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Thursday, 11 June 2020

#BecauseOfAbleism


Amongst all of the equality posts, media and protests at the moment #becauseofableism ended up trending on Twitter this week.

In some ways it made me happy. I saw many tweets talking about ableism and within in them I could relate. I could read those comments and nod my head, click like and know that people would understand the battle that lives inside a disabled person’s world.

Then it made me sad.

The fact that it points out the worst part of society and the view of disability is of course a harsh pill to read and swallow.

Seeing hundreds and thousands of tweets of people struggling every day due to the restrictions and oppression that ableism brings breaks my heart.

However, these points weren’t the real  cause for my sadness.

The fact that Twitters own algorithm will choose what is trending by what we tweet or what is within our interest was the saddest part.

It’s sad because those who NEED to read those posts won’t see them.

Now, more than ever, oppression, stereotypes and discrimination is in the spotlight.

Yet, like most discrimination, if you don’t see the problem with the lives that are affected then you’re part of the problem.

Because of Ableism is a point where 90% of people will never understand. I know this because we’ve surveyed people when we started our Accessibility Challenge.

People, unless affected, do NOT consider accessibility or disability when they enter buildings or shops. They do NOT consider how the arrangement of a shop can affect the person who is shopping.

It was in all purposes “out of sight, out of mind".

So, therefore, it would be incongruous of me to have a blog, X amount of followers and the privilege of a platform to reach others and not to speak directly about this fact.

#Becauseofableism I’m invisible; people speak to the person who I am with and not to me.

#Becauseofableism I’m expected to wait outside of a shop whilst my family and friends can go in.

#Becauseofableism the majority of the world is inaccessible to me.

#Becauseofableism I get left out of activities, nights out and social events.

#Becauseofableism people pity my life without finding out about it to start with.

#Becauseofableism people assume my disability is worse than it is.

#Becauseofableism people automatically assume I need help going to the toilet.

#Becauseofableism people assume I can’t have sex.

#Becauseofableism people don’t know how to talk to me so they talk about my equipment and aides.

#Becauseofableism I’m made to feel like I’m asking for too much when pointing out inaccessibility.

#Becauseofableism children and adults lean, climb and reach over me, invading my space like I’m an object in the way.

#Becauseofableism people move my chair out of the way without asking or talking because it has handles to do so. When, in fact, that’s assault.

#Becauseofableism people will think the previous point is overreacting. When if you asked them how they would react if they had their leg dragged and moved for them they would see the point differently.

#Becauseofableism people assume that I have a mental disability that accompanies my physical disability.

#Becauseofableism my life is valued less in critical situations because long term we add less to society with the “survival of the fittest” takes part.

#Becauseofableism most people assume I can’t work.

#Becauseofableism people do not understand when you explain you can’t do something because it “seems so simple" for them.

#Becauseofableism I’ve been told that I don’t deserve my children, I shouldn’t see my children as much and may be at risk of damaging them by being around them.

#Becauseofableism every accommodation made is seen as a favour or privilege. It's not. It's a right.

#Becauseofableism people will never understand how privileged they are to do the simple things in life.

#Becauseofableism I’ve had to write this post.

#Becauseofableism this post will get less views, less comments and shares because many will find it uncomfortable to read or can’t relate to it.

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