Below the Line: languages of disability

RESPONDING TO:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/06/paralympics-carly-tait-lifeline-car-disability-benefit-cuts#comment-71912516

Around 11am-11:30ish
I appreciate the comments on this thread. But I’d like to suggest that the language typically used to describe disabled people is part of the problem. I know it is meant compassionately, but referring to disabled people as ‘the most vulnerable’ or ‘weakest’ members of society is an inadvertently damning, dismissive and inaccurate understanding. Disabled people have some of the most intractable obstacles, challenges and struggles. Engaging in these struggles is not a signifier of weakness. Some of the obstacles are gross social inequities of access to the means of full social participation and exercise of rights. Some accrue to bodily conditions themselves. Disabled people deserve acknowledgement and respect for our struggles and the extra we have to do to undertake what others may be extensively socially facilitated to do or just take for granted because they can. We are a group that faces increasing discrimination on top of these other challenges. I would like to entreat commenters here and sympathetic journalists and politicians to reconsider the terms of representation. Particularly as from a Tory standpoint, to be ‘vulnerable’ is to be legitimately held in contempt.

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