Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Disability Does Not Discriminate

Discrimination and Disability are two words that we often hear in the same sentence. Those words are great mates and seem to go hand-in-hand with each other, like salt and pepper or bacon and eggs.

We are used to it at schools, in the workplaces, and even society in general. Places without wheelchair access or disabled toilets are a wonderful example. There is no need to make room for the seemingly "few" who need it, compared to all of "normal people". Mama Lewis can tell you a story or two about discrimination: from shopping trolleys to child care.

Because having a physical disability is also about competing in death-defying stunts to get places.

Discrimination is as ugly as prejudice, and seems to happen simply because someone is different from you and what you expect all people to be. It can be for many reasons: race, religion, sexuality, age, gender or, yes, disability.

But the weird thing is how much society discriminates against disability, when disability does not discriminate.

I am not talking about people with disabilities. They can surely discriminate, because people can suck. Having a disability is no exception to this, as I talked about in my previous post. But disability itself does not discriminate.

I have heard the expression before, but never fully understood it until recently. I work with a lot of different people who have different disabilities. Of my 5 regular clients, only one has Australian heritage. The rest have heritage from all over the world: Africa, Asia, Europe...

My clients range from children to fully-grown adults. I have male and female clients. I have clients of all different religions and faiths.

Disability does not discriminate. Disability cannot discriminate.

Nobody chooses to have a disability. Disability does not go around and choose people. There are many reasons why people have disabilities, but neither of those are true.

Why do we,as a society, discriminate against disability, when disability is discriminates against nobody?


  1. After I had a child with disabilities and began my Disabilties Studies classes I suddenly became aware of just how true that statement is! The disabled community is truly a diverse community!

    1. Sylvia, I have to drop you a line sometime soon and tell you a story. I was offered work with a client, but I am already very busy. Then my link worker started explaining this client. She sounded so, so like Bethany (her story itself is similar) I felt compelled to say yes to the work. I don't know if I'll get this person as a client but my gosh!

  2. You make excellent points! And PS. I told someone about your blog while I was the disability conference because she's working on research related to aphasia.

    xx Emily

  3. That's incredibly profound. Why discriminate something that is random And indiscriminate?!? I love it!