A Rant on Why the Disabled Community Still Need Activism

Hello everybody!

 I’m going to be honest with you guys. As I type this, I am really freaking annoyed and angry. I have been in bed for the last two and a half days. I was supposed to get up today and exercise but instead, I kept sleeping because I could barely move. For the last week and a half, I have been trying to write a very simple column for a girl I know and yet I can’t focus for more than five minutes on it. I don’t even remember the last time I was able to read more than a page without falling asleep. I have no idea how I’m focusing enough to write this. I think my entire energy is just fuelled off anger and a dash of glitter. Either way, here I am writing it.

To be honest, I think this side of having a disability is rarely talked about. People mostly like to speak on what we have achieved or how “inspirational” we are. Never our pitfalls It’s a tough one because a lot of people think that we as a community can’t do anything. When they learn we can do pretty much anything it’s like we can never have a bad day (or week). I’ve lost count of the number of times people close to me have accused me of faking my bad days. Like all of a sudden, my symptoms no longer occur just because I can hold a conversation and work hard.

All of that, of course, is why activism is still so needed. I get that there are 100s of causes to fight for nowadays. I know that many believe that we don’t need that many let alone another one. Heck, I have many people in my life who think that all this activism has already worked. They truly believe that we are all equal and these “extra” movements are unnecessary and pathetic. But the thing is, if I was working an average 9-5 job, I would have run out of sick days a long time ago; and probably have lost the job. I know that most people wouldn’t believe me when I have days off. The truth is, very few believe me now. Even more than that, this fictional 9-5 job is just that, fictional. Most disabled people have to create their own jobs because people won’t hire us. People see the wheelchair, the hearing aid, the guide dog and we’re automatically put in the “incapable” pile.

People need to start listening to us, they need to see us. The truth is, this community is amazing. We’re resourceful, passionate, intelligent, optimistic and sure-as-hell capable. But very few know this, very few see us, and that isn’t okay.

We are human, we are valuable, and we deserve to not be ignored, or treated as a second-class citizens. We deserve to be listened to and not be accused of “faking” or “exaggerating” all because someone doesn’t understand.

I realise that this post has been an entire rant and I apologise. I promise next week will be more fun!

Please look after yourself,

Bethany.

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4 Things I Love About Being a Wheelchair User

Hey everybody,

There are a million great things about being a wheelchair user, so I thought I would share my top four with y’all!

4) Being in a wheelchair in a busy place can be a great asset.

I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve been rushing around and the crowds have dispersed in front of me. It’s like departing the red sea. Admittedly, it’s rare but, when I’m going the opposite way to the crowd it’s fantastic, almost like a super power.

3) Footplates are a Godsend.

Obviously, they are useful for their actual purpose. You know, the whole holding my feet in place thing. However, they are also useful for moving things out of the way. Let’s be honest, 99% of public spaces are littered with chairs, doors, and everything in between. Sometimes it seems like every inch if my path is blocked. I don’t know about you, but I get so grossed out having to touch things that look dirty, especially during flu season. So, instead, I push everything with my footplates, never needing to touch a thing. It’s not a perfect system and sometimes it doesn’t always work but it can be an amazing tool.

2) Other wheelchair users

One of the best times I remember is seeing a little girl’s reaction to me when I was at a shopping centre. She was about ten years old and sat in a wheelchair. Her eyes widened in excitement, with a humongous smile. She could barely catch her breath. I smiled and said hi. It turns out that this girl had never seen anyone who was in a wheelchair before. I remember being in her position, I know what that’s like. Seeing someone that seems the same as you, it gives you hope. It shows you that there is a future, and it can be bright. It’s a wonderful feeling. Even now, when I’m having a bad day with ableism I see the others around me and remember I’m not alone. That we are all in this together and we can change things. That once felt hope returns. After all, hope is the thing with feathers.

1) Wheelchairs and mobility aids are freedom!

Throughout my younger years I ran – well metaphorically ran- away from using my chair. For years and years, I believed the lies I was told about wheelchairs, about me. The ones that tell me to be ashamed, to hide. To walk instead of using my chair because it’s better and easier for those around me. I thought my wheelchair made me even more of a burden than I already was. But now I know I’m not a burden and neither is my chair. There is nothing wrong with having a disability. Being in my chair gives the ability to get around without leaning on others. It gives me independence and reduces my pain. It’s a part of me and gives me confidence in both myself and my body. So, I’ll say it again, wheelchairs are freedom!

