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Things People With Disabilities Wish You Knew

Things People With Disabilities Wish You Knew
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    - I so often hear people send the message
    like thank God that's not me when they see
    someone with a disability or like
    thank God that's not me or my kid.
    And that's sending the message that
    disability is equal to someone who is less than
    or broken or incomplete and that's not the case.
    (upbeat music)
    - I have Cerebral Palsy.
    It affects me pretty much from the hips down
    and also just like fine motor control and things like that.
    - So I have Tourette Syndrome which is
    a neurological disorder which means I do
    movements and noises that I can't control.
    - I have Cerebral Palsy as well left Hemiparesis
    and Nystagmus which means that my whole
    left side is weaker than my rights.
    - I have a very aggressive form for Lupus.
    And I have a blood clotting disorder associated
    with my Lupus and four years ago I had a clot in my foot.
    And then this happened and over eight months
    and 11 surgeries, this was the end.
    (upbeat music)
    - I...
    love having Tourette's.
    I love that I'm four foot, seven.
    I love my obsessive compulsive disorder.
    And I think that's the case that many of us
    have embraced our disabilities.
    - I've had my disabilities since I was born
    and it's a part me.
    - My brain is quick and witty and wildly inappropriate.
    And it also has Tourette's and at some point
    I decided not to just love parts of my brain.
    (upbeat music)
    A lot of times I see kids staring at me.
    That's OK with me.
    - I welcome it, kids are curious.
    - But what I struggle with is when a parent
    shushes them or quickly pulls them in the other direction.
    - When a child is hustled away from a person
    or hushed, it stigmatizes even just asking the question.
    - Because kids then associate disability
    with feeling ashamed.
    - If they've never seen anything like this before
    they're gonna look and if they questions let them ask.
    There's nothing wrong with that.
    - So instead I hope that parents say things like:
    How cool that we all move differently
    and walk differently and talk differently.
    More than just like normalizing disability
    but celebrating it.
    We date, people with disabilities date!
    And not always other people with disabilities.
    - Just because I have I disability doesn't
    mean I have to be paired with somebody with a disability.
    - Direct message to everyone in my life
    but if you're gonna set me up on a blind date
    please have more criteria than
    this guy also has a disability.
    (upbeat music)
    - Not every single person with a disability
    is in a wheelchair.
    I am not in a wheelchair.
    I've never been in a wheelchair.
    (upbeat music)
    - If one more person calls me an inspiration
    after just meeting me, I'm gonna burn your house down.
    - We aren't inherently inspirational or brave
    because we are disabled.
    We're just kind of the idea that people
    think about what when they say that.
    - It's OK to call me an inspiration once you know me.
    Or know something about me.
    But genetics does not make me an inspiration.
    Let me earn that word.
    - There are people who are actually doing
    amazing, brave things out there.
    Whether they have a disability or not.
    - But it comes across to a disabled person as:
    wow I'm so happy that I'm not in your shoes.
    (upbeat music)
    - I get a lot of strangers trying to help me.
    Up the steps by grabbing my arm or my waste or something.
    And that's extremely inappropriate.
    - You can say hey do you need some help?
    Rather than just either forcing my chair or ignoring me.
    (upbeat music)
    It took me awhile to actually call myself
    a person with a disability.
    But I'm a person first.
    Being an amputee is secondary.
    - I rather have somebody say I'm a person with a disability
    rather than being disabled because of the
    whole control and ownership issue.
    - I hear differently abled.
    The word is disability.
    - They used to call myself like differently abled
    and some people didn't like that.
    And I'm just like, but I am different
    and their like no you're not
    and it took me awhile to actually see
    that I was using very able-bodied terms.
    - It should be a descriptor.
    Just like I'm right-handed, I have a disability.
    (upbeat music)
    When we're talking about disabilities I hear
    the word that we wanna be accommodating, which is great.
    Or we're working on tolerance.
    Nobody wants to just be tolerated.
    Like I tolerated those three years my sister
    was learning to play the trombone.
    I tolerate going to the dentist.
    None of these things are things I like,
    they're things I tolerate
    because I know that I have to deal with.
    So there's such an important step in communities
    between opening the door to somebody with a disability
    and like embracing them
    and building a community with them in mind.
    (upbeat music)
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