From the Editor
by Vicki Leeper
You are a person with a disability and you fall into a hole…
Doctor: Can you keep a diary of your experience in the hole?
Local Authority: sorry we don’t have enough money for a ladder.
Charity: Here’s a form. Fill it out to get on a waiting list for a ladder.
Family member: What hole?
Another person with a disability: I’m here! I’m on my way down! I’ve been there before. I know how to get out, and I won’t let you do it alone!
It’s very cathartic to meet others who’ve been through similar experiences. It’s almost indescribable, like meeting someone who speaks the same language when you are on a journey far away. Sometimes there are no words for it. People just cry – that’s so uplifting.
And this is exactly what we do at a Center for Independent Living every day. Run by and for people with disabilities, our staff know what it’s like – what you are going through – and can help you find the resources you need to gain control over your life again. Independence is what it is all about.
I’m not sure I’ll ever get tired of trying to understand what people with disabilities go through. I find disability to be fascinating as a concept, much like others are fascinated with culture. The history of people with disabilities, how disability presents itself, what difference means. I enjoy questioning mainstream ideas of disability and I thoroughly disagree with the medical model of disability – that is, that disability is something to cure, that people with disabilities are broken bits of flesh that need fixing. Instead – we are all human!
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