July 16th, 2012

dr who:everyone is important

disability awareness day chatter and recs

It’s been Disability Awareness Day in my part of the world today. Emphasis on the awareness. It’s okay not to be comfortable around disability, it’s okay to have questions, it’s okay not to know how to ask those questions, but I believe that it’s not okay to ignore anyone and a whole lot worse when sometimes it appears that whole swathes of society don’t even exist.

I was chatting with my Gran the other day about a book that we’d both loved and I mentioned, as part of a discussion, that I believed one of the characters thought that their husband was bipolar or had a mental illness. My Mum said to me later that it wasn’t right to bring that up, because my Gran is apparently bipolar. Now, I knew that she was taking medication for a mental illness and I’d helped her with depression in the past, but I think it would have been useful to have been aware before now. Not that labels help, but my Gran had been given this label and living with it. I once lent her my high school biology textbook, because it’s amazing the things that I take for granted that I’ve been taught, so what might she have been thinking about being called bipolar? My Dad asked why shouldn’t we talk about it and that’s my stance. I think things need to be talked about and aired. Disabilities, be they mental, physical, or otherwise, don’t need to be hushed up. The more open we are, the more we all learn, the better.

So, if anyone would like to talk to me or ask me questions about disabilities: my Gran is bipolar, my sister has Downs Syndrome, I have spent a lot of time with kids and young adults with disabilities, I’ve had a friend with cerebral palsy, a cousin in a wheelchair, and I’ve spent time with people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Personally I just wear glasses and learnt sign language; I’m mostly an outsider and regardless everybody’s experiences are subjective anyway. However, if you want to chat, about your experiences or living with people with disabilities, here’s a chance :)

And this is me, so I’m going to throw some recs at you as well *grins* and feel free to throw recs back:

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