[edit to include link] I have yet to decide whether this is a good piece of polemic or a dangerous Mailesque rant which would look good in the hands of IDS as he tells us that the only ‘real’ disabled person is a person in a wheelchair whilst hiding his real intent to scupper everyone who does not fit on his list of importance.
As she says in her final paragraph, the remarks of a small number of people are not the feelings of all and should not be taken as such. Though it appears to be pretty well written at first glance, it is also rushed, sloppy and could do a hell of a lot of damage in the wrong hands. I ought to be laughing at seeing chronically disabled people described as wanting to see ‘real’ disabled people (those with congenital or physical conditions) killed at birth or put away but I am upset that any disabled person would state such rubbish about chronically sick people en-block as though we were all some kind of IDS followers and I felt physically sick at the thought of being compared to the creatures who brought us welfare reform and who slyly hint and infer and suggest impropriety in those on IB/ESA/IS….so as to cause others to label disabled and chronically sick people ‘scroungers’.
For make no mistake, I would and do wade right into those few-able bodied people who try to neatly categorise me and mine whether that be the congenitally disabled, (who of course I’m “not as bad as”) the wheelies whose ranks I joined with relief to my aching limbs but with a smidgen of worry that I don’t count as I don’t really need the chair _all_ the time.
I’ve been dropped of 90% of the social groups and Christmas card lists that were once my other hobbies, my lifelines my sense of belonging in an ecumenical and sharing world which had the sense to see not _just a disability or cognitive oddities. Usually I lost the chance to ever be asked to another pub do or christening BECAUSE of my near Messianic refusal to accept ‘Mailitis’ (attempts to get out of jail-free and bash the neighbour with the stick or the bad back or the kid with partial sight whose Mum gets driving lessons via DLA) by labelling _me_ ‘real’ family/friends/strangers who have labelled people whom they clearly see as ‘scroungers ‘ i.e. the chronically sick friends, colleagues and suicide watch buddies who I have laughed with, wept with and fought with as somehow less than me because to (some people) I look like a classic ‘spastic/poor little cripple) it is very much in the eye of the beholder)approached by an admittedly scared but vocal person complaining of how we the privileged wheelchair users don’t realise we aren’t the only one’s with a disability’ as happened at the British Museum. At least my mate Heather made me laugh by pointing out the utter irony of being attacked by someone who knew so little of the fact that _disability can happen to anyone_ that she thought I did not understand the realities of creeping disablement!
Shall I have myself put away? Shall I have my own privileges revoked, Am I divided against myself? for am I not someone who is chronically sick?
Or do I belong to neither group, neither crippy enough for those who escaped care-homes and who Joe Public sees as ‘real’ nor quite suffering enough from ‘not having yet adapted’ (and trust me, I haven’t adapted in 37 years to not fitting in anywhere) I’m isolated from the majority of the people I have known for the last 37 years (my non-Facebook friends reduced to one female friend whose mother was disabled and a couple with disabled siblings or family members, the rest do not realise how isolating it can be to live a very different life with no expectations of a job or a secure roof (I never did have that either) even if you are ‘not that disabled” (sic)
She is right that chronically sick people have to make their own mark but NOT through alienating and attacking people who also have a plateful and may even have chronic illness AND lifelong disability and thus have never fitted in easily either in able bodied society, or the closed world of severe disability or even the world of those who _once had something better than this mess.
A one-sentence explanation of the Social Model which allegedly ‘only’ caters for physical need (rot) the rest is so obviously slewed by her spat with SS but she could do with taking her own advice. The only thing I think I can in justice do, is write a counter-piece- including the requested layman’s guide to the REAL Social Model of Disability.