Every day I get myself out there to fight for fair equality. As someone with a disability I don’t like when others treat me differently because I’m a human and at the heart we are all the same. God blessed us all with a pumping heart that has similar emotions and desires. Therefore, when somebody doesn’t get the same treatment it threatens others image right away. For several decades women, Afro-Americans, people with disabilities, poor disadvantage people and among other groups of people have fought to feel equal in all aspects of life. Just like those groups of individuals have fought to break down the barriers of inequality, I am and others are fighting every day through their lives to feel more equal.
Equity is justice in the way others are treated and often times the line of equity gets crossed when we give too much to others that we consider less in the desperate attempt to establish equality. Aristotle, a Greek wise philosopher once said equality should be achieved in relevant ways. This means that we should all focus on achieving equality through justify means and not irrelevant ways in which we help too much in a way that makes it come across as discrimination. Although, extra help is better than no help at all, but still it should be the enough amount.
I have noticed various special treatments in the bars environment. On Facebook I saw a quote that said “kids, drunk people and leggings always speak the truth.” I somewhat do believe that drunk people reflect the way society thinks. All the time random guys and girls buy me drinks as if I was some hot girl because I’m in a wheelchair. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I don’t enjoy free drinks, but I’m sure that if I wasn’t in a wheelchair no one would offer to buy me a drink. If I stick to my point, this is an example of inequality. Although, I must admit that I enjoy getting free drinks.
Weeks ago a guy gave me a sense of the low expectation society still has of those individuals with disabilities. I went with some friends to Joe’s bar on a typical college weekend night where the average student goes out to get some drinks plus rave the crap out of life.
This guy approached me and he said, “I want to buy you a drink man, your awesome! I’m literally so happy that you are out here at the bars.”
Seems like that guy assumed that people with disabilities are always locked in a room. I don’t want to judge him, but I feel that people need to be more aware that we are just like any other young people that want to have a good time too. People like that guy that aren’t familiar with people that have disabilities, find everything that others with disabilities do inspiring because of this sad expectation of us being in a room and not doing anything. I want to make clear that I wasn’t pissed with this guy because he was awesome and I appreciated his kindness. It just made me thought about all of this.
At this other bar that I regularly tend to go, the bouncers always let me in for free and my friends since I’m in a wheelchair. Although that is awesome, I honestly think that this type of treatment is unnecessary. Lately, they only let me in for free and not my friends and I actually like that better because now I know that my friends go with me not just to get in for free, making me feel more like a regular college student.
The right decision for me to do here is to create a change by writing or educating others through my daily life. Every day that I roll through campus at UIUC before going to class by myself, I have my personal assistant put my headphones and shades on me. Later in class, I have to ask random people to help me take those items on and off. I feel at times like I might be annoying others. However, when someone helps me I say “I’m sorry I really appreciate this!” After all, I don’t wear this items only for the swag I do it to encourage a more aware and helpful community one day at a time and also it helps me meet new people.
This goes to those that see every little thing people with disabilities do inspiring, we as people with disabilities, do everything even if it takes the help of others or a different approach to achieve it. That’s what I try to show the random people I ask for a hand. If I want to wear shades like anyone else, I do it even if I need to ask strangers for help. To be honest, we all should help anyone when they needed it. Not only people with disabilities but everyone!
Telling someone that they are awesome for completing the average tasks or being super kind might make some people feel nice. But, sometimes to the disability community it makes us feel as more or a lot less than the rest. I feel that many aspects about disabilities are mainly created by the society rather than the condition itself. Portraying disable individuals as less has made some of these individuals feel more disable when at times they could be more successful than some able-bodied individuals. Not because people with disabilities look different means anything.
According to Dr. Gibson, “Disability can be seen as part of the diverse human continuum of abilities. Some people may be more disabled than others, but often much of this can be attributed to the barriers built into society.”
Therefore, we got to focus on breaking these barriers by not looking at these individuals as heroes or less worth. Those like Martin Luther King that contributed learning into others are heroes, not those just living ordinary lives with a disability. Anyone that decides to influence the lives of others in a way can be a hero, there is no need of a cape or a disability to be one.
As far as my life goes, I have decided to dedicate my life to break down the barriers of inequality by defeating the low expectations of the disable community by achieving a higher education and all my goals like any able-bodied individual. Plus, through social work and my writing I want to encourage a more fairly equal, diverse and loving world like God meant it to be. If along my way I get to influence anyone, I don’t want to do it because I have a disability but because I have developed a passion to do the most positive out of my life.
Overall, let’s all help each other in our society in relevant ways so we can all find our own way of doing anything we desire as equal humans. Helping one another and trying to erase low expectations by proving society wrong with our life examples, are some ways to slowly destroy any kinds of class, racial, ethical, gender and disability inequalities we have built into society.