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My Life

Pros and Cons of Disability

Brought to you by: Sarah Hyland (because why the hell not?)

  • PRO: Parking is lit! 

I’m not going to lie, one of the most obvious (yet greatest) advantages of having a disability is the disabled parking spot outside the supermarket, and the benefits of holding a companion card. Oh, and what about the special consideration for exams and adjustments made to buildings just so that I can have special access. I’d simply be lying if I said this wasn’t a perk.

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  • CON: People often don’t respect this rule

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve arrived at Highpoint and mum has still had to drive around five times to find a parking spot because yes, all the disabled parking was taken too. And often these people have no disability sticker on their windshield. Shame on you!

If you didn’t catch the sarcastic undertone through my first point let me clarify that any adjustment, special consideration, financial or other benefits provided to people with a disability ain’t something to get all arked up about. It should be noted that people with a disability already have a disadvantage. I will not put a measurement to it because I believe everyone is different, but it’s there. Those so-called “pros” to having a disability really ought to be considered more like compensation. It’s evening the playing field and making the world accessible for all of us.

  • PRO: I could wipe the floor with ya’ll in a stare contest 

This is absolutely true! Try me… I dare ya.

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  • CON: My eyes do get dry

Apart from the fact that this is literally true (not blinking does that to you) this is more of a metaphor for all the things that I struggle with that most people don’t or don’t realise. I get tired easily and my muscles get sore even though I can’t walk. Going to the bathroom, getting in and out of bed, and going out sometimes are all things that I either need help with or are of great difficulty. That is the real ugly side of having a disability.

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  • PRO: Having a speedy chair gets me places faster

I may not be able to walk, but I have a sweet ride. Ever since I got my electric wheelchair, it has been my key to freedom (compared to when I had a manual wheelchair and relied on others to push me around). I can travel out on my own and go places faster than I could on foot. Independent woman on wheels coming through!

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  • CON: Finding access is sometimes a pain, plus ROAD RAGE

Unfortunately, I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, access is one of the most frustrating issues I have had to deal with in my life. Every time I go out I have to research whether my wheelchair will get around and when there isn’t access, (which occurs often) I simply cannot go and I feel excluded. A recent example of this problem occurred only 2 weeks ago. We had a school excursion, in which we required a wheelchair accessible bus on the way back. The bus company accidently got the order wrong and sent a bus that wasn’t wheelchair friendly. I had to wait back (separated from the rest of my class) an hour with my carer, in the freezing cold, for a taxi to come and pick us up. 

Oh, and the part about road rage? Yeah, that happens in the halls or in the street on a daily basis – though my rage is mostly silent. Some people are just so damn slow! I have places to be dudes.

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  • PRO: The gift of sharing my story

I’m aware that my skill set lies in writing. I have a certain knack for stringing words together into something meaningful. I know that because I have been given the gift of writing (this was initiated by the fact that I could not pursue my original dream) I can use this gift to not only tell my story, but to tell other people’s stories too. To share unique perspectives and change the world by first promoting awareness about important issues. 

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  • CON: The Parallel universe  

I would never have discovered my love of writing if it weren’t for the fact that I could’t pursue dance. The parallel universe has been the cost of having a disability. My life would be so different right now if it weren’t for that. I couldn’t tell you if it would’ve been better, just different. I do feel sad sometimes and wish that I could walk and be a dancer, but this doesn’t last for long – I mean, that’s the point of this blog post, to see the pros as well as the cons.

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  • PRO: I’m unique, and I like it!

Despite everything I like having a disability because it’s what makes me unique and I freaking LOVE being unique. To me, there is nothing more boring than to be like anyone else but myself. I like that my disability is rare, I like that I look, think and behave different to anyone I know. I’m special in my own way. I’m me!

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  • CON: The world hasn’t quite caught on yet

The world hasn’t caught on to the idea that while I’m unique I’m normal at the same time. Disability IS normal. It shouldn’t be lorded over, nor should it be ignored or tip-toed around. We are getting better, but the world has a long way to go in terms of the way we treat people with disabilities. Being aware of it is only the first step.

Oh I almost forgot, another pro is that I can wear high heels no matter what!

Have a lovely day! xx

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3 Comments

  • Reply through my eyes - Bring on disability pride! - through my eyes

    […] But I also never thought of it as something to be proud of. Like most situations, there are pros and cons to disability. But I guess it’s just “a thing”. A part of my life that I’m okay with and don’t think […]

    November 7, 2018 at 6:25 am
  • Reply Sebastian Sibelle

    Great post Claudia!

    August 29, 2018 at 8:53 pm
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