I’m sure The Grammys is going to be the talk of the town for the next day or so. Although I did not watch, I couldn’t help but learn about Stevie Wonder’s push for accessibility for all and his display of using Braille when he read the envelope. Articles like this:
got me thinking about inclusion and full accessibility for all. Charming? Really? He sure wasn’t some type of cute puppet parroting some catchy headline. He was proof discrepancies exist. Now, give me a moment to make my point before my blind or sighted friend’s start chucking virtual styli at me.
While I’m sure it was quite heartwarming to see Stevie up there, reading Braille and advocating for inclusion and accessibility for all, and I realize societal changes move like molasses in the winter, a part of me is frustrated by our current state. I realize blindness is a small incidence population, so we aren’t as visible as other disability groups, however, I don’t wake up every day bemoaning being blind; it’s something that rarely crosses my mind. I know with this next statement I may be living in a fantasy world, but I want to see change happen faster. I want to see more sighted people help to abolish ableism and work side-by-side with the disability community to eradicate stigmas. Props go to all who are taking such steps in their actions and words!
I live and advocate to see the day Braille is seen as commonplace and as important as print is for the sighted.
I live and advocate for the day I am not seen as amazing or special because I’m able to use my cane to independently get around and take care of myself.
I live and advocate for the day I’m not talked to or treated as if I’m a toddler by well-meaning strangers.
I live and advocate to see the day in all states blind parents are able to raise their children without fear of legal interventions being imposed on them solely based on not having sight.
I live and advocate to see the day employers are willing to hire employees with disabilities for the equal contributions job seekers are willing to make.
I live and advocate for the day anyone with a disability is seen for who they are first rather than their secondary limitations.
I live and advocate for the day society is able to see us all as individuals who have been blessed with differing gifts and abilities despite a sensory loss.
I live and advocate for the day anyone with a disability is able to receive fair, equal, respectable treatment by mental health and medical professionals.
I live and advocate for the day when misconceptions promulgated by fear are relinquished.
I live and advocate for the day ableism is a word of our history rather than part of our current struggle.
I live and advocate for the day we are all seen as a “person who happens to be (insert disability).”
This is why I truly believe we have to keep on keeping on with a positive progressive-minded attitude to make change happen. What do you live and advocate for?
Until next time,