I’ve decided to build an invisible crutch from things that constitute abled privilege, without repeating too much of what is in McIntosh’s list (so read her list, and substitute “disability” for “color” for many of those things).
1. I can, if I wish, arrange to attend social events without worrying if they are accessible to me.
2. If I am in the company of people that make me uncomfortable, I can easily choose to move elsewhere.
Here are some suggested starting points: What work do you do? How’s that going? Do you get paid for it, or is it volunteer work or something you do because you just love it? What blocks you from employment? If you’re employed, what could be better? Do you want a paying job, or do you feel you contribute to society just fine without one? What unpaid work do you do that you value or that others value, for example, emotional support in relationships? If you’re a family member, friend or ally of a person with a disability, what thoughts do you have on work and employment? What’s the employment situation like for PWD in your country or region ?
Health Care & Vulvodynia [U.S. specific]
One of my concerns about health care reform in the US is how it will impact sexual & reproductive health, the domain in which vulvodynia and other pelvic pain conditions are usually classified. As far rights directly related to reproduction and abortion in particular, it’s looking grim. My hope is that patients with pelvic pain conditions will be covered adequately as well. This may not seem like the most pressing issue, since, frequently, sexual health problems will not be directly responsible for death. There are some definite exceptions, notably AIDS, and cancers.
For a few moments, I feel guilty thinking about sexual health in light of other deadly, catastrophic illnesses…
But then I remember that it’s not fair to minimize the very real suffering & misunderstanding that I and other pelvic pain patients go through. And I remember how hard it is to convince others, including doctors, of how very real it is & how difficult it can be to get an effective level of care.
Sidewalks that are functional for an able bodied person are not necessarily useable to someone in a scooter. Poles that can be easily navigated when they are stuck in the pavement, are not necessarily easy to move around in a scooter. Often curbs are not turned down. Sidewalks are carelessly blocked off by cars hanging out of drive ways, and let’s not forget those who think that they don’t have to shovel their walkway in the winter. My personal favourite are those that believe the scooter rider should always yield when faced with a pedestrian on the sidewalk.
I can’t tell you how many times throughout my life that I have used the phrase “that’s lame” or “don’t be lame” in my life. It’s been a part of my vocabulary since grade school. I wasn’t really aware of the exclusionary and offensive nature of the word until college. That’s when I made the connection between the word “lame” and it’s association to people with mental disabilities.
In the news:
McDonald’s in row over mobility scooter [New Zealand]
McDonald’s is yet to deliver on a promise to say sorry to a woman who was denied service in a drive-thru, because she was on a mobility scooter.
Margaret Todd says she could not squeeze her scooter through the front door of McDonald’s in Blenheim, so had no option but to head round to the drive-thru.