Monday, July 30, 2007

I have noticed recently that when in conversation with people i rarely hear the phrase "for a person in a wheelchair" anymore. This simple omittance of this perpetual phrase I feel symbolizes a boundry crossed, I am no longer respected for the 'stuff' i do within the confines of the wheelchair, but now it seems i have crossed this boundry into being respected within the able-bodied world. I am no longer smart "for a person in a wheelchair," no longer brave for "for a person in a wheelchair," no longer active "for a person in a wheelchair," but have been simply lifted from the confines of this phrase and am free to roam the two worlds of the able and disabled.
I only mention this because i feel this is one of the biggest hinderances for people with disabilities. They may reach great heights and achieve amazing things but it is always within this percieved world of "for a person with a disability." I could go to nepal and sit in a hotel room for 6 weeks drooling in a corner and i would probably come back and recieve comments like "God, what amazing things you do for a girl in a wheelchair." Which is such a double edged sword, because yes it is far more difficult for people with disabilities to travel however it seems we are not held responsible. Responsible for our own ability to achieve our greatest potential, the expectation level is absurdly low. I am continually asked with hopeful smiles by strangers if im able to attend community colllege, like this is the holy grail for any person in a wheelchair. If community college for example is portrayed by society as the greatest educational achievement by a person with a disability of course not many will look beyond.
Maybe it is due to this societal view that i need to push boundries, (Para gliding in Nepal, Mountain Trekking in Nepal, Para sailing in Peru, Sand surfing in Peru, Climbing Macchu Picchu, Ziplining Costa Rica.)
But it makes me think if my mind is still in the mode of "for a person in a wheelchair" or is my view of the world beyond those psychological limitations.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Emma Smith said...

You posted this at 1:56 am? What the hell? Your like a friggin owl, or some kind of nocturnal lizard. He he, love you lots will write an email soon.

7:38 AM  
Blogger elany said...

hi Megan,
Happy to see and enjoy your writing again. Keep it going!

5:25 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Hi Megan,
This was a great post! it leaves one with a lot to think about

10:34 AM  

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