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International Day for People with Disability: Stigma part 3

G’day friends and welcome to another Sunday and another Blog!

So I have just realised I timed this disability stigma series perfectly! Why you may ask? Well because on Friday it was International Day for People with Disability. It is amazing to read everyone’s posts about this day on social media. It is amazing what you can learn from people and their experiences of being disabled, and what this day means to them.

However, how many of us have ever seen advertisements about today? Did you even know it was a thing? To be honest with you, last year even I didn’t know it was a thing until a past work colleague told me about it! I know, I know, that is pretty dismal of me.

However, why do we only get one day? Are we all not legends enough to be thought of every day? Clearly we need to up our awesomeness!

So, to wrap up this stigma series, I thought I would tie in IDPWD and talk about helplessness and why that is not in our vocab!  

Helplessness in not in our vocabulary

Me riding a white horse with black reins. I am wearing sunglasses, helmet black pants, gloves jumper and shoes. I am smiling at the camera
who would have thought I would ever be able to ride horses?

Let’s get straight to the chase, people often assume just because one is disabled they can’t fend for themselves.

Let’s be honest here though, obviously depending on the type of disability depends on the amount of assistance one needs.

However, the one thing is that 9 times out of 10 this opinion is not the case.

There is nothing more satisfying to any human is the chance to be independent and do things on your own. It makes you feel in control and invincible almost. When you are disabled, the level of independence is altered quite considerably. However, that in no way means that we are helpless and can’t amount to much.

Sure we need different levels of help, however who doesn’t?!  Lets face it, if we all didn’t need help either reaching to top shelf of a cupboard, cooking a piece of meat or cake or even opening that delicious bottle of Scotch Whisky, we would literally not be into getting married am I right??  Lets face it, one of the key things about marriage is the fact that the spouse is the one that helps you do all the things you literally couldn’t do.

However, being disabled the amount of help changes and varies, but the one thing we aren’t is helpless. Some of us can cook, compete in sports, bar tend, paint, and do everyday tasks that some people think we can’t.

I mean lets face it, disabled or not we all struggle doing one thing or another. We are all different and that is completely ok and actually normal! So that good old infamous R word, there is really no point calling people that anymore because we are all so unique that is doesn’t cut deep anymore.. Well for me at least any way.

How do we need help though?

Disability access onto a beach. A blue wheelchair accessible mat across white sand. the sea and sky are blue
I love this pic too much I just had to share again.

On a side note with holidays around the corner, I have written all about how I need help when I go on holidays which you can check out here

However for today, I want to talk about the other societal ways you can help the disabled community. There are so many different ways that it would take me all day to list, so I am just going talk to what I feel is pretty important.

For example, you can start ensuring that there are diversity training in your place of work, or even better yet if a disabled person meets all criteria for a job description, but you would usually shy away from hiring them because of their disability, hire them anyway. You may be surprised at what you can learn and in turn what they can do for you.

Rally your local council to ensure every pathway, park, local swimming pool, library, shopping centre and restaurants have adequate disabled parking, accessible seating, signage and menus! Just as simple as having braille on your signage or menus will make all the difference right there! It shows that people with vision difficulties are thought of and included in their community.

Make music festivals inclusive of all walks of life. Dylan Alcott’s Ability Fest leads the way in that area, and every festival organiser can take a page or two out of his book!

Ensure that you don’t park in accessible parking spaces or use the disabled bathroom when you can use the other bathrooms. Unless of course you have absolutely not choice then please by all means I don’t want you to be humiliated or pull a Charlotte (SATC fans will get that reference).

There are so many ways that you can help out that makes the world so much better for everyone. Now wouldn’t that be amazing for every space in the community to be completely accessible, and everyone treat everyone with respect?

So my friends..

To wrap up another blog, clearly we already know that accessibility and acceptance has come so far within the community towards disabled people, but we still have a way to go.

The stigma of disability is as large as a supersized pizza at a footy night. To continue with the Pizza reference, people argue pineapple shouldn’t belong on pizza, but I disagree. Same goes for disabled people should be considered an equal and valued part in society.  

We all can play a part in reducing stigma and welcoming disabled people to every part of life. Including a neighbourhood barbeque!   

You do realise that us disabled folk can be pretty fun to be around right? We can party like no one else when given a chance!!

Till next week!

Rhi xo

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