Truth be told, I love my body and my disability. I even adore and love my chair. It’s amazing and I’m so thankful for it.

Thank you for reading. Got any other good things about being a wheelchair user? Please leave a comment below!

Until next week, be kind to one another, especially yourself!

See you then,

Bethany

We Are More Than One Thing & So Are Our Careers

Hi Everybody,

Today we’re going to do something a little different. Instead of talking about disabilities I want to discuss another topic, identity.

One of the best pieces of advice that I have ever heard was a simple three words. “Diversify your identity” – Hank Green. It’s a simple bit of advice really, but it’s never talked about.

As a 22-year-old, I and everyone around me are struggling with the classic issues of ‘what to do with my life?’. It’s a tough conundrum that I never think that there’s an answer for it – or at least not a simple one. But it seems to me that it’s the wrong question.

People usually choose their carer based on their identity. For example, one identifies themselves as a writer they often chose to be a novelist or blogger. If your identity is in how smart you are and your love for chemistry, you may choose to be a biochemist. These are all great decisions, but I think what the struggle is the idea that we’re meant to do or be one thing for the rest of our lives. Being a biochemist forever can seem overwhelming and suffocating. That notion is drilled into us from the second we can communicate. It’s one of the first things that people ask to make conversation. Kids always seem to say the classic ‘Rockstar’ or ‘actor’. It’s then that the seed of being one thing forever gets planted. From that second, constantly grows. Cut to now when everyone is freaking out, all because we have to abide by this societal rule. One career type until we die

What no one seems to acknowledge is that there have been teachers who turned into comedians. Actors who have become nurses, and everything in between. See, no matter what everyone claims, humans aren’t designed to live their life with only one goal. You have a goal for right now and see what happens. All of these goals usually revolve around identity.

Most people talk to me for an hour and see that my identity is wrapped up in my disability and writing. However, we as a race are not that simple. My identity also comes from God, being a nerd, psychology, creating projects and a plethora of other things. Right now, my goal is to be a novelist. But in ten years who knows where or what I will be? I may be a teacher, or a disability advocate, or a podcaster, or a scientist. All of the things I do in my life, all the career shifts and different ideas will not be a mistake. They will all be a part of my journey and what I needed at that time.

Identity is flexible but the danger comes from it being based on only one thing. That is where Hank’s quote becomes so important. If my writing career got ripped away from me, it would be horrible. However, I know that I would survive and that my future has options past this writing. I know that who I am is more important than my career. If we diversify our identity, there is so much more out there for us. We deserve to explore that.

Please don’t buy into the lie that one thing defines us. That our career decisions at 18 are the ones we must stick with. Go with your joys and passions. Breathe because there is more to your life than what you see right in front of you. Take it one day at a time.

I hope that you guys didn’t mind me stepping away from the disability topic this week. Thank you for reading.

Please, remember to be kind to yourself and those around you.

Bethany

3 Reasons Disabled People are Necessary to be in the Film Industry

Hello everybody, and welcome!

This week, I thought I would discuss the debate that has swept the internet once again. That debate is, should disabled people be in the Movie Industry? Or even more accurate, should abled-bodied actors should play disabled characters? This debate has been going on for years and years, but people have only started noticing it now. The reason the debate has been brought up again is due to a new movie starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston. Cranston plays a quadriplegic man, which caused an uproar in the disabled community. I decided to let the original calamity of this movie die down before speaking on it. Hopefully, by now, people have been able to take a step back and look at the problem as a whole. Now, this uproar has happened for many movies and TV shows. For example, Me Before You and The Fundamentals of Caring. However, it’s been an argument for all disabled roles played by able-bodied people. What’s different this time is that most abled people were not aware of this until now.

I’m sure most people are scoffing at this by now but stick with me. I understand why you’re rolling your eyes, after all, acting is acting. Aren’t we all going a little too far now? Isn’t being able to play a myriad of characters the point of acting? The truth is, these points are worth considering. As a disabled person, we can’t rule these out without thinking about them. However, these points don’t seem as important to the disabled community when you consider the reasons why we want disabled actors to play disabled roles. So, let’s discuss them.

1) There are a countless number of disabled actors trying to find their ‘breakout’ role.

Let’s be real for a second, there millions of movies with able-bodied starring roles. However, a movie where the main character is disabled is so rare. Hiring an able-bodied person to act the disabled is easy. But hiring a disabled person to play and abled role isn’t possible. If an able-bodied person is hired for the disabled role it takes away a disabled person’s dream chance of breaking into the industry. The only real reason as to why able people are hired is because it’s assumed disabled people can’t keep up. That’s not true though, we can. This means the dream of breaking in is taken away for no real reason.

2) Growing up disabled often means being taught that you will amount to nothing.

Now, I know that heading seems random, but it does fit in, I promise. It is beyond rare to see a disabled person working. You don’t see them on supermarkets, cafes, hairdressers, or pretty much anywhere. This is so common that I saw a guy working at Bunning’s four years ago and I remember everything about the situation because it was that unexpected. When you’re growing up with a disability, you notice this sort of thing. The lack of jobs and disabled people in public. You also hear people talk behind your back about the inability to have a future. That, of course, is if they’re kind enough to hide it. A lot of people aren’t, they tell you that as a disabled person your future will be no career and living with your parents forever. The only sort of career that we’re taught we may be able to do is work in a science lab. In reality, when real life is yelling this at you every day, it kind of burns you and obliterates any hope. So, as a disabled person what do you do? I know what I did, as a child, I would distract myself by reading and watching TV. That was great for a while until their same thoughts invaded my mind. There is no one like me represented anywhere. There were no disabled characters in any TV show or book. Everywhere I looked, I was alone and the only one like me. So, when a movie or two did come out with a disabled person you can imagine my excitement. Seeing someone like me being praised and acknowledged, restored my hope. For a brief moment, I believed that my life could become something, I could do something that mattered. But then it would change back just as quick. The reason for this, of course, is learning that these ‘disabled’ people were really very much abled. It felt like I was being lied to and that people gave me hope only to rip it away again. I realised once again (for the thousandth time) that I wouldn’t be able to chase my dreams.

Of course, now that I have grown, I refuse to give up my dreams, but not everyone can do that. Being taught the lesson of misrepresentation and no future is damaging. I can and does destroy lives. We need to change this, we need to give to the future generations, so they don’t have to feel like I have. We have to break the walls so that people can live better, happier, and hope-filled lives.

3) The repetitive storylines are downright dangerous.

Okay, so this one isn’t about why the actor should be disabled. Instead, it’s more about why disabled people need to be in the industry. Especially, disabled people writing these storylines. Besides a select few roles, (Archie from Glee or Charles Xavier in X-Men), most disabled movies follow the same narrative. That, of course, is this:

A disabled person is depressed about being disabled. Until an abled person comes along and insists that life gets better. They promise that the disabled person can achieve their dream. Then with the abled person’s help, the dream is done. Now that they realise disabilities aren’t ‘worse than death’ they aren’t depressed. How magical right? (That question was HEAVY with the sarcasm by the way). Not only is this storyline played out and pretty boring, but it’s also risky for two reasons.

Firstly, it teaches disabled people that it’s okay to sit around and wait for a ‘saviour’ to fix all. Instead of teaching them that life is worth living even without able people showing you. It never shows that we can make life our own and be happy if we try without waiting for that magic abled person. I truly believe that this plays into the depression rates of the disabled community. The truth is, whether you are disabled or abled you have to choose a better life. I’m not saying that it’s easy or that depression is a choice by any means. I’m saying that you get to choose to try to find a better life for yourself. You choose to ask for help and try to take the needed steps. However, this storyline doesn’t for any of that, it doesn’t allow for the journey or the struggle. It allows us to make excuses to stay in the dark and struggling waiting for someone to save us. Despite the fact that no person can save us except ourselves.

The second reason that this storyline is dangerous is that it teaches abled people to pity us. It tells abled people that we are depressed and need to be treated fragile as opposed to the truth about us. That we are strong, courageous, warriors who don’t need pity. It tells people that we are somehow a shadow of basic humanity that can’t live a normal life. What we need is inclusion and understanding that we are the same as everyone else. Instead of being thought of like people who need doting over us like we’re three years old.

This week’s post has been a bit longer than usual, but it is something very close to my heart. I hope you can now see why disabled people should be in the film industry. Why disabled actors should be chosen to play disabled roles. This is a long battle, but worth fighting, and I hope you’ll fight with me for this one.

Feel free to leave comments with questions on this and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.

Until I see you next, please be kind to one another and to yourself.

Bethany

The Last Year & a Half Nearly Destroyed Me

Hello, my dear readers, 

I hope that 2019 is treating you well! Happy valentines to those who celebrate & have partners! If you don’t, that’s okay, neither do I! Honestly though, boys are overrated so eh. (I would insert that emoji with the sassy girl, but computers don’t work like that. But know that’s what I’m feeling right now!)

