The Damaging Message about Disability

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Today is the National Disability Day of Mourning. This marks the 6th year that it has been observed. The last one I participated in was 4 years ago. I cried as I read the names in Farragut Park. Just imagining these children, adults, disabled people, people like me.. like my children.. some the age of my children.. It was too much. And as I was comforted, in the cold, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this made no sense. Why was this happening?

4 years later, I’m beginning to understand. And it disgusts me.. It doesn’t confuse me or make me sad.. I detest what’s causing this. And you see it every time someone else is killed. But the services… but the damage to the murderer for putting up with the disability.. on the trauma for those paaaarents… It’s disgusting.. It’s about how we’re not people to be valued..

To slightly transition… While I’ve finally learned about it, I’ve been grappling with my oldest… well, not him.. the message surrounding him currently. He’s turning 13 in a little more than a month. And the message I’ve been getting is so similar.. The looks of “Oh.. You don’t get it. He’s not actually going to college.” or.. the “Well, you know, they have to try out….” No shit he has to try out, but you’re not even giving him the chance to practice (intentionally vague, current goings on). The message that the only way he should be educated is to stop having meltdowns. His accommodations don’t matter because he’s doing ______. Not, he’s doing ______ because his accommodations aren’t being used.

This is because he’s not… smart enough? obedient enough? worth the effort? I don’t even know what message they’re sending but not saying. But it’s very clear that he is not valued. And it’s disgusting all over again.

So I ask, what good are services if every fucking person is a disgusting human being who doesn’t value another human being? And what good are parents if they don’t value their children as human beings? Let’s just make everything as easy as possible for the adults around the disabled person.. Because.. they’re not worth it. Seriously.. that’s the message. That’s the fucking message. And, I’ll say it again, it’s disgusting. I have value. My child has value. Your child has value.. We are humans so we are valuable.

So stop with the message that we’re not. And stop acting like we’re not. And stop hurting us like we’re not… and stop killing us like we’re not.

Photo by jinterwas

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