Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Stereotypes: The Last Disability Barrier

The ADA has been in effect long enough for an entire generation to grow up in a world where accessibility has, in many respects, broken down the physical barriers that had been a hinderance to so many before. So does that mean the average wheelchair user has nothing to worry about? Well, not really. There is still a barrier that still needs to be broken down in order to for the wheelchair user and it is not physical: it is social.

There are many attitudinal and stereotypes that can hold back anyone with disability. The notion that disabled people cannot have sex or that we only want to date others like ourselves is popular and assumed by many in society. Even when it comes to children, the idea that we should not conceive, since it can pass the condition onto our children, is something that borders on a discrimination not of race or creed, but by ability. Contrary to many preconceived perceptions, many people with disabilities can have sex and are open to dating anyone, disability or otherwise. And when it comes to a family, who would not want that?

Society needs to be more understanding and educated when it comes to people with disabilities and, likewise, disabled people need to be more understanding that people with disabilities can be intimidating. Some of the greatest and most driven people are disabled; we possess many qualities that are desirable to anyone (and have posted previously about), disabled or otherwise. We are more open-minded than most people. We cannot pretend to be someone who we are not which seems to be prevalent these days. We tend to be more sensitive and caring since we have gone through much more than anyone. And lastly, we cherish life more than anyone and do everything possible to make the most of it. So for all you disabled people who feel that they are better off not trying to look for love, keep trying. We have many qualities that no one else has but are looking for so badly. Show the world how great you are!!

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