life with a disability

Okay, everybody, I don’t talk much on here but this is important and I can’t find any other posts about it here.

There’s a little app called Be My Eyes. It’s been on iPhone for a while now and on October 5th, it’ll be out for Android too.

What is Be My Eyes, you might wonder? Well, it’s a community of people helping people. Namely, sighted people helping blind people with simple tasks that require sight to be simple.

See the picture?

(for those who can’t see, the picture shows the app I’m action. It shows a phone camera pointed at two red cans of food. Text above depicts a sighted person explaining the right can is a can of tamatoes.)

In short, if you’re blind and have every had trouble finding your blue shirt, the app was made for you.

If your sighted and want to help, the app is for you too.

If you’re not, reblog and spread this so more people can see.

Thank you for reading and reblogging.

How to get rid of any illness

-douche with green tea
-eat an entire jar of coconut oil everyday
-cut gluten,eggs,dairy,MSGs, meats, oxygen, and sugar out of your diet
-never stop doing yoga, you have to do it every second of your life. Sleep in downward dog, shower in warrior position, walk on your hands
-shove kale up your ass

And last, but not least
- just be happy all the time. You know, the only real disability in life is a bad attitude

Wheelchairs aren’t furniture.

• Don’t move them unless the wheelchair user in question says you can. Even if we’re not in them at the time! Shout-out to the nurse who, during my last hospital trip, tried to put my wheelchair in the nurse’s station, thus effectively stopping me from going TO THE TOILET without asking someone. And, of course, various shout-outs to people who thought *I* was furniture and moved my chair while I was in it.

• Don’t lean on them unless you have permission from the wheelchair user in question. Again, they aren’t FURNITURE. They’re part of us. Lean on stuff that’s stuff, not stuff that’s people.

• If you walk into someone’s wheelchair, while someone is in that wheelchair, you’re walking into a person. You’re jolting us, shaking us, and potentially causing us pain (I have chronic conditions, and YOU ARE HURTING ME). Do what you do anytime you walk into someone, and apologise. It doesn’t need to be any more than, “Oop, sorry,” it doesn’t have to be a big thing (please don’t make it a big thing) but ACKNOWLEDGE US jesus christ this is so alienating. I get walked into all the time and excepting my loved ones I can’t even remember the last time I got an apology.

Wheelchairs are not furniture. They’re assistive devices. They are, for all intents and purposes, part of us and it is frankly incredibly rude not to treat them as such.

I can’t believe this needs to be said, but…

- Withholding medication from a disabled person is not a joke, it’s not a punishment, it’s abuse.

- Withholding mobility equipment from a disabled person is not a joke, it’s not a punishment, it’s abuse.

- Withholding stim toys, comfort items or similar from a disabled person is not a joke, it’s not a punishment, it’s abuse.

- Stopping a disabled person from using harmless routines or coping mechanism is not a joke, it’s not a punishment, it’s abuse.

Stop.

Don’t Take Up Spaces that Aren’t Meant for You

I go to use the elevator in a high rise building only to find a sign that says “Please ask security for access to this elevator”. A week ago, that sign wasn’t there. When I ask the security guard why the sudden change in policy, they said that people from other floors in the building had been abusing their access to the elevator and that they needed to lock it down. 

Let me make this perfectly clear: I could no longer independently access the only elevator available to take me to this part of the building because other people decided to use / abuse a space that was not meant for them instead of taking the stairs right next to the fucking elevator.

Here’s another example: In order to have access to an accessible room on a cruise ship, I have to submit a form stating that I do in fact  have a physical disability that prevents me from using a normal state room on the ship. I have to do this because able-bodied people have, in the past, been dishonest about the level of accessibility they require in order to have access to a larger stateroom without having to pay a premium.

How about this one: I go into the restroom of a massive convention center. Every single stall  in this restroom is empty except for the one handicapped stall in the back, which is being occupied by someone who does not need to use a handicapped stall. I now have to wait for that one person to exit the stall before I can use the restroom. Remember: This bathroom has 7+ other stalls that are built specifically to work for them, but they chose  to use the one space that is available to people like me.

Dear able-bodied people: Handicapped bathroom stalls, seating areas, staterooms, and elevators are not meant for you and you should not use them.

I do not care how big of a hurry you were in and how that elevator got you to where you needed to go faster. Because of you, I have to go find someone every time I need to use this elevator and if I can’t find them I GET NOTHING. 

To you, that cruise ship can house 2000+ people and you have an opportunity to get a massive stateroom at no extra cost if you’re wiling to fib a little. To me, that cruise ship has a capacity of around 12 (the number of accessible rooms on the ship) and if they’re all full, I GET NOTHING.

