When you have a disability it’s never far away from you emotionally. Embarrassment would be a good adjective to use and is potentially the reason why there is still a stigma around disability. In the 1960’s when I grew up, disability wasn’t something talked about.
It isn’t like today where disability is openly discussed. Disability was an embarrassment for families because of society’s attitude, but that is not an excuse. For those of us like myself with a disability, we were considered ‘spastic’ by society, it didn’t matter how mild or severe our disability was.
Even though our thinking was normal, we were treated differently because we looked different and therefore weren’t considered normal and because society considered us different, so too were people’s opinion, attitude and understanding of us. We grew up around non-acceptance.
We have made strides in 2018, but we still need to do more to bring about a permanent change in people’s prejudices and attitude, but it’s not only around disability. Underneath we’re all the same, therefore we should all be treat in the same way. We create and perpetuate prejudice. It not right or necessary.
There is a famous quote by Albert Einstein that says, “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” Why does it matter that I have a disability, why does it matter that we look or talk differently, why does it matter that we don’t have the same opinions?
Life is too short for us to judge, or for others to stand in judgment of us. We must learn to be accepting, no matter our gender, race, colour, sexual orientation, or whether we live with a disability. We are all equal and should be treated as equals.
We must learn to embrace our differences without pointing the finger and thinking we’re better than everyone else, because that’s simply not true. We need to work together.