Hey everyone, welcome back.
Let’s talk about awareness. You may, or may not know we have a few coming up over the next few months like the month of June is ‘Carers Week’ and July is ‘Disability Pride’.
You might have very mixed feelings when it comes to all the awareness around disability but every individual awareness month is just as important as the one the month before or after.
You might be a little confused of why people might have mixed feelings, over the amount of awareness shared – it’s easy to understand when you live day in and day out with constant reminders – I am fully aware of my muscular dystrophy every day. I am aware every time I need help getting out of bed each morning or when I need to use the toilet. I am aware of my wheelchair when I encounter an inaccessible space. Its pretty impossible not to be aware of my muscular dystrophy.
That doesn’t mean everyone else is aware, because it would be very naive of anyone to just assume. We go on about society not understanding especially the non-disabled community.
So I found myself wondering, “do we actually need awareness?” My answer is a resounding “Yes.” In my mind, awareness is still hugely important we still have a long road to go before real understanding and acceptance is achieved.
I think that acceptance is a big part of the rooted issues within society.
So let’s rethink how we look at awareness – we are fully aware as we live with our conditions, it’s getting people to be aware of what it means to be a disabled person especially in the world that so often ignores disability?.
Awareness is often talking about issues around disability, that we often like to pretend doesn’t exist?.
We need awareness as we live in a world where people still refuse to admit that ableism exists.
We need awareness because we live in a world where disability is still seen as a fate worse than death.
We need awareness because being disabled is often still looked at as being less than human.
We need awareness because we need that chance to have a platform that allows us to acknowledge that these issues exist.
We need awareness because we need acceptance, but acceptance can’t come without a real conversation about disability issues.
Awareness is a chance to start and continue having conversations. About the lack of access to housing, healthcare and about the unequal employment opportunities and sharing experiences on how we’re treated when it comes to transportation. Making sure people truly understand what it really means to live as a disabled person in this day and age.
Awareness unfortunately is not simulation or just a marathon. It’s much more than that. It’s a chance to end all the excuses of not knowing. And having those taboo conversations we are afraid to have. It’s the chance to make sure that disability issues are and take center stage, that we are not ignored, not forgotten and definitely not patronised.
Real awareness is using our superpower – our story, our experiences so they aren’t seen as epic tragedies, or inspiration porn. Real awareness means understanding that being disabled is a valid way of life, and disabled people deserve the same rights and respect as everybody else. It’s talking about those issues that scare us, and make us uncomfortable. It means addressing inequity, and refusing to ignore the elephant in the room.
We need to make sure that people understand that as disabled people our experience are real and valid, and that we cannot and should not be ignored.
I would love to hear how you feel about awareness? Feel free to leave me a comment.
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