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Posts Tagged ‘disabled bodies’

img_0849  Growing up within a world that was constructed through the naturalized standards of body movements, I noticed my brother’s body stood out. As he stayed wheelchair bound and I walked beside him as my mother lifted him upstairs I felt this desire to want the world to be more accessible to my brother. With small inconveniences becoming the reason my brother’s nurses refuse to take him out his room, I saw that my brother’s impairment in which he did not cause nor create was what caused the world to seem unfair to him.  Being diagnosed with something as debilitating as cerebral palsy and having infrastructure built off the assumption that you are an able bodied person creates   disability.  Tom Shakesphere, an English sociologist sees disability to be “the disadvantage or restriction of activity caused by a social organization which takes little to no account of people who have physical impairments and thus excludes them from participation in the mainstream of social activities.” This depiction of disability seems to be fairly accurate as places such as college campuses do the bare minimum to ensure that people’s impairments don’t stop from being productivity. For example, on my college campus they provide ramps on extremely steep hills reflecting a lack of thought of those who have to wheel themselves up and down these structures. With non-disabled people creating the structures and tools for those who are disabled it continues the cycle of ignorance. It is easy to understand why disabled people have created (more…)

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This is my last semester of college and I am now going to transition from being a body in academia to a body in the workforce. This is a terrifying new concept because I honestly never became comfortable in academia and now I get to go be uncomfortable in a whole new arena.  (more…)

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I had a conversation with people I was close with about nurses who help disabled people find sexual pleasure. Someone brought up a documentary about the nurses who do this and I offered that I heard a little about it in my Unruly Bodies class. I told them briefly about our section on disabled bodies and the things we’ve discussed in class. (more…)

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For the past seven to eight years I have been dealing with chronic lower back pain. Though this has been an ongoing epidemic in my life for a long time I have never viewed myself as disabled. About a year or so after the pain started I was at my doctor’s office to get a physical done so that I could continue swimming for my high school team. I mentioned to my doctor that I was having pretty intense pain in my lower back and wasn’t exactly sure what was causing it. Without doing any type of further examination he simply suggested that I “work on my posture.” Years go by and the pain increases as well as others starting to notice more and more that I am in pain. I was stretching and slouching more at work and laying on a heating pad more often at home. I am thankful that I have an unreasonably high pain tolerance otherwise the pain I was experiencing would have had a much more negative effect on me and my life. Finally, my mom made me another doctor’s appointment, without my knowledge, and the doctor suggested that I have x-rays done on my back. After the x-rays it turns out that I have scoliosis in my lower back and that has been the cause of my pain. The doctor then suggested that I should try out physical therapy to help with the pain, which I have been doing and has been helping. When I found out that I have scoliosis I was extremely frustrated by this because it is something that I could’ve been working on if the first doctor would’ve taken the time to help me and not just brush off the issue. This has been a lesson for me that people, including medical professionals, can all be guilty of not paying attention to a problem in someone else’s life if it is not physically visible to them and that I need to not let myself be dismissed so easily. It is my body and no one knows better than myself the difference between needing actual medical assistance and simply “working on my posture.”

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What makes a person disabled? (more…)

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