I started my ‘We Are All Disabled’ blog in order to make connections and begin conversations, with the ultimate aim of changing perceptions of disability, particularly in the light of the COVID crisis.
We are living through unprecedented times, however when I began to write, I had no idea that not only would we still be so affected by the COVID pandemic all these weeks later, but that we would also be seeing such shocking and significant events in the Black Lives Matter movement. Both of which are having a huge impact on so many lives and the world as a whole.
As a disabled person, I am marginalised by society and I can empathise with other minority groups who also face inequalities and prejudices. However I am also white and I understand that therefore I am automatically privileged in many ways.
I have never experienced racial prejudice and fully accept that I can’t know how that feels. However I’m trying my best to understand more by taking the time to learn and discuss these complex issues and see things from other perspectives, rather than just accepting commonly held views.
Of course not everybody will see things through my eyes but I do believe that when people take time to ask questions and acknowledge difference, they become more informed and as a consequence usually more accepting of others. Unfortunately, I think that often people remain ignorant because they are scared of saying or doing the wrong thing.
If we live in fear of making mistakes, how can we ever move forward as a community and as individuals? I for one would much prefer people to ask questions about my disability rather than avoiding my company or feeling awkward around me.
Opening up conversations about equality and prejudice provides an ideal opportunity to examine and question perceptions. It can make us feel very uncomfortable having conversations about things we don’t understand. Nevertheless, it is important not to shy away or bury our heads in the sand, particularly when it comes to such important issues.
These difficult conversations will inform us of others’ realities, which ultimately will help us to grow, learn and do better. As Maya Angelou famously said: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better”.
How are you feeling in light of recent events?
I would be really interested to hear about your personal experiences of prejudice and also any positive thoughts and experiences relating to equality and inclusion.
Please comment below or contact me directly at email@example.com
For anyone interested in further reading I found the following very helpful: