There are many misconceptions and assumptions about disability in society. Some people believe that disabled people are unable to be parents and be in relationships let alone have a partner who is able bodied.
In this blog post I wanted to write about the misconceptions and assumptions disabled women can face. Disabled women may do things differently but this should not prevent us from embracing all aspects of womanhood if we want to.
Below are 5 misconceptions about disabled women that stand out to me, from my own experience and what I’ve heard and seen.
I often get surprising comments and looks when people see that I’m wearing makeup. I have gotten comments in the past which are along the lines of “ I didn’t know disabled women wear makeup”. Just because I’m disabled that doesn’t make me not want to dress up and experiment with looks. A lot of disabled women also love fashion. However for many women the clothing out in mainstream fashion houses are not accessible for us and we may need to shop else wear or make our own clothes. But this doesn’t mean we’re not into fashion in fact a lot of us love it but want the industry to be more diverse which I believe is starting to happen slowly. A big dream of mine is to model for high street clothing brands. Our differences need to be celebrated not hidden . Life would be boring if we were all the same! Disabled women should be able to feel sexy and on trend just like everyone else.
It is sometimes assumed that disabled women can’t have relationships. Dating is the chance to get to know another person, see what you have in common, maybe find love. Being disabled doesn’t stop a person from experiencing this. Sometimes disabled women who have partners others often assumed that their partner is also disabled or the women’s carer.
Disabled people are often seen as needing to dependent on others. Therefore not able to care or be in a motherly role. Their is no rule book on how a family should look. Families come in all different shapes and sizes which is filled with love.
Disabled women still need to be part of the conversation around the topic of women’s rights just as much as able bodied women. We still face the same challenges, stigmas and inequalities that mainstream women face. This is often harder to see as the disability is seen first. All women need to come together regardless of the label’s society gives us.
Their are certain disabilities that are perceived as ones women can’t have. This means these disabilities get undiagnosed, leaving some women unsupported. An example of a disability like this is Autism . Autism is more diagnosed in men than in women. Many women find it hard to get their autism recognised. The National Autistic Society says a possible reason for this is because women “ are often better at masking or camouflaging their difficulties”. However it did say that diagnosing the disability is getting better!
Down Syndrome is another disability which is more common in men than women, Source- disability scoop.
Recently I was having a chat with someone and they were surprised by how I spoke and portrayed myself as they were expecting me to be and act different because I have a disability. So I thought I’d share with you 5 things I want non-disabled people to know from myself as a disabled person.
This post is not meant to cause offence, it is simply done to share my thoughts. I know my thoughts, feelings and options do not relate to everyone in the disabled community. It’s important to remember that no one is the same regardless of if they have a disability or not.
I hope this post is informative and raises awareness of some misconceptions that can be surrounded by disability.
As a disabled person their have been times were I felt that the world was just not made for people with disabilities. Therefore I often face barriers in our everyday life that my peers don’t. This can make me feel excluded in certain aspects of society. It’s important to remember that making adjustments for disabled people is vital and can make a huge difference. These adjustments don’t always have to be “big” it can simply be needing extra time to get off a ride at the theme park.
There are many misconceptions surrounding the subject of disability. One of them being that having a disability can have a negative impact on someone’s life. Don’t get me wrong their have been times when I wished I wasn’t disabled and that I wished I was like everyone else. Maybe I wouldn’t have got extremely badly bullied. However having a disability has helped me think outside the box when problem solving. I wouldn’t have met some of the amazing people and animals I have in my life if I wasn’t disabled I can’t imagine a world without the charities Riding for the Disabled and The Theatre Shed. Also my disability has lead me to opportunities that I believe I would have if I wasn’t disabled for example starting this blog.
People sometimes tell me “ you don’t look disabled” and I know they mean it as a compliment but it doesn’t always come across like that. Sometimes it makes me have thoughts like “ what did you expect me to look like?”. My disability looks invisible so I also get people telling me that I’m “your so lucky your disability is invisible”. However having a disability that is invisible can be hard as people think your stupid and slow but that’s a blog post in its self so I’ll write about it in more depth in a future post.
We may not always share it but disabled people and their family and careers are usually fighting some sort of battle weather it’s to do with education, funding, transport or employment to name a few. We may need adaptations to help us but these don’t take away the barriers we face. Adaptations help us to carry out everyday tasks like everyone else. Funding for people to help us like support workers is also vital as this allows us to be more independent but still safe as we don’t always want to do activities with our parents supporting us 24/7. We want to grow and feel like our peers but with the extra support we may need from someone who is not related to us instead.
Just because someone is disabled that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be happy, achieve things. having goals and ambitions. We may need to do things slightly differently , it might take a bit longer and we may need a bit more support along the way to do what we want to do. But that doesn’t mean we can’t, we will get where we want to be. If you can dream it you can achieve it!