Anyway, back on topic, the title if this post seems really intense, I promise it isn’t, try and stick with me. For me, the year has been hectic. I mean on the tenth of January, I literally spent the whole day thinking that we were in May! The ins and outs of my craziness aren’t all that important, right now. To me, what’s important is the fact that it’s currently 12:10 in the morning. My eyes are stinging, and my legs are beginning to swell from exhaustion. Don’t worry, this isn’t cause for panic it happens often for me. However, it’s thoroughly inconvenient. I’m supposed to be up early tomorrow but now I may bail because, if I’m lucky enough to get to sleep, I want to stay in that for as long as I can. 

Why don’t I go to sleep instead of writing this? I hear you ask. Good question, unfortunately, I can’t sleep. A fun side effect of my condition is lots of muscle spasms. All day I’ve been having stomach ones which forces me to be in a constant state of nausea. Also, because I’ve been busy my leg spasms have been more intense than usual. So, instead of going to sleep I’m using a combination of writing this and a Brooklyn Nine-Nine binge to distract me. Before I continue, I must say this, you don’t need to feel sorry for me. I am okay, I am happy, and I love my life. The reason I decided to share this with you is that this is a part of my reality — as is with millions of people. So, today, I’m allowing you into some of the hardest moments of my last two-and-a-bit years.

It all started in November 2016. I was heading into finals for university and studying all hours. That meant lack of sleep and a thousand contemplations of dropping out. (Don’t judge me, we’ve all thought about it at major stress points in all of our degrees). All of this led to me having one of the worst colds of my life. I didn’t think much of it at the time, I knew that I was run down, and I figured that I would do my exams, rest and I would get better. Except, the getting better part never happened. Instead, I got worse. I would sleep almost all day; my body was in a constant state of heaviness and eyes bloodshot. I couldn’t stay awake through lectures, church, movies or anything at all. My pain was at an all-time high, and the doctors were out of solutions. All of this had been brought on by my Cerebral Palsy. My doctor explained it to me like this: for me to do anything it takes three times the energy than an abled person to do the same thing. My body is fighting pain and trying to do normal body functions at the same time. It’s all too much that my body cannot function in the same way as abled people. As to why it happened when it did, who knows? I guess my body had enough of forcing itself to work this hard.

Cut to June 2017, I had started to learn how to manage this new life of oversleeping and pain levels. I was feeling somewhat optimistic about the next few months. Although looking back, that optimism may have actually been denial. I had just graduated from my BA in Psychological Science and landed a part-time job as a receptionist at a psychology clinic. I was lost at the time, I had no idea what my future would be, all I knew was that I didn’t want to work as a psychologist. I had that job for about a month until giving me shifts that suited my physical abilities was too difficult for them, so I had to leave. 

It’s been eighteen months since that job and it’s been hard. I haven’t been able to work and instead I’ve spent my days sleeping, writing, and hoping things will change. Don’t get me wrong there’s been good days. Sometimes, I can be beyond productive, I can see friends, I go and wheel up hills, and write three chapters in an afternoon. But those days are rare. Most days have been me struggling to get out of bed and if I do, I drag my feet around and feel like a zombie. My mind cloudy and unable to process full sentences. It’s made me lose friends who believe that “I’m not trying hard enough” or, “I don’t value their friendship.” Of course, those thoughts weren’t true, but they were not able to believe that. The people who didn’t leave would insist, “I didn’t look sick, so I should be better.” However, that was because I only see people (who don’t live with me) on my good days. No one sees me when I’m in screaming levels of pain and too exhausted to eat.

All of that brings me to now, February of 2019. My health remains the same, as is everything I do (although, I have created an addiction to jigsaw puzzles). However, my mentality has changed. To be honest, I’m bored, I am so freaking bored. Seriously, doing almost nothing for almost two years is mind numbing. So, this year I am taking a terrifying leap. I am going back to university, in two weeks, to study creative writing. This will be my second degree (and I assume it will be easier), but it freaks me out! I have no idea if I will be able to handle it or if my body will completely shut down. I’m doing it online so that it is not as much of a physical strain, but the energy still worries me. Even writing this is a huge struggle for me, my eyes aren’t wanting to stay open and my brain is in a complete fog. All I know is that I have to try something before I go even more insane. I’m not sharing this with you for attention or to be an inspiration, but I am sharing for two reasons.

