Wisdom doesn’t flourish impeded by people’s egocentrism. Supremacy reigns unless we fight diligently to educate. Question all that you’ve ingested on a human’s worth. When the rights of abled people take precedence over those of disabled people, our great shame is evident, and we must not consider ourselves a modern, progressive society. I am passionate about disability rights. Disabled people truly strive for, yearn for, and deserve respect and equality.
Respect is not something I have become familiar with so far in my lifetime. People have mistreated, abused, and harmed me. To them I was a substandard human; something to pity or fix. They treated me as if I had a disease, and I internalized that fear and hatred. My mom fought for people to presume competence and treat me as an equal, but few did.
Suffering for years from gravely low expectations my soul barely survived. I try my best not to save people’s doubts about me in my mind now, but find myself fighting to document the hurt and anger I embody. Lasting pain competes for space against rising pride and hope for a drastically improved future for myself and all disabled people.
Being nonspeaking, many people assumed I was nonthinking and nonfeeling. They spoke in front of me like I wasn’t right there, and said atrocious things about me and my mom. Invariably, I was infantilized, situationally excluded, and undervalued. Reviewing the past, and dissecting my experiences, I’ve come to an austere revelation. So long as society equates worth with intellect, disabled lives are in peril.
Kindness aims to signal hopeful messages to tame one’s heart, but insightful knowledge lends itself to impactful progress. Fighting ableism takes unyielding faith that allies listen to the voices of those people with experience. I have an unyielding desire to educate. I ultimately believe drastic change is necessary to harbor respect in our collective heart. Yesterday’s pain fuels tomorrow’s battle. My spirit catches fire, poised to take on the world.
Anything and everything depends on writing and speaking one’s truth and others being willing to listen. People fail disabled folk when they refuse to accept all ways of being human. In a more perfect world agency would be respected, disability rights honored, and brave hearts exalted. I and others have wisdom for a deprived and hostile world. Skilled allies wanted.
- Arresting Ableism; Insight and Experiences of a Nonspeaking Autistic - March 10, 2022