Separate But Equal

bio_dave_hingsburgerI’d done with fiddling, for now.

No doubt I will go at it again tomorrow morning. I’m going to be giving a workshop at NADD here in Niagara Falls.

I’ve been playing with the presentation while looking out my window which directly overlooks the falls.
I’m trying to present first the idea of ‘disability context’ … which simply means realizing that people with disabilities live in a vastly different social world, a world that must be considered in any analysis that considers behaviour or mental health.
That social world can be completely invisible to the non-disabled and as a result, instead of understanding, professionals try to ‘ablesplain’ it away – or worse, lay false claim to it through false, and often very patronizing, equivalency.

I will probably be the only person in the room tomorrow with a visible disability.

I find this part of my presentation to be troublesome.
How do you make something that is deadly serious about the lived experience of disability not sound like whining or griping. Because, as you know, it’s much more than that.

But I’m done with fiddling.

Trouble is, I’ve been thinking about it so much that all I can see is the differences in experiences that others will have at this conference than I will have.

I’m staying at a different hotel because of poor access issues I’ve encountered in the past from the hotel it’s at.

It may have changed, but would you take that chance? So I’m physically separated.

All around me people are walking about.

We went out to go for a stroll and the sidewalks and curb cuts are impassible. We got a few feet and turned back. So I’m physically confined to my room.

The shop in the hotel I’m staying at is across a stretch of deep plush carpet. I made it over and had to turn around. I was too tired to shop.

It’s a different kind of experience.

And that difference matters.


And here is where I’ll stop for now, I have a lovely view.

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