’re going to be reclaiming the wheelchair as an icon of independence instead of Kylie Jenner’s attempt to make it an icon of limitations. It’s not her symbol to claim anyway. It’s ours!

So, come on!

Signal boost the heck out of this and let’s make this happen!

How disgusting.

A shopping centre in the UK has banned anyone with mobility problems from shopping in the centre cause of “Fire safety” issues. 

How about you fix those fire safety issues to accommodate all people of your city and in the future. 

One woman they interviewed told them if she went into a shop the security guard would follow her and order the shop keeper NOT to serve her!

Talk about disability shaming. We should receive the same basic human rights as anyone, cause last time I checked I’m not some alien unicorn (How cool would that be though.)

This is the problem we’re facing when the rest of the human population don’t even realise the discrimination disabled people face day in and out. 

*SIGNAL BOOST*

independent.co.uk
Work your way out poverty, Duncan Smith tell disabled
Disabled people should have to work their way out poverty and not simply be taken out of it by state financial assistance, Iain Duncan Smith has said. The Work and Pensions Secretary said it was not the role of government to pay the disabled enough to stop them being poor and that the correct way to escape poverty was by working. “We don’t think of people not in work as victims to be sustained on government handouts. No, we want to help them live lives independent of the state,” he told the annual Conservative party conference in Manchester.

Are cabinet ministers in a competition to see who can make the most appallingly inhuman speech?

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