Reason One: As mentioned before, if you guys are taking precious time out of your day to read this, (and other posts from me) you deserve to know me. It is not fair for me to want you to read things of mine if I’m not going, to be honest. I also believe that for me to make an impact, I have to be raw, and real. Nothing good will come of me lying or being fake.

Reason Two: To highlight that my last eighteen months, is many people’s reality. You often don’t see it or have any idea, but it’s there. If you have a friend who is going through something similar, please be patient. They are trying their best and hoping for a miracle. If they decide to do something but they’re not sure if they are capable, encourage them. Remind them that if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. Please, please, please, be supportive even if you don’t understand it. The truth is, that support could transform everything,

I hope you found this interesting and even eye-opening. 

Until next week, be kind to one another and to yourself.

Bethany

Humanity is Beautiful!

Hello, again my readers,

I’m currently lying on my bed with a thousand thoughts screaming through my mind. The biggest one would be how fragile life is, and how even when we are at our worst there is a glimmer of hope.

Less than a minute ago, I finished reading An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. When I first heard about this book, I thought, “yeah, I’ll read it someday, it sounds cool.” I didn’t have all that high expectations for it. I mean I thought it was going to be good, but I didn’t expect this level of greatness. For context, I’m going to give a quick, spoiler-free blurb. April May stumbles across a super cool sculpture at three a.m., in the middle of New York. April and her friend make a video about it that went viral overnight. The video got so big because that sculpture appeared in every city across the world all at once. The book discusses the highs and lows of gathering fame, but it also deeply examines how humans handle new things and change. Do we see it as a threat or a cause for celebration? Of course, the answer to that question lies deep within each of us and we must decide what path we walk down.

You see, this blog has so far discussed some of the ups and downs of having a disability. But, it wasn’t until I read this book that I remembered how beautifully human each of us are. I like to believe that the majority of people are good who try to do the right thing. We screw up all the time, it’s messy and gross, and sometimes unbearable. But, if you look a little closer, past the goop and dirt, we tend to learn a major thing. The human race is an unstoppable force, who despite everything clings onto hope, even when all seems lost. Because the truth is, hope is powerful and true, it is always worth holding on to.

I know there may be some of you scoffing at this right now. After all, sometimes it feels like the world is in a worse place than ever. Sometimes it seems as if the whole world is fighting with snakes, and that venom is engulfing us all. We quickly forget that humans are incredible! But now, as I take a step back and look at the world. I focus on all of the people who make it up, not just the ones with the loudest voices. Those screams seem like it’s everyone, but it isn’t.

Let’s look at some of humanity’s goodness. Today alone 360,000 babies are being born. The people that will continue to shape the earth and do some good in it. Novelists are typing their debut novels hoping that someone will read it and find a reason to keep on going. Engineers are working on getting more accurate prosthetics for amputees. Med students are currently putting in thousands of hours’ worth of study so that they can help someone, someday. Communities are getting bigger and stronger, providing someone with a home. Allowing that person to wake up and not be alone. Thousands are giving to charity to help causes everywhere. People are aiming to end poverty and getting children education. They are all out there trying to get to the bigger, better picture inside of their beautiful minds. All over the world, people are learning, and working toward making the world a nicer, kinder place. One that sucks a little less today than it did yesterday. I know it can feel like these people are the minority, but it’s not. They are the majority, it’s just we are often squirrelling away in our rooms being quiet. As opposed to the horrors of the human race who seem to want to scream the loudest. But here’s the thing, Bigger volume does not equal a greater population.

Towards the end of the novel, Hank writes that humanity is beautiful. It’s a simple thought and so profoundly true. The fight continues, but we continue it together. Leaning on one another and discovering the steps hand in hand until the day comes where the fight had ended. The day will come, and strides will happen, I have faith in us as a race. Let’s be magnificent.

Hank, thank you for writing not only an incredible book but one that reminded me of all the good we are and have to offer.

Readers, I’ll talk to you next week, be kind to yourself and those around you.

Bethany

The Two Models of Disability

Hello readers!


I can’t believe that the first month of the year has already come and gone! How time flies, but also wasn’t it 2015 like three-seconds ago?


Anyway, here’s a little-known fact about me: A few years ago, I studied a degree in Psychological Science. After I finished, I realised that I would go insane if I stayed in that field. However, that wasn’t before I grow a complete love science and research. Both of those is what brings today’s blog to you. I’m going to discuss the two models of disability. Meaning that a whole lot of scientists and researchers got together to discuss the best definition of disabilities. As well as, what we can do to fix it. Both of these models have very basic premises, but once we look a little deeper there’s a lot more involved.


