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Disabled Bodies Are Not “Fun Facts”

Your proximity to a disabled person doesn’t give you the right to divulge their medical history or diagnosis and it sure as hell doesn’t give you the right to ask other disabled people to divulge theirs.

Fuck Your Accessible Invention

People are willing to pour millions of dollars into developing a mobility device that no one can fucking afford instead of putting that time and money into expanding public transportation

Where is Everybody?

I can’t deny how much laws like the ADA have had a positive impact on my life and how much disability representation and media has improved since I was a kid. But, as a wheelchair user, there’s one question I just can’t seem to answer: if we’ve made so much progress, where the fuck is everybody?

What is the Alternative?

The next time someone tries to argue about the logistical difficulties surrounding compliance with the ADA, I want you to ask them a very simple question: what is the alternative? What is the alternative to the the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990? Instead of this law, what should be done instead?

What Health Insurance Should Be

If home insurance considers the stuff inside a house as important as its foundation, then health insurance should consider the things that make up the life of the patient just as important as the life itself. 

What Lives at the Back of the Bus?

Is there a Dementor? A Fae that’s trying to offer you their seat in exchange for your first born? What is so goddamn terrifying that you absolutely refuse to move? 

The Problem with Person‐first Language

I have been told that I should use more person‐first language when discussing my disability and how it affects my life. That my disability is something I have not something I am. That I should be see myself as a person first and disabled second.

We Are Not the Cripple Police

I’ve gotten a number of replies, reblogs, and messages from people telling me they do their best to not use things like mobility aids or handicapped parking spaces because they’ve been accused of not being disabled enough.

Stop Asking Disabled People About Their Sex Lives

Frankly, I see it as only fitting that you starve to death behind a dumpster—your last words being the sound of you banging two legless barbie dolls together while screaming “But how is this supposed to work?!”

I am Not a Car

This is how able‐bodied people sound every time we try and tell them a little bit about our lives. 

Suburban Tomb

Many of these same people spent years fighting to keep public transportation out of their neighborhoods. Public transportation is for the poor. Why would they need to ride in same vehicle as them?

The Bouncer

When you own a public space that is inaccessible, you are hiring a bouncer that makes sure no disabled people get into that space. Maybe you lack a ramp at a raised entrance, a restroom with an accessible stall, or your website doesn’t work with screen readers.

Am I a Terrible Person For Identifying as a Devotee?

Let me start off by saying this: I don’t believe in kink‐shaming. If someone gets off on something that I’m not into, it’s not my job to try and police it. If it always involves two (or more, who knows?) consenting adults and everyone is safe, then go for it.

Explain Yourself

I, am constantly required to explain my existence to complete strangers — answering questions about my wheelchair, my disability, and how my body does or does not work.

Why I Hate Team‐building Events

The research, the recon, the planning — all the things that go into making sure a single event is inclusive? I have to do that for everything, every day.

A Rant About Pop‐up Dinners

I’m sick of amazing experiences being so meticulously planned that you can’t offer refunds while at the same time being so short‐sighted that they can’t provide accessibility information

It’s Not Our Job To Comfort You

We most certainly will not go along with your half‐assed plan to carry us up the steps of the restaurant because surely that boutique‐y vegan joint being run out of the back of a victorian townhouse is totally accessible once you’re inside. They probably just ran out of money for the ADA retrofit by the time they got to the front door.

You are Not Differently‐abled

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 Don’t Think of You As…

I’m sure you’ve heard something like this from your well‐meaning, non‐disabled friends at one time or another

Forever in the Third Person

At the very least it feels infantilizing and at most it makes me feel like a topic of the conversation instead of a participant; it takes away my personhood and makes me a pronoun.

Disabled Existence is a Political Act

We don’t wake up with our fist in the air. We don’t fight inequality as we clear the sleep from our eyes. But disabled existence is a political act.

Bar‐Seating‐Only Happy Hours Are Discriminatory

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.

Don’t Touch Me

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.

I Just Gotta Ask…

I’m always amazed at the audacity of people who think that if they frame their wildly invasive questions as part of some kind of larger compulsion, it makes what they’re doing seem okay and normal

The Awkward Questions About Spouses

Where do I even start? First off, my wife is not some kind of saint or — if I’m to believe all the award sex questions I get from abled‐people — a nun for marrying me and there’s no need for you to react to my relationship status like you just heard your best friend caught a super rare Pokemon or something.

We’ve Only Just Started to Exist

“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?

On Devotees

Let me start off by saying this: I don’t believe in kink‐shaming. If someone gets off on something that I’m not into, it’s not my job to try and police it. If it always involves two (or more, who knows?) consenting adults and everyone is safe, then go for it.

Don’t Make Accessibility a Thing

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.

Don’t Take Up Spaces that Aren’t Meant for You

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. 

Fix it or Tear it Down

What do you expect us to do? Rip out out the historic staircases installed during the Roosevelt administration and redesign the entire building?

If You Vote Against the Interests of the Disabled…

Oh my god, did you hear that so‐and‐so of the Fuck the Poor and Disabled, Am I Right? party won the election? Man, I could not be happier. Ever since the People Shouldn’t Die Because They Can’t See a Doctor party got elected, my insurance premiums went up 10%. I’m so glad I decided to vote this year.

Stop Describing Disabled People’s Achievements Within the Context of Their Disability

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:

Don’t be a Walk-Blocker

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.

Disabled Inspirational Speakers Bother Me

Now, before you go accusing me of being unduly critical or harsh, take a look at other kinds of inspirational speakers out there. For example, inspirational speakers that work with at‐risk youth.

Build a Ramp Up to the Fucking Podium

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.

Most Innovations in Wheelchair Technology are Bullshit

Apparently, a new design of wheelchair tire has been released that uses hydraulics to reduce the shock of rough terrain on manual wheelchair users. Sounds pretty cool, right? I thought so when I first heard about it. However, as I started to dig more into the design and how it works, a couple of questions got raised in the back of my mind.

Inspiration Porn Isn’t Just Insulting, It’s Theft.

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.