Friday, February 13, 2009

Gotta Love It

Someone looking for "what does accessible mean?" arrived at my post "What Does Accessible Mean?". I presumed in writing it that my audience would know what it means and hope my second paragraph made it clear. See, people really do want to know. I've also had people arrive looking for "what is disablism?", though again, I wish my answers were a little clearer.

As I mentioned over at Wheelchair Dancer's this week, someone arrived looking for "disability," "bitterness," and "rudeness." I have to say I have never felt bitter about disability and what I am not able to do or how ill I am. Rudeness: yes, I can be perceived as rude when I assert my civil rights. I'm not sure there's always a way around that the more insistent I have to be and the more stubborn people are. But part of the perception that we're bitter or rude is people projecting their attitude onto us. In addition, they may interfere with our movement or our access or say/ask something prejudiced, and our refusal to play along, no matter how gently or strongly we present ourselves, is going to be misunderstood. In this regard, we're no different from other groups who have rightfully demanded their civil rights. And while often people may be grumpy or have a bad day, people connect that to the disability rather than to the person or their experiences that day--two customers who are brusque, one with a disability and one without, are going to receive different reactions. Too often people wrongfully attribute an emotion or reaction to a disability. Of course disablism is going to make us angry or reactive--but that's the social reaction to us that does so, not the disability. And anger is sometimes appropriate--I have little doubt sometimes that someone would ever do the same thing to another wheelchair user (unless it's an airline).

I do appreciate it when people arrive at my blog with search words for a serious medical condition and terms such as "Louise Hay," wondering the cause for their illness, and hope that they read enough to stop the self blame. Let me say I don't blame Louise Hay the person, but I know that people take the ideas in her books very seriously and too seriously; I've heard them do so.

A lot of people arrive here via MRI phobias. I always feel bad when someone's looking for serious medical information and ends up at humor posts--I hope if someone reads through that it actually helps rather than fuels anxiety.

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