Theory One: The Medical Model of Disability


This model states that one is disabled due to their impairment or illness (Disability Nottinghamshire, 2019). Sounds pretty obvious right? As a part of that, the model goes on to discuss that the “problem” or disability must be fixed. It is irrelevant if the impairment doesn’t cause illness or pain, it must be made better (Disability Nottinghamshire, 2019). The model itself assumes four things:

1. That the problem is the person with the disability

2. The disability makes it near impossible for the person to make good life decisions.

3. These people will need professionals to look after them

4. If the problem cannot be fixed, the person will never be equal to abled people. (ANON, 2019).


Don’t get me wrong, I am 100% for medical intervention when it comes to disabilities. Medications, surges, and physiotherapy have improved my life by tenfold. However, there comes a line, where medical interventions need to stop. In fact, the majority of my doctors no longer have ideas about solving my pain. Disabilities are far and wide, and humanity doesn’t know all that much about them. I cannot count the number of times a doctor has said to me, “I don’t know if an intervention will work.” Followed by, let’s see what happens and work from there”. I’m not blaming doctors or holding any anger towards them. They are doing the best they can with the information given. Unfortunately, science isn’t as fast as disabilities. However, I am so grateful to those who put time and effort into trying to expel the mysteries of it all.


It should be noted that those four assumptions aren’t accurate to reality. First of all, the “problem” with my life isn’t me. It is merely the fact that my legs don’t work. This whole theory degrades the people it’s about. It attempts to take away our humanity and treat us as objects. Except that we are people who are intelligent, kind, and matter, not a trinket that sits on your bedside table. It also fails to acknowledge that disabilities are about personal experiences, which brings us to the second theory.


Theory Two: The Social Model of Disability


This one takes the idea that the disability of a person is caused by how society is organised. Opposing the medical model, by saying disabilities aren’t about the impairment (Disability Nottinghamshire, 2019). This is to say that the way society treats us, is where our biggest struggles are. The theory claims that if the societal structures were changed to include us as equal members of society we could live independent, high-functioning lives. Therefore, this theory aims to remove barriers showing that disabled people are normal (Barnes & Mercer, 2008). This theory does make sense in regard to how the disabled manage to function in the world. For example, if I knew I would be easily able to get around everywhere, my anxiety would be much less. The same goes for equality with getting jobs. With the stigma of disabilities, it’s beyond difficult to get jobs or even interviews for the jobs. Dispelling the societal structures and barriers that have been put into place will dramatically improve thousands of lives. We would be given some freedom, being able to take comfort in the knowledge that we are accepted by the world.


However, saying all of that the social model has some major problems. The biggest one being that this theory insists that the only way disabilities can be acknowledged is through social change. It ignores the fact that our impairments can have a dramatic and extreme effect on our lifestyle. If this isn’t considered properly it can do some serious damage when we need medical attention. Another criticism has been that the model defines injury and illness by the consequences of it in everyday life. As well as, the way society reacts to it. As opposed to the impact the disability had on oneself. This can often exclude people with cognitive disabilities. Or impairments that fluctuate from almost crippling to a better day. All in all, the biggest issues with the social model is that it separates the body from society. Refusing to acknowledge that the two are intertwined (Owens, 2014).


The medical model and the social model of disability are the only theories about the understanding of disabilities. Both of them need updating and tweaking. However, people tend to lean more towards one theory than the other. I subscribe more to the social model than the medical. What you deem to be the most accurate is up to you. Although, I do think that there is a middle ground between the two, instead of being such polar opposites. For now, we will continue fighting and learning. We will push through these barriers and get all the medical help possible. We will continue to live our amazing life without apology. Then one day the world may catch up to us, they may have another theory, or perhaps give us the acceptance we deserve. Either way, that day will be glorious!


Until then, be kind to yourself and those around you, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey.


Bethany

References:

ANON (2019). Retrieved from http://www.wecanandmustdobetter.org/files/5914/2626/5339/Models_of_disability.pdf

Barnes, C., & Mercer, G. (2008). Disability (pp. 1-13). Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Owens, J. (2014). Exploring the critiques of the social model of disability: the transformative possibility of Arendt’s notion of power. Sociology Of Health & Illness37, 385-403. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12199

Social Model vs Medical Model of disability – Disability Nottinghamshire. (2019). Retrieved from http://www.disabilitynottinghamshire.org.uk/about/social-model-vs-medical-model-of-disability/