I really enjoy blogs. I enjoy reading blog posts and the discussion they inspire. There are so many great disability blogs around here. This (so far pathetic) blog could be a part of that! How can I turn that up?
There are so many things that I hope will be discussed here. But one thing I hope to do is talk about disability issues in Texas specifically. Texas' institutions (13 of them) need to be discussed more widely, especially in light of last year's (it's been that long??) Department of Justice report on conditions at the Lubbock State School.
I also hope to share and explore my more personal thoughts on disability. This is inspired mainly by something Kay said at The Gimp Parade and also by Dave's daily posts at Chewing the Fat.
Every single day Dave has good stores from disability ground zero. He inspires me to look for the disability in day to day life and to constantly question my attitudes.
On Blogging Against Disableism Day, Kay said something that really stuck with me:
So where are the self-reflective posts by nondisabled folks about ability, bodily privilege, fear of people with cognitive disabilities, or even angst about becoming impaired? Where is the recognition of participating in and privileging from an ableist culture? If that awareness of personal ableism exists, why doesn't any of it bleed into the comments on my blog or those of my disabled blogger friends except during explosive debates like the Ashley Treatment?
In the spirit of David's openness and in light of Kay's admonition I share a revelation I had.
I had mentioned my friend who sustained a brain injury. He is now at a residential rehabilition ceter. When I visit I often chat with my friend's roommate. He always wishes me safe travels. In saying goodbye to the roommate at the end of my most recent visit, it struck me. If I met this guy say a year earlier without his wheelchair, without speech difficulties, not in rehab, out on the street I would see a tall, bigger, slightly older Black male. He probably would not be eager to talk. I probably would be nervous if he was. We probably would not exchange pleasantries. His disability makes me "safe" and approachable to me.
Hello ableism. Hello racism.
Wheelchair Dancer often talks about the intersections of race and disability. Although I can't find the post, I seem to remember WCD wondering about disability "erasing" race. (My apologies if this isn't the case.) For example, while a person of color might otherwise be viewed suspiciously, when that person has a disability, suspicion often gives way to pity. Their race is overlooked.
Unfortunatly, I can testify, this is true.