Why You Shouldn’t Call All Disabled People Inspiring

Why You Shouldn’t Call All Disabled People Inspiring

My Rockin Disabled Life

Hi friends, my name is Sarah and I live with a disability called Spina Bifida and have more physical challenges than most people. I am on a mission to help break disability stigma and help you unlearn all the poor disability representation in the media.

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  1. Travis Gottheimer

    100% agree. It can often come off as condescending. People should focus compliments like inspiring on people’s actions, not the way they’ve been born.

  2. Invisibly Me

    A real honest look at this with some really important points to think about. It’s a weird one, isn’t it? I think those with disabilities or chronic illnesses are labelled inspiring just because of what they live with, even though there’s no choice (well, I suppose technically there’s a “choice” to give up but you get what I mean). I know a lot of folks who I would say are inspiring to me, but that’s not based on them having a condition or disability, it’s based on the things they do, the person they are, their outlook on life, etc. Calling someone inspiring can come across poorly sometimes too, like Travis saying about how it can come off as condescending sometimes. I think “you inspire me” can be a little better if the way someone is or something they’re doing has ignited something in you or motivated you in some way, but it shouldn’t be ‘just’ because someone is disabled or ill. Thought-provoking post, Sarah! 🙌 xx

    1. My Rockin Disabled Life

      It is weird how people label all disabled and chronically ill people inspiring for just being disabled because it’s like you said there wasn’t really much of a choice. I know a lot of people like yourself who I would consider inspiring but I don’t solely base that on their disability or sickness and it’s the type of person they are and the impact they have made on others etc that sets inspiring people separate from those who aren’t. It is sad that the word inspiring can come across so poorly because there are inspiring disabled people but since it’s such an overused term it’s often overlooked and not taken seriously!

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