To you, that movie theater has four really great seats right in the middle that just happen to have a handicapped accessible sign on them. To me, that theater has four seats and if they’re all full, I GET NOTHING.

And let me address the bathroom thing in particular. I don’t give a flying fuck if the handicapped stall was the only one available. You should pretend like it doesn’t fucking exist and wait in line like everyone else. *

Don’t take up spaces that were not meant for you. Because everything but those few precious spaces were not meant for us. 


* Unless it’s literally the only stall in the bathroom or you’re about to absolutely shit yourself. Then it’s fine. 

if you don’t know what your illness is yet…

  • that doesn’t mean you’re not sick
  • you will find answers
  • i believe that you’re sick
  • you will get through this tough time
  • you don’t owe anyone an explanation
  • you will get the necessary accommodations
  • those who truly care about you will help you
  • i love you
  • I believe in you
  • im here for you
I want to see more big girls as the stars of mainstream films, and owning every single person in the movie with their “I don’t give a damn about what you think, I’m beautiful and I know it” attitude. More shows with leads that are transgender women showing us how incredible they are in what they endure from society and conduct themselves with such admirable pride and strength. More women of colour centric tv shows highlighting all the struggles they must survive growing up. More autistic girls being protagonists of movies and showing people that autism can also mean kindness, intelligence and beauty if you take the time to understand that it’s a different system. I want more differently abled girls becoming superstars in tv shows with their positive attitudes to life, their incredible spirit and their immense compassion. I want mainstream films and tv shows to start making them the heroes they deserve to be. We need to show our children that heroes come on all kinds of bodies, all kinds of minds and that is something we should love and respect as a society. We need to make tv shows and films as diverse as they can be so our children and their children can understand themselves, love themselves, and treat each other with empathy.
—  Nikita Gill, On TV Shows And Movies And True Female Inclusivity

[3 Panel Illustrated Comic Titled “Service Dog” with Service being underlined.

Panel 1 Description: A woman is overhearing a conversation behind her between a family, while shopping for clothes with her service dog. The dog has a harness on it that reads “Do not touch”. Behind her a mother, father, and daughter are having a discussion. The father says “Aw look sweetie, a puppy!” The daughter responds “AWWWWWW”, as she looks at the dog with large excited eyes.

Panel 2 Description: The scene cuts to an areal view behind the parents, while their daughter is looking up at them in excitement. The father looks down at the child and says “I think it’s one of those blind dogs!” The daughter looks up at the mom with big eyes and asks “Can I pet it? PLEASE!!” The mother smiles and says “Yes! I’m sure the lady won’t notice if you pet it.”

Panel 3 Description: The woman with the service dog turns to the family and says “Yes I will, and F.Y.I., I can see and hear you.” The mother quickly ducks down behind a rack of clothes in embarrassment. The father turns his head to look away while muttering to himself “Uh, uh - What’s over here…”. The daughter shrugs in disappointment, with a frown she says “Dang it.”]

Never ever touch a service dog, especially without asking it’s owner for permission first!

Idea submitted by @etahreybased off their story about people invasively wanting to pet their service dog.

5 Things Not To Do When You See A Disabled Person Under 21

I’m a disabled high schooler so I experience this shit a lot and I just wanna tell y’all what not to do, not to be mean but to just educate y’all

  • Assume we don’t know things. This happens to me a lot. I’m a straight A student, I’m in honors classes, and yet people still think I’m in need of educational help. I know it’s the cane cause people will talk to me normally, but then speak like I’m a 5 year old when they see my cane. It’s rude and honestly disrespectful so pls don’t.
  • “You’re too young to be disabled.” Holy shit no. Some of us are born with a disabilty and even if we aren’t, you don’t get to say shit about that. My legs didn’t stop working because I’m young, it’s because I have an actual illness.
  • “You’d be better if you went out more.” I have dealt with this so often. When I’m in extreme pain, instead of getting me pain meds or help, I normally get told I need to go out more. Walk around a bit. Fuck you.
  • “You shouldn’t rely on that ___” Hell no. If you take away my cane, I can walk but I’ll be in so much pain I’ll start crying. Also? Have you thought that maybe I actually need this cane? I’m not doing it for attention.
  • Which brings me to… DONT CALL US ATTENTION SEEKING. I promise you that if I could walk without my cane, I would. I don’t want this shit, and you saying it’s not real makes it worse.

This is just the tip of the iceberg but here’s some basic no-nos.

