Saturday, October 23, 2010

Not a problem

It was cold last night, perhaps made colder by the fact that I don't have an accessible thermostat. Of course I could pay to fix that which is my responsibility as a disabled tenant, but I've already had to deal with lots of other issues which cost bundles, so it's a compromise I live with.

Like many other issues of access, it's not a problem until it is.

I think that's why issues of access are often perceived as personal problems, even seen as complaints or gripes, because until you are the one who can't turn the heat on or get into a place or check out a menu that's not in Braille etc. it's not a problem. That's why living with a disability 24/7 is much different than simulating it. During a simulation of being a quadriplegic, someone could just walk over and turn the heat on.

Sometimes when these things happen, I think "Simulate this!" and chuckle.

Lest I be seen as griping or complaining, however, I want to be quick to add that many of the sweetest, most special memories I have involve living with a disability. It may offer a different set of options at times, which society labels as limiting, but it also opens up a huge array of choices and situations I would never have encountered.

That positive side of living with a disability is not often portrayed in movies or the media. This is everyone's loss. I get excited when I read books or see movies showing the joy of living with a disability, celebrating the way people with disabilities live.

On balance, I'll trade a few cold nights for that.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What would it cost for you to get a proper thermostat? I could possibly donate to the tip jar.

Ruth said...

That's very generous of you to even consider doing, but it does come to a bit of money, around $149. The cost of a thermostat I could operate independently is $69.00.Installation would cost approximately $80.00 . I do appreciate you asking.

Take care.

jesse-the-k said...

Precisely so. This my daily interactions ricochet from "supercrip," trying to do the impossible just to be done with it, and generalizing my experience in order to justify access for more than just me.

(In the meantime: polyester fleece is a wonderful thing: light enough to move, impervious to spills, and no annoying seams.)

Ruth said...

Jesse,

::nodding::

Fleece is a wonderful thing :)