I have one of the most top-teir private insurance plans available.
I live in a city with four, count ‘em, FOUR hospitals.
I have been a patient of my pulmonologist for 2 years.
I scheduled my next appointment today. The first available appointment?
In three and a half months.
Please stop with this “you can see a specialist in a week!” Nonsense. No you can’t. Not with elite insurance and not as an existing patient. I’ve had to make specialist appointments as far as 8 months out.
Yesterday I made an appointment with my primary for a somewhat urgent matter. His next available? In 3 weeks.
I hate going to the emergency room because the average wait time is 4-10 hours. I ended up in a coma once because of complications caused by the wait time.
I am in the most medically privileged position a chronically ill person in the US can be, and the wait times to see my doctor are still very very long.
There are people in my country who can’t even afford to go to the doctor and people justify it by saying “but in Canada, they have to ~*wait*~.
We wait here too. We wait JUST AS LONG, and sometimes even LONGER.
But not everyone gets to wait, and they die because of it.
That disgusts me.
Universal health care now, please. And yes, my full time working, disabled, chronically ill self is more than happy to fork over taxes so that nobody goes without healthcare-even the people I don’t like!
Just a PSA that calling disabled people “differently abled” pisses a majority of us off. We’re disabled. Sugar coating it treats us like who we are is something bad. There are things we CAN’T do, not things that we do “differently.” People need to accept that.
No one ever teaches you how to mourn your health. You just realize one day that it’s gone, and you are not the same as you were before. Most days, it’s all right, but then something happens: you can’t go to dinner with your family because you’re nauseous, you can’t go hiking because fatigue and pain. You can’t you can’t you can’t, and then it hits you: you are irreversibly changed.
Tech is what makes many of our lives possible.
Much accessibility relies on tech.
Many accommodations are tech!
Without technology, many disabled folks wouldn’t be able to read, write, use social media - or the Internet at all, watch TV and videos, work, take online classes, take notes in class, record the class, have social lives, draw, do other hobbies, leave the house, take fucking care of themselves.
That story about the teacher who banned laptops just fuels this kind of thinking. Bet neither the teacher nor the article’s author even had a passing thought that technology is more than just a distraction, or that, y'know, disabled people exist?
A multiply physically and mentally disabled person who wants you to quit your ableism.
Disabled/chronically ill young people who are able to work but haven’t always been able to (and may still have restrictions), and how that stops them from getting work even now.
It doesn’t matter if they’re able to do the work fine and they have all the necessary skills, because of how competitive the market is now there will always be at least one other candidate with more experience than they do. And this is simply because during an important period of their life when all their peers were out getting some work experience (even if it was in completely unrelated fields), they couldn’t because they were ill. They may not even be able to do what all their peers consider something they can “fall back on” like waiting tables, because they physically can’t. Disability/chronic illness stopped them from getting work then, and it stops them from getting work even when they can now, even when they excel in all other areas you want from an employee. And of course it can’t fall under discrimination laws because no one is actively discriminating - no one is at fault - it’s the screwed up economy we live in that’s the problem, and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it unless we can actually get some work experience that counts.
When writing a blind character, what are some things to avoid?
Ah! So this is definitely a bit of a broad question, but I can give a few basics:
Blind people don’t actually give a shit about touching faces, so please, please stear clear of that. The only exceptions may be the same way sighted lovers may caress each other’s faces and parents may hold a child’s face in an emotional moment, but it’s just like a sighted lover or parent would, nothing more.
Please avoid giving your character a cure. One of the most crushing things as a disabled reader is to finally have a disabled character, but for them to end up with a fantastic magic cure half-way through. It rarely makes for a good story, and often a much better story is that person’s journey in understanding themselves as equal and learning that they aren’t broken and useless and can do whatever they want, overcoming internalized ableism rather than “overcoming the disability.”
Few blind people actually wear sunglasses or eye coverings, so your character probably won’t either if the likelyhood says anything. Chances are they will not be part of that minority, so probably better not to do that.
Something similar can be said for characters with white or cloudy eyes. The vast majority of blind people will not have very abnormal-looking eyes, so chances are your character will not be part of that minority.
Another very similar thing should be noted about the level of vision they will have. Somewhere between 80 and 90% of blind people have some level of remaining vision, weather it be little more than light perception or enough that they were forced to use their eyes a lot growing up and weren’t taught braille or to use a cane because they could get by well enough not to die most of the time.
So these are just the first several things I can think of at the moment, but definitely feel free to ask about more things!
As Irma approaches the U.S, some people still haven’t evacuated yet due to disabilities and/or problems with transportation. For those in Florida who have trouble evacuating, call the number 1-800-955-5504. Please spread this around!!! This can really save a life.
13 Reasons Why "You Don't Look Sick/Disabled!" Is Not A Compliment
I am ill and I am disabled, and this is what I look like.
What do you THINK disabled or ill people look like?
It makes it sound like you think disabled people “should” look a bit gross or a bit wierd.
It makes it sound like I have to prove my illness to you.
It creates a hierarchy of what one ableist acquaintence called, “Like, you know. Disabled-disabled and normal people disabled. Like, you’re disabled but you’re also normal. You’re disabled but you’re also not really disabled because you’re also like us.” That is not okay.
It makes it sound like if I did “look disabled” then you’d either think less of me or you’d believe me more.
For the same reasons you shouldn’t say to someone, “You don’t look Jewish!”
For the same reasons you shouldn’t say to someone, “You don’t sound black!”
It often sets the conversation up in a way where you are the judge and you can either validate or invalidate my disability and how much it affects me.
Neither my illnesses nor my disabilities are totally invisible if you took the time to learn about them and decided to pay attention.
It makes you sound untrustworthy. It makes me think you’re going to be the kind of person that will jump to conclusions about my health if I don’t look or act in certain stereotypical ways. Can I laugh and have a good time around you without you implying I’m cured or dismissing my conditions? (Because it really sucks when you do that.)
It feels really dismissive and discouraging.
It is dehumanizing. 15% of the world’s population is disabled. We come in more shapes and sizes than able-bodied people do. Whatever a disabled or ill person looks like, that is what disabled and ill people look like regardless of your preconceptions.