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Stories of disabled people’s lives

April 18, 2012
A disabled person on an electric scooter in fr...

A disabled person on an electric scooter in front of MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Station on Taiwan Pride 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our society tells stories about murders of disabled people in such a different way that we tell stories about murders of typical people. I want to offer different stories. Stories about mourning the death of a disabled person are important. Stories like the one at the web site below. http://www.notdeadyet.org/docs/mccarron/mccarronphotos.html

 Telling stories about the lives of murdered disabled people can’t be the only option.. Telling stories about disabled individuals’ lives may be another option. However, the stories of disabled people’s lives are often about individual tragedy and/or individual triumph. Stories in which one disabled person is able to “make it” in our society. These stories in and of themselves are not a problem. It is, however, a problem when these tragedy/triumph stories are the only positive stories about disabled people. There is a negative type of story about disabled people that is also a problem. The story about the disabled person who does not ‘deserve’ their disability income or the story about the disabled person who does not ‘deserve’ government funded attendant services. These stories are rarely told in the media likely because people who seek disability income or government funded attendant services rarely do not need them. The public tends to believe that fraudulent rates are 1000 times higher than they actually are. However, the story of fraud is often the story between the lines. (See article below for a British discussion of this.)

One book that I am currently reading tells stories of disabled peoples lives – Racialized Bodies, Disabling Worlds: Storied Lives of Immigrant Muslim Women by Parin Dossa. It is a bit academic but I am enjoying the voices of the women. Do you have any stories of disabled people to share?

 Sheila

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