A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog entitled “YOU ARE SO SMART.” (https://sixlegtoindependentlifefromawalker.com/2021/11/15/198/) The blog was about how society doesn’t see the CP community as much more than their physical appearance. If people just look past our physical being, they will see something they never expect—an intelligent, open-minded, opinionated person just like the next person. As I was reading over that blog, I thought I needed another blog to complement that blog. I thought about how people don’t take us seriously. People in society can and will be ignorant about us because of what they see; I’m not making excuses for people because they should know these days. Many ignorant people are only ignorant because they are scared of the unknown.
When we are out in the community with family or friends, people can and will only see the physical appearance and think the person with us is our caretaker while it might be family, friend, or worse, a date. The worst part is when you are at a restaurant. The waiter asks you what do they want; then you say you can talk for yourself. You ask for an alcoholic beverage, and they look at the person you with, like, can they have a drink like that, you say, well the last time I checked my I.D. I was over 21. ( one time, I made a waiter cry because I got so upset with her because she was like can she drink to my friends).
One thing with me is that until I get used to a new doctor, I like to have someone come in with me like a family member or a friend until they get used to me and understand I’m more than the cp. The hardest part of life is not the cp because I have always known cp to be a part of life. The uneducated, ignorant people aren’t willing to change their opinion about cp and other disabilities.
A few years ago, I had one of the most significant surgeries of my life. I had to have a knee replacement from a compilation of other health issues, physically and emotionally this was going to be a significant chapter in my life story. I considered everything, but I wouldn’t think about how medical professionals would be with me; I had never had a problem with the nurses before. Nurses have always been sweet and compassionate to me after this one particular surgery. I got sent to rehab. The nurses there were unbelievable. They only saw me as a disability.
Let me put this more in force for people. I’m from generation “X” when looking at history and the ADA Act of 1973, 74,90 ( rehabilitation-acts-1973-and-1974-and-American-disabilities-act-1990). The generation “X” age group is getting up there in age if you think about this, an era that it’s truly the first generation for the disability community to have voices.
So many different communities nowadays want their voices to be heard, taken seriously, and respected as everyday people. Regarding the disability community, no matter the laws or what little difference we have made, we still don’t get the respect we deserve. ( please don’t think I’m saying this to be bitter because it’s not going help you, any, one or anything to spend your life to be a bitter person, what I want to do is get people to stop and think)
When It comes to educating people about disabilities, this world lacks education until it affects them directly. When it comes to the cp community, this is one of the places lacking in education. Cp is such a unique disability. The word “TEAM’ doesn’t have an “I” in it for a reason. As a team, we as people with cp and other disabilities need to bring disabilities to the forefront to show that we have a voice and those voices matter in today’s world.