A few months ago I was having a conversation with a close friend an he mentioned as sort of a criticism that if I were asked to list the top five words to describe myself, the top one would be bipolar. I responded by saying that my top adjective is advocate. What I choose to advocate for is disability rights, and so bipolar, as well as CP, happen to fit under that.
This conversation has stuck with me, mainly because looking back on my life I never thought that would have come out of my mouth. So I started thinking, and realized how powerful adjectives are. Adjectives tell us how we think and feel about ourselves, our disabilities, and society, as well as how society thinks and feels about us. Are we poor cripples or a proud crips? Are you artistic, athletic, brainy, funny, spacy, stubborn, or are you autistic? Or both? Is your disability more or less a part of you then your other traits, or equally important? Sometimes it depends on the situation. If you are trying out for a school play, it is most important that you are extroverted. If you are a die hard ADAPTer you probably find your disability so important that you become tough and immovable in your fight for our rights. If you are a paralympian it is equally important that you are both a crip and extremely dedicated.
HOW WE VIEW OURSELVES
Both Emma and Shiloh have written great acrostics that show a balance between their traits and their disability very well. To them it seems as if their disability is just as important as their other traits. They are creative, lovable, cripped, able, annoying, and loud and have cerebral palsy. Greg from Pitt Rehab described himself from A-Z. He is Accessible, bright, credible...Woo from TRANS/VERSE writes a post about embodying your disability. She explains how your body and your disability are one in the same.
I think it's always healthy to be able to laugh at yourself and I think that Blake agrees. He says that disabled people are funny looking.
HOW WE FEEL
Emma, Jacqui, and activevoice are annoyed. Don't EVER touch Emma or Moo's chairs if you come across them. It's rude! And if you come across activevoice and her son, don't ever ask what's wrong with him. The answer is NOTHING. Unless being a loud teen is wrong that is.
In her first contribution to the carnival, Grace Young expresses her frustration at the inaccessibility of her hotel room and other places. I think Glenda would agree with her. She's frustrated because there is never an accessable washroom when she needs one.
DeafMom is excited because she is finally getting her long awaited jetski. Happy birthday Karen! Kara took time out of her busy schedule of planning a wedding and appying for internships to post a very funny conversation that she had with her mom. Tiff is also happy and excited because she finally got off the waiting list for an adapted yoga class after 2 years. Tim is amused at the $387,568 wheelchair that's been advertized here on Disaboom. It has jet perpulsion and goes from 0-300 in 60 secs.
scrappywheels and Martina write about the disability community. scrappywheels writes about how she has become addicted to Disaboom because she can be comfortable here among others with disabilities. Martina discusses the topic of educating kids with disabilities about disability so that they can be knoweldgeable of where they fit into the disability community and become capable of managing their needs/services. You have no idea how much I agree with you Martina.
Disabled Politico writes a post that makes me feel outraged. Andrea Kellly let her 14 year old daughter Daniel die on a maggot infested mattress because she was embarased of her daughters CP. If you're not familiar with Disabled Politico, be sure to check them out. They're my premier source for disability news.
HOW WE ARE VIEWED
Muse writes a post about coming across a woman who had been on TV. She wonders if she should have approached her, but decided not to, as we are all just regular people. In the post she also makes mention to the fact that the government of Israel, just like the US, seems to like to keep crips unemployed.
In possibly the most popular Disaboom post ever, Vicki asks "Why Are Disabled People So Mean?" Be sure to read through the comments. I think I'm responsible for getting people so fired up by discussing my feelings on independance. But it lead to some great discourse.
ON WORDS AND ABLEISM
Glenda agrees with me that the adjectives we use say a lot about how we think and feel.
The Blogs Feminist Philosophers, River of Jordan, Chewing the Fat, and Abnormaldiversity all have great posts on the power of words. Both Danielle from River of Jordan and Dave from Chewing the Fat write about how much adjectives like cripple, retard, and even seemingly harmless words such as little, can hurt a lot. Ettina from Abnormaldiversity writes about words that can hurt all minority groups and wonders if it is possible for discriminatory people to change. Feminest Philosophers give us a well needed warning-- we need to be aware of the potential for miscommunication when using adjectives, metaphors, or any words.
ecrowley reposts an article from Diversity Inc 7 Things Not to Say to a Person with a Disability that illustrates that there is both a right and wrong way to use words. For example, it may be ok to ask someone about their disability, but to reiterate from activevoice, never ask us what is wrong with us. Do you have anything else to add to the list?
Liesl writes a very intellectual post as usual about poverty and the state of the world. She is the most intellectual crip I know.
Who's Planet is it Anyway? writes about John McCain's views on the Community Choice Act. He doesn't support it because he thinks that we cost too much. He isn't the first politician throughout history to think that providing equal rights to minorities is too expensive. If only someone would tell him that all those politicians were wrong and he is too.
Lastly, Bad Cripple writes about how the government of Canada also thinks that people with disabilities are too expensive. A family wishing to immigrate to Nova Scotia was denied entry because of their daughter's rare disability. Apparently we excessive demands on Canada's economy.
And now, here's a treat because you all waited so patiently for me to post. I'm getting this in just under the wire at 11:30pm eastern. I'm home for a few weeks and we only have one computer for 3 people, so I had to do this in pieces throughout the day.
UNPACK YOUR ADJECTIVES by Schoolhouse Rock
Got home from camping last spring.
Saw people, places, and things.
We barely had arrived,
Friends asked us to describe
The people, places, and every last thing.
So we unpacked our adjectives.
I unpacked "frustrating" first.
Reached in and found the word "worst."
Then I picked "soggy" and
Next I picked "foggy" and
Then I was ready to tell them my tale,
'Cause I'd unpacked my adjectives.
Adjectives are words you use to really describe things.
Andy words to carry around.
Days are sunny, or they're rainy.
Boys are dumb or else they're brainy.
Adjectives can show you which way.
Adjectives are often used to help us compare things,
To say how thin, how fat, how short, how tall.
Girls who're tall get taller.
Boys who're small get smaller,
Till one is the tallest and the other's the smallest of all.
We hiked along without care.
Then we ran into a bear!
He was a hairy bear!
He was a scary bear!
We beat a hasty retreat from his lair,
And described him with adjectives!
Turtle: Wow! Boy, that was one big, ugly bear!
You can make even adjectives out of the other parts of speech like
verbs and nouns. All you have to do is tack on an ending like "-ic"
or "-ish" or "-ary." For example: This boy can grow up to be
a huge man, but still have a boyish face. Boy is
a noun, but the ending "-ish" makes it an adjective,
boyish, that describes the huge man's face. Get it?
Next time you go on a trip,
Remember this little tip:
The minute you get back,
They'll ask you this and that.
You can describe people, places, and things.
Simply unpack your adjectives.
You can do it with adjectives.
Tell 'em about it with adjectives.
you can shout it with adjectives.