Milestones is the theme of the one year anniversary edition of the Disability Blog Carnival. I started thinking about various milestones I've passed in my life and then realized that, for me, the more appropriate meaning of milestones has to do with their use on roads for travelers, to mark where one's journey has gone.
Those of us who either live with a disability, have a loved one who does or have chosen to travel this journey as an ally have all laid down our own markers and we recognize markers when we see them. There is a fellowship that cannot be denied among our community. The Disability Blog Carnival, created with such love by Penny Richards over at DisStudies TempleU, has brought many together and made it so much easier for us to leave markers and find each others' markers.
As a result, we can share our experiences, good and bad, as well as information, resources and opinions. Far too many of us have been exploited for others, whether we're the unwitting subject of an article about us in which we have no say about the content or been put in a situation where we have been told how to act, what to say or even what to believe. Sometimes we've even been used as entertainment for others. It is a very different experience for us to express our realities freely.
Carnivals are full of wonder for kids of all ages and the Disability Blog Carnival is too. Click on any single one and you'll find a world opening up to you that introduces you to people who you'll never forget and wish you could meet. You'll laugh, cry and sometimes even want to send a hug when you read what others have posted. And you always know, as you read their words, that others are just as willing to read yours.
Empowering vehicle, this carnival? You bet. It's not really kid's stuff after all. But that doesn't mean we'll ever lose the wonder of finding or leaving markers for, with and by each other. And I promise one thing: this journey upon which we travel, no matter where it may lead any one of us, never ever has to leave us alone again.
Just keep on reading - you'll find a marker soon.