3 Things I have learnt about the Disability Community while blogging

G’day, Friends and welcome to another week and another blog post!

I have been fortunate to have been raised in a house that promotes critical thinking and healthy debates. Being able to express how we feel about any given topic has allowed for some incredible conversations around the dinner table.

I had a conversation with my family the other night about why I tend to put all minority groups together to form one major group. I said that minority groups share the same thing in society; we are judged for one thing. We are different.

This then launched into a fantastic conversation about where I think the disability community is at in supporting one another and lifting each other and where the non-disabled community is in terms of acceptance.

I wouldn’t have been able to come up with a response if it wasn’t for starting this blog!! So I thought I would talk about the things I have learnt about the disability community since I started blogging!

The highs

Two women sitting at a table talking. One has a disability and is in a wheelchair and the other woman is sitting in a chair with her legs crossed looking at the women in the wheelchair.
Photo by Marcus Aurelius

The one thing that has always been incredible is that the majority of the disability community always rallies around each other and supports each other.

Whether it is to laugh at their failed wheelie or clap back in defence of our mates to ableist humans, we are like one giant family.

Although we have different stories about how we are disabled and what we have gone through, the one thing that binds us together is knowing we all have experienced feeling less than by our surroundings or by select people in society.

However, the one thing that we excel at, is we find ways to make life enjoyable and are unapologetic about it!

The Lows

a selfie of myself laying down with a big white bandage around my head.

Like any household or family environment, there will be the occasional hiccup. Unfortunately, the same goes for the disabled community.

What stood out to me when I started following disability social media pages and reading comments and conversations from people within our community became clear how segregated the disability community is from time to time.

For me, it has got me worried about saying how I truly feel about my disability and possible treatments, because should I say that I would be happy and willing to trial treatments should they become available, I would be quickly labeled as anti-disability and ableist for ‘not wanting to be disabled anymore’ by some people in the disability community.

Most people in the disability community choose to live their life from a place of love, and others, from where they are at within their acceptance journey, with hatred toward the ‘abled’ community.

This leads to intense arguments and conversations about how we choose to look after ourselves and our bodies.

When we have to fight with things on a daily, like accessibility and the stigma of disability, the last thing we need is to be fighting and judge each other on how we decide to live with our disabilities.

So a little advice, my friends, hate and anger will get you nowhere. Choose love!

Disability creates wonders

Photo by ELEVATE

The one thing I have always loved about being a part of this community is that we all have incredible grit, determination and an appreciation of life itself.

We all recognise that life is a precious gift, and although every person’s life will look a little different in every way imaginable, most of us make the most of life and go on to do extraordinary things!

However, everyone’s reasons for doing what they do varies. Some create foundations because they want to help those who come after them. Some go on to be advocates, lawyers, public speakers, bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters because they are passionate about creating awareness and a voice for their community.

Others love to live life and choose to have a balanced and peaceful life without all the pressure and expectation that being an advocate or even a foundation director has. And that is perfectly okay!

So many of us are breaking the moulds of what is worth ‘value’ to society. For example, for a long time, you only had value to the community if you were an athlete representing the country.

However, we are now pushing down barriers, creating meaningful connections and bridging the gap to show that our value extends beyond what you choose to do for a living. We have value if we are breathing (no matter how we do it).

We all have done amazing things that we all should be proud of.

Sure some of us choose to put others down, and you could argue that keeps the stigma of disability going. But you are going to get that in any community.

However, for the most part, we find the Rose in the Thorn bush and love life no matter what is thrown at us. Our outlook on life is second to none, which is beautiful.

I am proud to be in the disability community and feel so grateful that I have been able to meet some fantastic people along the way and call them lifelong friends. Amy, Chris, Jeffery, Mitchell, just to name a few. Every one of these incredible humans inspires me daily, and I am beyond grateful for our friendship. I would never have met them had it not been for my disability, and I wouldn’t have met Chris and Amy if it wasn’t for this blog!

Disability brings us all together, and so does the world, which is the internet. When you have a great community around you, it isn’t easy not to sit and appreciate life when the opportunity presents itself.

Till next week, keep Living Abled your way.


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