We are a society that treats people with disabilities with condescension and pity, not dignity and respect.
Yooralla is a people pleaser with a very powerful PR machine.
I once choked on a chip at a friend’s birthday when I was seven and had to be sent home, as I’d broken my collarbone coughing.
Many of us, particularly those of us with disabilities who have faced persistent discrimination throughout our lives, not least when trying to find employment in the first place, take enormous pride in our hard-fought jobs...
I have a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), which has affected my growth and bone strength. In short, people with the kind of OI I have generally experience hundreds of fractures in their lifetime and...
As disabled people, we are taught from a young age that those who are attracted to us are to be regarded with suspicion.
In many ways, I’m incredibly lucky to have been born with my impairment and that it’s visible. It means my path has been predictable.
People get all up in arms when I describe myself as a crip because what they hear is the word ‘cripple,’ and they hear a word you’re not allowed to say anymore.
We fill our lives with all sorts of things that make it easier for us to get along in the world: wheelchairs, crutches, grabber sticks, hearing aids, canes, guide dogs, modified vehicles, ramps, as well...
Yooralla, like most disability service organisations, is full of good people who are passionate about the rights of people with disabilities.
People are uncomfortable about disability, and so interactions can become unintentionally uncomfortable.
Most disability charity hinges on that notion – that you need to send your money in quick before all these poor, pitiful people die. Peddling pity brings in the bucks, yo.
I identify very proudly as a disabled woman. I identify with the crip community. I didn’t invent the word ‘crip’. It’s a political ideology I came to in my late teens and early 20s.
By far, the most disabling thing in my life is the physical environment. It dictates what I can and can’t do every day.
It’s undeniable that what we are taught as a culture to believe about disability is at odds with traditional notions of masculinity.
The Paralympics have for too long been considered the poor cousin of the Olympics. It’s always run after the main games and rarely gets anything like the media coverage.
We often hear that people mean well: that so many just don’t how to interact with people with disabilities. They’re unsure of the ‘right’ reaction, so they default to condescension that makes them feel better...
Believe me, people with disabilities are just as concerned about benefit fraud as anyone else. Money spent on those who are not in need is money that isn’t being spent on vital services to support...
The problem for many people with disabilities is not that we are not able to work a certain number of hours a week. It’s that no-one will let us.
Death is not treatment, even if it’s medically facilitated.
I let go of the notion of wanting someone to ignore the way I look in order to find me attractive, because really, what kind of relationship would that be? One where someone’s only attracted...
For lots of us, disabled people are not our teachers or our doctors or our manicurists. We’re not real people. We are there to inspire.
Let’s not forget that the Paralympics, just like the Olympics, are built on a rich history.
The sentiment of those suggesting the Olympics and Paralympics be combined is no doubt well intentioned. But it also echoes the myth that disabled people want to be other than what we are – that...
As a wheelchair user, I am utterly obsessed with toilets, and all my friends know it. A simple invitation to the pub is consistently followed by, ‘Do you know if they have an accessible toilet?’
Disability informs almost every part of my life. It’s as important, if not more so, than my gender and sexuality. It’s certainly a great deal more important to me than my religion or whether or...
I really love filling out forms – quite fortuitous, really, given that as one of Australia’s 4 million-ish disabled people, ticking boxes and recording my life for other people is what I’ve spent a fair...
Doctors are not fortune tellers, and neither am I. Having lived with disability since birth does not afford me immunity from illness.
I went to school, I got good marks, I had a very low key after-school job, and I spent a lot of time watching ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Dawson’s Creek.’
For me, and for many other people with disabilities, our status as disabled people is one of which we are fiercely proud.
My mother loves to remind me that about the age of four, I made a somewhat formal announcement that I was going to be a plumber when I grew up.
There are real-world, devastating consequences for disabled women marginalised by the kinds of attitudes that deny them full agency over what happens to their bodies.
My disability exists not because I use a wheelchair, but because the broader environment isn’t accessible.
For me, disability is a physical experience, but it’s also a cultural experience and a social experience, and for me, the word ‘crip’ is the one that best encapsulated all of that.
Even those among us who are lucky enough to love our jobs would have to admit that at least part of the reason we work is to earn money. In between all this work, we...
It is a truth universally acknowledged that from puberty onwards, the female body is disgusting and unruly and must be tamed, trimmed and tinted to within an inch of its life before it can be...
For me, in some ways, my whole life is a bit performative and always has been – because I’m stared at and looked at everywhere I go.
I’ve got the best job in the world; I love it. I get to meet so many interesting people, and I get to make sure that other people with disabilities can tell their own stories...
I do not identify as a person with a disability. I’m a disabled person. And I’ll be a monkey’s disabled uncle if I’m going to apologise for that.
On the whole, my life is and has been wonderful.
When I was seven and watched an episode of ‘Beyond 2000’ that featured a floating armchair, I thought we’d definitely have one of those by 15, at the latest.
I am not a snowflake. I am not a sweet, infantilising symbol of fragility and life. I am a strong, fierce, flawed adult woman. I plan to remain that way, in life and in death.
I don’t generally talk about medical terms when I discuss my position as a disabled person. I take a social rather than medical approach to disability, and so long Latin names for congenital conditions are...
From my first days in Washington D.C., where I rolled a whole four downtown blocks without seeing a single shop, cafe, bar or restaurant I could not access, to the beautifully accessible buses in New...
The battle to find a workplace that’s wheelchair accessible is a feat in itself, let alone an employer who’s going to be cool about employing someone with a disability in a job you actually want...
I have a condition that is included among the 200 or so classified as Dwarfism.
I, like many women, buy into patriarchal standards of beauty every day. I very rarely leave the house without make-up. I dye my hair. I wear clothes that I choose carefully for how they make...
I do sometimes painful things to my body in an effort to conform to culturally imposed beauty ideals.
Paralympic sport and other disability sport can and should be celebrated in its own right.
Disability simulation fails to capture the nuance and complexity of living in a disabled body. And it certainly fails to give a deep understanding of systemic discrimination and abuse faced by disabled people.
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