We believed we were supposed to “cope” as best we could. As we talked, we realized the disability itself was not that big a deal for us. We had all learned to accept our physical limitations. What made life difficult was not the disability, but the lack of services and support, the lack of accessibility, the unfair and stereotypical ways in which we were treated, the pity doled out for us all our lives.
Often, after a meeting, I wrote my thoughts down in a notebook. “It’s not my fault that I’m disabled, yet I’ve been made to feel that it is,” I wrote. “My polio never made me unhappy; people made me unhappy. Ever since I was a little girl, people have always made me feel I was no good because I was disabled. From Sicilian women and the nuns to the doctors who couldn’t fix me, to my fellow students and prospective employers… and even my own parents.” As I wrote, my tears fell and stained the pages – tears of anger, of relief and of new hope.
― Nadina LaSpina, Such a Pretty Girl: A Story of Struggle, Empowerment, and Disability Pride
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay