I read an article the other day that ultimately struck a chord with me. It is entitled “10 Crazy Things People Still Say To Someone Who Uses A Wheelchair” by The Mobility Resource. The first thing from the article that impacted me was when the author said someone told her “You’re really pretty for someone in a wheelchair.” My initial reaction to this was very humorous just to think that someone actually had the nerve to say that. What did they mean by saying that? I’m gonna get on my soapbox for a minute. The thing I can’t understand is this: Why do able bodied people sometimes view people who are disabled as strange, different or weird? I understand that there are some disabilities that are more involved than others however, I don’t feel particularly comfortable with the fact that some people in our society today have “labeled” anyone with a disability. When in actual reality we are no different from them. Yeah, we might look a little different or possibly be in a wheelchair, but we are all human. As a kid growing up and even now seventeen years later I go out somewhere and a little kid will ask their parent “What’s wrong with her?” I always make an effort to say hey and smile at them so they know I’m just like them, even though I can’t walk. Honestly I’ve learned to look at moments like that as opportunities to show the people around me everyday that I have chosen to live life with my disability to the fullest and not to let the common stereotypes or labels society has given us stop me. Besides, you’d be amazed at what a positive attitude and a smile can do.
©Andrea Pierce. 2013. All Rights Reserved.