Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Discerning my way after BADD

[Visual description: Photo of a yellow road sign showing a turn to the right at the bottom of a steep rocky hill.]

Yesterday I spent a number of hours reading other blogs that participated in Blogging Against Disablism Day.

First I'd like to thank the Goldfish and Lady Bracknell for all their hard work in putting it on. It was amazing and the collection of posts contains many gems.

This was the first time I'd participated so I didn't really have any expectations. All I knew was that everyone was invited to blog. I found a variety of posts - including one describing the "recoil reaction" over at the Medical Humanities blog which discussed the challenges of able bodied people in looking at people with disabilities.

Steve at Planet of the Blind wrote about the ADA and the Supreme Court. There was a teacher with a disability who wrote about other teachers who say the right thing to students with disabilities, but leave her out socially in Think as I say, not as I do. College kids with disabilities writing about their struggles getting an education. Our institutions are still full of discrimination.

Sr. Edith over at Monastic Musings posted a video about reversing the effects of discrimination -upon an able bodied man trying to get around in a world designed for disabled people. Well worth a watch to see his challenges. And others thought outside the box as well: Wheelchair Dancer's post dealing with many "isms", as in racism and disablism - was fabulous. It made me think hard.

By the end of the day I felt as if I had been on a very long road trip where the journey ended with a sign pointing me to a very unlikely destination. Yet I felt invigorated, not discouraged. I could still see and remember the words of others, some hesitant, others strident written out, spoken out with voice recognition, typed perhaps by others - the words that represent the voices of people with disabilities and those that care for them, with them and about them.

I pictured everyone on their own podium - in wheelchairs, with their guide dogs, signing, shouting, whispering, singing or just looking out at an unseen audience in the blogosphere. Some were with families and friends while others were alone. Some were laughing while others were crying.

And some, like me, were looking up at their own roadsign, discerning their way.

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