I swiped upon a video posting on the socials, in which a person was discussing some of the struggles stemming from their disability. It sounded like a story that I could relate to; misdiagnosis leading to a life of struggle, frustration, disappointment, loneliness, depression. The list goes on.


Here is where things took a turn. This person made a very emphatic effort to make it clear that they did not become disabled through any means of their own neglect; including being clumsy, drunk or otherwise.


I don’t feel their profile on socials, during their message and story, is where it is appropriate to make my point.


Read on.

Ring for Assistance

Whether it’s congenital, an accident, or just the way the universe unfolds, these circumstances lead us all to face similar challenges in life. I don’t feel the catalyst to one’s disability is relevant to their current struggle.


I encourage everyone to reject the stigma that assumes people choose to become disabled or that disability is a result of laziness or punishment for poor decisions. When we validate the reasons behind our disabilities, we inadvertently support that harmful stigma.


One of the reasons I emphasize this is the unfortunate reality of major corporations earning millions while their staff struggle to pay rent, and during financial crises, they receive government handouts to subsidize poor management and executive salaries. It essentially rewards bad behaviour, leaving those who already enjoy financial security in luxury.


However, imagine a different scenario, where that bailout money and tax cuts are invested in an infrastructure that fosters true accessibility and dignity for all. A world where accessibility goes beyond a mere ramp or push button hidden in a corner and becomes a fundamental aspect of society.


Now, where does that money come from? It’s time to turn up the volume of our voices and speak and act out against corporations sitting on millions of assets and the executives who received bonuses during times of crisis. Not to mention the elected public officials who facilitate this instead of doing what is actually the right thing to do.


In my experience, disabled individuals are often perceived as lazy because we may need assistance with household chores or errands due to physical limitations. Or perhaps the stigma arises because the tools that we use to reduce our struggles look like a toy or fun to an able-bodied observer. However, this current stigma dismisses essential services like cleaning as a luxury rather than recognizing them as necessary for our well-being and human rights.


Every year, I, along with many of my fellow disabled individuals, find ourselves having to declare that we haven’t miraculously cured our incurable conditions. My experience through this leaves me with feelings of humiliation, degradation, depression, inadequacy, and inequality, which are inherently inhumane.


It’s time for a change.


I would encourage all to examine their behaviours, mindsets, reactions, and biases when they encounter folks with disabilities and the spaces everyone moves around to. Are you contributing to the stigma, or are you actively fighting it?

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Creator & Editor in Chief, TURNIP STYLE

TURNIP HED brings his humour, passion & perspective to TURNIP STYLE drawing on his experiences in life, work & travel. Also, an "Expert Homosexual" (never practising).

Pronouns may be flexible; He/him or They/Them. However, when TURNIP is feeling sassy; She/Her does work too. You can always call him, TURNIP. That's what his friends do. Visit The Pool is Closed for more.

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