Mar 042017

Yesterday I went to the Meeting Place and I thought I would just put a few reflections on that. They were certainly things circling around my head today.
Yesterday’s discussion on What does it mean to be disabled? was so important to me, and how I entered the room today. Currently having a disability identity crisis, I think I articulated it well yesterday, I don’t identify as being disabled but I have been labeled as disabled. In the social model of disability I am not disabled by my society. In the medical model, yes I have a disability, a doctor diagnosed me and told me my brain did “not work as well as everyone else’s”. Because of the way that I was labeled as disabled, I did identify with being disabled while I was still needing some access requirements and getting help but I don’t think I do now. 

But is disability permanent?
I feel like this is where my crisis comes in. I don’t feel disabled now, but I don’t want to leave the disabled culture or community.  I don’t want to be the “disabled” person for organisations searching for them. There are other people who you are excluding by not providing access and you are not actually changing anything to make it accessible for me. But at the same time I do want to come to disability workshops like this, and get access to things like Meeting Place. Then I feel like a part-time disabled woman which is an idea I don’t particularly like either.

I felt heartily welcomed yesterday at Meeting Place. I was so scared of being outed, of doing something wrong of not belonging. Welcomed in my fear and unknowing, and most importantly I felt accepted. I felt my disability was accepted but also for me almost more importantly was my ability was accepted. 

Belinda said something that stuck with me which was having an invisible disability, she has had to prove her disability while also having to prove her ability.

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