Saturday, May 3, 2008

My BADD 2008

Posts for Blogging Against Disablism Day were due May 1. I signed up but didn't send anything in on time. Ruth (aka Wheelie Catholic) said that was okay. And I don't think Ruth said this simply because I was busy changing bed linens, cleaning the kitchen, scooping Buddy's poop, folding papers into envelopes and then putting stamps on them, vacuuming, emptying all the wastebaskets, setting up the next morning's coffee, and making a liverwurst sandwich for the next day's lunch. Among other things.

For anyone who doesn't already know, I'm Ruth's personal aide and after nearly five years, I cannot imagine my life without her. That's my story and I'm sticking to it, no matter how many observers occasionally cluck and wonder out loud: "why are you still doing this?" "isn't it time for you to move on?" "Easter Seals pays what???" and "can't Ruth find someone else?" I have answers for all these questions, but I can cover those in another post.

I was all set to write something for BADD 2008 from the perspective of an aide. But since I wasn't quite sure what that would be and didn't have time anyway, I decided to do the good Catholic thing and kiss it up to God.

What I needed to write about came to me this morning when I read her post "Lars, the Real Girl and her wheelchair." Please go read it now and then come back here. Or, if that's too burdensome, keep this in mind as you read her post: I watched this delightful movie and sang its praises to Ruth and told her she'd just absolutely love it.

Did I see that the Real Girl was in a wheelchair? Yes, I did. Did it register? Apparently not. So what does that mean? Does that mean that as a personal aide to a woman with quadriplegia wheelchairs have become so normative that I don't see them? I would love it if that was the reason.

Alas, I suspect that what's probably more true is that even as an aide to a woman with quadriplegia, I am not immune to the insidious nature of disablism -- the prejudices (attitudes, beliefs) and discrimination (behaviors) that can make living with a disability hellacious on many levels.

For all that and more I say, "mea culpa" which, ironically, means "my bad."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being part of BADD 2008

    Disablism/ableism is insidious. It can be unintentional and, alas, it can be done vis a vis people with disabilities to each other too. People with disabilities are a diverse group - and quite an interesting lot when you read around the BADD posts, which I encourage everyone to do.


Thanks for your comment and please consider continuing this conversation with me on Twitter and Facebook!