PSA for anyone who doesn't use a mobility aid

Pavements are not designed with mobility aids in mind. It’s not even as simply as lowered curbs - it’s also about gnarly bits in the middle of the pavement, and about finding the bit of (lowered or not) curb where you can actually get on, and about avoiding the boneshakers that just increase your pain levels.

I see it a fair bit that people refuse to get out of my way, or are simply unaware that the bit of pavement they’re on is the bit that actually has a lowered curb. I see people parking in front of lowered curbs. I even see kind souls trying to get out of my way and unwittingly blocking my only viable path.

Just look down. When you see us, look at the road surface and try to imagine where you’d like to be if your feet were wheels. Okay? And then don’t be there.

It’s not a big thing. It’s okay that you never realised. But it would take the onus off of us to ask you to get out of the way - which is nerve-wracking for those of us with anxiety, and potentially dangerous when we end up unable to just get onto the pavement after crossing the road.

It’d be a lovely low-key way to be an ally.

Cool? Cool.

Life for chronically ill people is hard. Stop and pause and breathe. It’s okay. You are okay. It’s okay to be angry or sad or bitter.

Know you’re not alone. You are loved. You are worthy. Your illness is not you, even if it affects you: you are strong, brave, and deserve good things.

buzzfeed.com
47 Hacks People With ADD/ADHD Use To Stay On Track
Everything from color-coding to bouncing on an exercise ball.
By Grace Spelman

As with all these things, your mileage may vary, but I thought this was better than the lists I’ve seen on ADDitude. (On a side note: Buzzfeed is apparently full of people with ADHD. I’m not surprised).

A few of these I actually do. (Like writing everything down and keeping my keys by the door). Others I’ve never thought of, and would like to try.

Which “hacks” do you do, or want to try?

Autistic people on tumblr: Rick Sanchez has verbally confirmed himself as autistic, and this makes me happy. It’s pretty rare for autistic characters to be canonically confirmed in-show like this, and especially not this easily and casually. It’s also very unusual to see a canonically autistic character who is sexually active, not straight, not white and who is actually a complex, funny, well-rounded character. It’s a neat little bit of representation in a mainstream show that I wasn’t expecting, and you know, it’s actually kind of nice :).

Neurotypicals on tumblr: OH MY GOD STOP FETISHING AUTISM!!!! QUIT OVERREACTING!! DON’T YOU KNOW THAT GETTING EXCITED OVER NUANCED REPRESENTATION HURTS AUTISTIC PEOPLE?!!



EDIT: I’ve switched the word ‘positive’ with ‘nuanced’ as I definitely agree with a lot of commenters that Rick is not a positive role-model for ANYBODY, but I still wholeheartedly stand by this post.

Because Rick represents something us in the autistic community need so badly on TV, and that is complex, original autistic characters, rather than autistic charicatures.

Autistic people need to be allowed to be depicted as people, and that doesn’t always necessarily mean ‘good’ people. Because not all people - neurotypical or autistic - are ‘good’ people in real life. We don’t expect non-disabled characters to be morally black or white, so why do we expect this from characters with disabilities?

There is nothing wrong with creating a flawed, damaged or destructive autistic character. The problems occur when a character’s flawed, damaged and destructive behaviour is immediately linked back to their autism. Which in most cases it invariably seems to be. 

Rick is a very damaged, incredibly flawed individual. He’s selfish, manipulative, completely morally bankrupt and basically just one big, collossal twat. 

But at no stage is it ever implied that this is down to him being autistic. Rather, the blame is blatantly and repeatedly assigned to its one true source: Rick himself. Rick himself is clearly the product of his own bad choices, selfish actions, unhealthy coping mechanisms and flat-out refusal to ever address his catastrophic mental health problems. The revelation that Rick happens to be autistic is never presented as an explanation - or excuse - for the way he has been up till now. 

Is Rick the most positive representation of autistic characters out there? Hell no!

But does he represent a shift from creating rigid, overly-pathologised autistic characters to more human, nuanced characters who are capable of making their own mistakes and forming their own independant, complex personalities? Hell yes!

And I for one welcome this kind of representation.

There’s this myth amongst healthy people that being chronically ill exists in a vacuum. That yes, you lose your health, but everything else in life stays the same. And that’s just not even close to the truth. Being sick affects everything. Not a single aspect of life is left unchanged. 

Chronic illness changes everything- the friends you have, the food you eat, the movies you can watch, the hobbies you do, your job, your education, your family, your relationships, etc, etc, etc. 

There is no such thing as “just health,” or “just physical ability.”  Chronic illness is a malignancy, and it slithers its way into each and every aspect of a person’s life.