Our society is lacking of disability awareness. I’m lucky to be a part of the best school for individuals with disabilities in the nation. Yet, in our country and even some students at this school still aren’t aware of people with disabilities. Some students still don’t know how to behave around people with disabilities like me. It makes me upset that society has not taught them how to treat us properly. I can’t blame them, maybe they just aren’t aware or haven’t been expose to others with disabilities. Ignorance can be attributed to both society and the individuals in it.
The way I know about this ignorance is whenever I have gotten something for free just because I have disability. People see disabilities as something so negative that they feel like they should be extra nice to the individuals that have them. Also, I know of a bar in college where only those that have disabilities get in for free. Furthermore, one day a girl was dancing with me at the bar then she mentioned “I can’t believe you are at the bars! Who is taking care of you? I want you to make it back safe.” That girl was nice but she saw my disability so negative that it was hard for her to believe that I can have fun at bars too. I felt like she was ignorant at knowing how some disabilities work, which I can’t blame when our society doesn’t help that much. I like to think that I’m capable of taking care of myself and I don’t hide in a room. instead, I go around to try to achieve an independent life with all my resources available.
Part of the reason for this disability ignorance is that society has taught others the old medical view of disabilities. This view expresses the disability as something negative that can only be resolved if a cure to the disease is found. The truth is we need to focus on the interactional modern model for disabilities. This model encourages society to see disability as only a difference that derives from the interaction between the individual and society. Plus, the solution to this disability-related problems is change in this interaction. The way to change this interaction is affecting the individuals, an advocates or anyone who can change the arrangements between the individual and society. Yes, a cure would be the ideal solution but changing the arrangements of interaction between the individual and society is in our hands. We are not all doctors or researchers the only thing we can do is donate to research. However, changing the arrangements of interaction is a lot easier than waiting for a cure.
With that interactional model being explained here are many arrangements between the interaction of those with disabilities and society that have been put in place by the government in our nation:
-Every parking lot space for those with disabilities.
-Wheelchair accessible MTD buses that I use to transport at school.
-The amount of hours per week I get covered to pay for personal assistants.
-My cough assist machine and Bi-pap that allow me to keep my lungs strong.
-The power wheelchair that I use to transport everywhere.
-Note takers that help me at school since my hands get too tired of writing.
-Hospital services and/or surgeries.
-Extended time to take exams at school.
All of these arrangements have been able to change the interaction between me and society. Thanks to these arrangements and many more I have been able to attend college at the most accessible school in the world and live on my own like any other 22 year old. Yes, these arrangements have made my disability only a different life style rather than a negative situation.
However, some key arrangements that contribute to the success of those with disabilities may be changed now that a new government has taken over the White House. A few weeks ago, most of the representatives in our country voted for the AHCA. This representatives are threatening my life condition and the lives of all individuals that have disabilities similar to mine by cutting off the financial funds Medicaid gives to people with disabilities. Plus, Donald Trump’s budget that is expected to be unveiled on this Tuesday will include a $800 billion reduction in cuts to Medicaid, confirmed to CNN last Sunday evening by a senior administration official. This Medicaid reduction is assuming that the GOP health care bill that the House passed earlier this month would become law, that official said.
These news are both shocking and disappointing to me. I am who I am because of the help I have received to pay for my expensive power wheelchair, prescriptions, home-based services, cough assist machine, and bi-pap which have allowed me to live longer and have a more independent life. The government funds spend in Medicaid is what makes this country better than others in the disability sense. I’m truly disappointed at the people that have elected these representatives and I don’t see how voting for AHCA or the GOP health care bill can make our America great again. If anything it makes this country more unequal and ignorant. The lives of others with disabilities are worth to be supported and that’s the only message these representatives should be sending to our nation. I wouldn’t be able to graduate from a great school if it wasn’t for the arrangements that Medicaid has helped me pay for.
Therefore, everyone should stand together against this injustice. People with disabilities deserve the right to live and contribute to our society. Every life matters. Let’s stop this form of human genocide. For us with disabilities our mission is to show others the amazing things we are accomplishing through the arrangements given to us through Medicaid and other services. That way others will see our lives are worth living. Plus, in schools at a 12-K level teachers should teach students the transitional view of disabilities so they can support others with disabilities and their special arrangements they need to interact with society. Only then will we eliminate disability ignorance. Lastly, I want to say to all I am a pre-existing condition that is worth to live. Help me and others live life to our fullest potential.