Sometimes people say that their other disability is a bad attitude. This is often in response to what “Crip Theory” or “Disability Culture” utilizes in defense against those individuals who have pictures taken (inspiration porn) while they are simply doing everyday tasks that an able-bodied person may view as impossible for a disabled individual.
Those “impossibilities” in my view are A) a reflection of the able-bodied person and B) that those of us with disabilities are defined by them. Do our (again, I don't speak for all disabled people) disabilities define us? I encourage my readers to express their opinions down below! In my humble opinion, they do, yet they do not. Paradoxical, I know.
They do in the sense that the world in and of itself has not been (until the advent of the ADA) made for us. Any disabled person can testify to this as we run into barriers everywhere we go. The thing about being disabled is that we see those obstacles and find ways around them. Whether that be through advocacy, mobility aids, medications, surgeries, or a combination of these. We persevere. So what is wrong with other people being inspired by us? Is it exploitation? Is it that these pictures are taken without that disabled individual's consent?
I am posing these questions to begin a conversation I think we should be having. I know the issue in and of itself is a complex, often emotional one. That is okay. As we move through life we oftentimes have to adapt to unforeseen changes in our bodies. We don't often get the privileges our able-bodied counterparts do. They don't require accommodations or any of those other things listed above. They don't have to think of alternate routes to get to class, or how to manage gauging pain levels, or what disability even is.
So, how can we change that? By spreading knowledge and awareness like countless other disabled individuals before us. By embracing what we are and sharing that with others.
As the old saying goes, you attract far more flies (or people in this case) with honey. Of course, having your other disability as a bad attitude is entirely one's own prerogative; however, I have found bitterness and anger to only hinder, as opposed to help. That's not to say we need to be inspiring rays of sunshine all the time, we are human. We are all human, and setting aside our differences perhaps then, we can help others see us for who and what we really are.