CN: ABLEIST SLURS – Disability and Community: The Challenge

The differences between different disabilities are so great that grouping all disabled individuals into a ‘disabled community’ is stupid. Physically disabled individuals are very different from mentally disabled individuals. People born disabled are very different from people who became disabled in their old age. The differences are too great for there to be any real ‘community’. – Shawn, a comment writer.

Shawn wrote this comment on the Google+ version of this post – Why disability as identity matters. Please don’t go find and mob them. I just wanted to post it here, though, so as to show the challenges that our movement faces in building solidarity across categories, of pushing the social of disability rather than the medical one.
Here’s another comment, possibly from the same person which I deleted, but have been thinking about for days.

I want to comment on “Why Disability as Identity Matters”. The differences between a blind person and a severely retarded person are great. The differences between someone who was born with a disability caused by a genetic disorder and someone who has become disabled in old age are great. Grouping all disabled people into ‘the Disabled Community” is stupid and possibly harmful. Disabled individuals differ too much from each other for us to identify as a group. I was born with and have always had a physical disability. I do not want to be thought of or treated as if I were retarded.

I’m sorry for this person that they are so filled with loathing, but it’s important, again, to face this kind of sentiment.

The social model of disability, itself now pretty old and being pushed at by various other models, teaches us to rethink disability not in terms of what our bodies and minds can and can’t do, but in terms of the ways that society is structured to permit only certain types of bodies and minds to thrive. That’s where I find the solidarity across disability categories and why I support disability-as-identity movements.

What about you?

Leave a Reply