When you are disabled sometimes you hang out with your friends not because you know that activity is going to be incredibly but just to see your friends and hang out. A lot of activities are hard for disabled people and not the same experience as they are for abled people but if we are capabable a lot of the time we still do them to build memories. When you are disabled you can’t avoid everything that is difficult because for some people that would mean literally sitting in your home doing pretty much doing and that would get pretty boring. Some activities have pretty much the same experience whether you are abled or disabled because they aren’t that difficult and we both can enjoy equally and have fun. Abled people sometimes do activities you would think would be fun for disabled people as well but often they are not so in this post I am going to talk about a few things that abled people do that we might also be able to but is not the same.
Travel- Many abled people may love traveling experiencing but for some disabled people it can be very stressful! I love going out of town to see my friends and family but I hate traveling to get there! There are so many things that I worry that many abled people don’t even think about such as when will there be the least amount of people around so I can do my bowel routine and will the hotel I stay be accessible. Many hotels say they are accessible because they probably are by the ADA’s standards but are they really? Not usually spaces are so small I don’t understand how any disabled person can survive in a hotel. I usually can manage because I am pretty independent and can find a way around inaccessibility but a full-time wheelchair user who has less mobility may not be able to and not be able to stay in a hotel for that reason.
Aquatics/Beach- When I go to the beach I stick mostly to tanning because getting in the water and trying to get on a boogie board is just so much work even with help. Having someone there can help me get on there board once I am on it takes all the strength I have to stay on it and often the waves are too strong for me and end up knocking me over which I don’t think is really that fun. When I swim I can only use my upper body so makes swimming in the ocean more difficult since my lower body is pretty much there for the ride. If I wanted to swim and have it somewhat enjoyable I wouldn’t get in the ocean but would get in a pool because at least when I am swimming I have control and don’t feel like I am going to drown. Some people can’t go to the beach because it’s not accessible or get in a pool without assistance like my friend Karly. If Karly wanted to get in a pool it would take a lot of work to get her in so she doesn’t go very often. She can’t float on her back because her body has too many muscle contractions and she can’t lay flat because so she can’t relax her body enough. If you are abled you probably have used a diving board or jumped in a pool at some point in your life, a person with a physical disability most likely can’t do that and just find your excessive splashing annoying!
Theme parks- Theme parks may seem like they would be accessible for disabled people but for many people they are everything but accessible My friend Karly can only go on rides that don’t require transfers and unfortunately almost every ride requires to do a transfer and there are very little things she can do. My friend Karly like to visit Disney because it is more accessible for disabled people than all the other theme but still nothing is perfect and there is still tons of things she can’t do because theme parks don’t make it accessible. I can’t ride anything that goes super fast because it can be difficult to hold my body upright and it triggers migraine attacks. A lot of the people I know do like these types of rides and don’t like to go on slower ones so it can get kind of boring to theme parks when all your doing is waiting in line watching others have fun.
Exercise– I had a friendly debate with someone the other day and they argued with me that people with physical disabilities are not limited to exercise. This the craziest thing I have ever heard and in my opinion just wrong because you are so limited exercise I don’t know why someone would say your not. Some disabilities don’t have many limitations but most people with physical disabilities have all kind of limitation and thinking positive will not change anything. I am all for positive to help you through a situation but when you start telling disabled people that being positive will cure them that is infuriating to me. There is nothing wrong with being disabled and all positive thinking going to do is help you through a difficult situation not mirucouly cure you of your disability. Why was it so wrong to say I am not limited exercise? If I were to do a classic move called a bird-dog where you get on all fours and lift opposite arm and opposite leg at the same time I could lift my arm but not my leg from that position because my hips are dislocated making that impossible. All the meditation in the world will not make it so I can do that move and it’s not from lack of positivity that I can’t do that move but because I don’t have those muscles.
Getting a job– Getting a job is not a fun experience but it is a privilege abled people have. Many disabled people face tons of discrimination by employers and struggle with finding employment because of their disability and some may never be able to find a job. Disabled people constantly are trying to prove they are capable in job interview because employers see our disabilities and think were not capable which is something abled people don’t typically have to worry about. Whether you want to accept this or not disabled people don’t get hired because of their disability and the sad thing is we can have a hunch but can never prove this because employers can just say we weren’t qualified. Abled people might struggle with landing their dream job but usually they can get a job which some disabled people may never get. It’s unfair that disabled people struggle so much and don’t get that chance of working a job because people see our disabilities and are scared of them! Disabled people are just as qualified as your abled employees and you would see that if you would stop judging disabled people based on what you see and give them a chance to prove themselves like you would anyone else.
Getting a massage– A lot of people like massages but for some disabilities it can bring a lot of pain and it is not the same experience. My shunt tubing is in my neck so if you give me a neck massage and don’t have knowledge of my condition you can actually hurt me and I slap you if you try. I am very picky about who I let give me a massage because if you don’t have knowledge in my condition and properly training you can actually do some damage. person and giving them a massage Some disabled people won’t have this problem and will like massages because it will be the same experience for them as it is for abled people but you should always ask before going up to a disabled person and giving them a massage. You just don’t know and it’s always a good ideas to be safe!
Eating out- Don’t get me wrong I love eating out but because of my stoma’s eating out can be so stressful! Sometimes a salad I do good and order a salad which you would think wouldn’t set me off but it doesn’t and then eat chocolate and nothing happens. Sometimes I just don’t understand because it’s all backwards and it should be the other way around. When I am eating out it can cause a lot of anxiety because in my experience when I am having an issue people aren’t nice about it and can’t keep their rude commentary to themselves but always feel like they have to crack some sort of joke that isn’t funny. I don’t get that embarrassed if it’s a few people but expect people to do it and it only bothers me in a large group because a lot of time it’s coming from someone who is very aware I have a chronic condition and can’t control it.. Also eating out can be fun with friends but there is a lot of migraine triggers that it literally terrifies me! Sitting next to the kitchen or even under an airvent can cause a terrible migraine within migraine without air and I don’t like to ask to be moved because restaurant employees typically just think your that annoying customer who is very particularly with their seating.
Shopping- For many abled people shopping can be fun but for most disabled people it can be filled witth a day of inaccessibility and avoiding obstacles. It’s obvious many buisness owners don’t think about disabled people because when we go into stores there are so many things that we can’t reach that abled people can and noone around to help us get it down if we were to want to buy. If people actually cared they would alway have someone around to assist disabled people when they are struggling. Shopping still is fun when you are disabled but not the same experience because there is so much we have to think about and work around that abled people do not.
Sometimes I get sad when I have to watch my sisters do an activity that is fun for them but for me it’s not the same experience if it’s even possible at all. I try not to think to much about everything I can’ t do and get upset over because that is life and pitying myself over things you can not control will only make you unhappy but won’t change anything. There are some activities like getting manicure that some disabled people may not enjoy doing but it’s usually the same experience except sometimes we may end up waiting longer our friend are getting a pedicure we couldn’t get and we are the only ones that got a manicure which usually is much quicker. When you are disabled there will be tons of activities you cannot do with your friends or if you can experience it in the same and that’s okay find new activities that your disability doesn’t suck the fun out of. A disability can take so much from but if you let your friends know when you are having trouble sometimes they will try to make it accessible. Sometimes people are just so oblivious when they are not including disabled people that they need someone to call them out on it. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat out of stuff because my disability made it so I had no choice and usually I will let me carry on without me but if people intentionally not including and there is a way to make it accessible I speak up because you have to or people will see nothing wrong with it and there will be no change. What activities are not the same for you as a disabled person?
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