Being confronted with the ableism and lack of inaccessibility in the modern world can be quite startling for folks that aren’t used to it. While it can be upsetting, please don’t look to your disabled friends for comfort. Especially if it was your lack of planning that created the situation to begin with.
I’ve seen people going around saying “disability” is such a negative word, such a negative thing. “Let’s not use that word. No, let’s try something kinder. Let’s call it ‘differently‐abled’. Yes, that sounds much better”
I’m sure you’ve heard something like this from your well‐meaning, non‐disabled friends at one time or another.
“Do we need an aisle chair for him?”
“Can he transfer?”
“Is his chair foldable?”
“What would they like to order?”
We don't wake up with our fist in the air…
I’m tired of reading sci‐fi where disability has been completely eliminated. I’m tired of people who decide that an ideal world is one where I don’t exist.
I went to a restaurant recently and on their menu it said “Happy Hour From 5‐8”. “Oh good, ” I thought to myself, “we’ll have plenty of time to order and relax before happy hour ends”. You see, we had originally rushed to the restaurant right after work because, according to their website, Happy Hour only ran from 5 to 6. According to the menu, we now had an extra 2 hours to enjoy happy hour pricing.
Dear Capitalist Society, stop trying to put a market value on my civil rights.
I am sick and tired of seeing people suffer, strain, and struggle to walk for the sake of “goals”, “health”, or “not giving up”.
Dear “priority riders” on buses (that aren’t wheelchair users)
So, this happened the other day while I was waiting for the bus. I wave down the bus to make sure the driver sees me and, as the ramp is being lowered down to street level I feel the hands of a complete fucking stranger rest on my shoulders.
There are no stupid questions, only inquisitive idiots.
“But where were you?” they ask, “when the buses and buildings and streets were being designed? Why didn’t you speak up and advocate for something different?
You’re at a hotel that has a lift to get you from one sub-floor to another, but the lift can only be unlocked and operated by one specific person that the hotel now has to go find. Sure, they’ve made the entrance to the sub-floor is accessible, but now it’s a thing.
I go to use the elevator in a high rise building only to find a sign that says “Please ask security for access to this elevator”. A week ago, that sign wasn’t there. When I ask the security guard why the sudden change in policy, they said that people from other floors in the building had been abusing their access to the elevator and that they needed to lock it down.
Old buildings should not be exempt from accessibility rules
I have had this conversation way too many times in my life…
Here’s thing thing, able‐bodied people: when you praise a disabled person for living a healthy, normal life (just like you!) “despite their disability” you are reminding us just how low your expectations of us are to begin with. I would be fucking furious if my boss or coworker’s positive feedback on my work was couched in terms of my disability:
The Blue C Sushi in Downtown Seattle did a remodel where they added in cool sushi delivery robots (yay!) and replaced every goddamn table with a booth.
One day, I was heading home from work and got stuck on a block for eight solid minutes because cares at both intersections pulled forward past the cross walk to try and beat the light and got stuck behind the other cars and directly in front of the curb cut.
If you’re making a video and following a script, there is absolutely no reason for that video to not have captions included.
I have seen way to many shops and stores with inaccessible entrances in Downtown Seattle (I’m looking at you, Pioneer Square). Whenever I’ve researched why these buildings are allowed to remain inaccessible, I read excuses about “preserving the historical value and appearance” of the main exterior of the building. Shit, If you want to preserve the true cultural heritage of a building, why not extend that to the inside as well? Leave the lead in the pipes and the asbestos in the ceiling. What they’re really preserving is a culture of ignoring the fact that people with disabilities fucking exist and that’s why the only wheelchair accessible buildings created in the late 19th and early 20th century were the “hospitals” and “institutions” they kept us locked away in.
According to some media sources, Seattle is waging a War on Cars (and to think those poor soldiers just wrapped up this year’s War on Christmas).
Look, I’m all about including disabled folk when talking about who you want to protect from discrimination. I’m glad people who are members of marginalized groups are taking time to mention members of another marginalized group. Now that that’s out of the way, able-bodied people need to take it a step further: give us the fucking microphone.
I recently came across this in my Twitter feed…
I have cerebral palsy. It’s a broad term for a wide array of physical and mental disabilities caused by damage to the cerebral cortex (the part of the brain responsible for stuff like speech and motor control). It’s a birth defect and it will become rarer as science is able to prevent it by avoiding the underlying causes or through early detection and selective abortion.
The following excerpt is taken from an actual conversation I had with a random stranger who sat down next to me and my wife at a local Seattle bar.
Earlier this year, Elizabeth Heidman wrote a piece for Salon where she called out advertisers for their inspiration‐porn heavy advertisements and cast a light on the “it could be worse” attitude many able‐bodied people take when it comes to discussing life’s difficulties.
When occupying a confined space such as a bus, train, or elevator make sure you take up as little space as humanely possible.