Friday, November 24, 2017

Part 5. The Absence of Invisible Illness in Accessibility Talks is Problematic

5. The Absence of Invisible Illness in Accessibility Talks is Problematic

Speaking of ineffective, even those who are active disability advocates fail to take into account the intersections of disability with other identities and realities.
Even certain types of disability are pushed to the margins. The most common invisible illnesses spoken of are mental disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, along with the neurodivergent experiences of autistic people.

 But this means that anyone without a popularized chronic illness is marginalized within both media and disability movements.
There are plenty of disabled people saying they wanted to be treated like they’re normal, but for those of us with chronic pain, that’s the opposite of a solution. Treating us like “normal” people, or even other disabled people, will absolutely make things worse.
Recently, I attended a disability festival. It was the most disability-inclusive environment I’d ever been in, with sections for the deaf, those with low vision, those in wheelchairs, and more. Yet even they failed to take chronic pain sufferers into account: the chairs were rigid and hard. I nearly lay down on the floor to relieve the pain those chairs caused.
Until you can experience the pain of sitting, the pain of a breeze, you have no idea what chronic pain can do to a body.


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