Friday, September 2, 2016


Sipping my morning coffee and perusing Facebook, I came across this article on Why Has Japan’s Massacre Of Disabled Gone Unnoticed? For Answers, Look To The Past.  Beyond my obvious outrage at the continual silence and ignorance surrounding the oppression of people with disabilities, reading this excerpt below jolted me into creating this blog. I often describe to friends, family, and colleagues my frustration with the social climate surrounding disability. I regularly rant about coverage in the news and on social media, and the misconceptions, miscommunications, and harassment I encounter regularly. As someone who has transitioned from being able-bodied to disabled, I am attuned to the concurrent transition in others' treatment and perceptions. I want to take the opportunity to use my voice, despite the discomfort in such vulnerability, to share my story and perspective of the often silenced and undervalued experience of disability.

From the above article:

“The fact is, most of us will move in and out of disability in our lifetimes, whether we do so through illness, an injury or merely the process of aging.”
Yet, fear of our own vulnerability and of the stigma that accompanies disability leads us to deny this basic truth. It is easier to see the disabled as a faceless population than as individuals who deserve respect, accommodation and opportunities to thrive.

The obvious irony resonates with me; all of us encounter disability at some point in our lives, and yet we are socialized to shame.  Our culture is thankfully beginning to acknowledge the oppression of many marginalized groups (#blacklivesmatter #everydaysexism #yesallwomen), however, disability is often neglected from this conversation. There are few movements of pride within the disabled community. I attribute this to an inherent challenge in establishing empowerment for disability. Even the word "disability" signals differences in capability. By extension, disability creates a hierarchy that so easily translates into individual worth. This shame leads us to hide our disabilities, or hide the people with them.

 Again from this article, describing the response to Japan's mass murder of people with disabilities:  

“There was no hashtag. No public outcry. Not even prayers.”

 I am only  one person, but I offer a hashtag. I cry out. I pray.

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