Blogging Against Disabilism (Doodle)

Blogging Against Disabilism 

[IMAGE] A6 indian ink

What’s this drawing about?

Just lately I can’t walk far or stand for long without getting incredibly fatigued – often meaning I’m ill for days (even weeks) afterwards.  A wheelchair means I can do things  with my family that might otherwise be impossible.

I don’t need a chair to do everything.  It’s about conserving energy to do other things.  In fact with my back ‘disease’ it’s a good idea to get out of the wheelchair and stretch once in a while.

Problem is … once I’m in the chair it’s difficult to get out again.  The only thing holding me back?  Perception.

Getting out of a wheelchair and walking … well, it makes otherwise able people trip and fall over.  Do people think I’m a fraud?  Or a miracle has occurred?

If I’m in a wheelchair I get to play the ‘disabled’ role but must not step out of that social ‘norm’.  If I’m walking and standing (no matter the effort or the personal cost) people’s perception is that I’m able, case-closed (mind closed) and there’s no concessions in the cut and thrust.

There aren’t just two kinds of people – disabled and not.  Sitting in a wheelchair doesn’t make me some disabled-zombie stereotype.  I’m still as complex as I am out of the chair, still as complex and individual as you.

Part of the 2007 Blogging Against Disabilism Day

NB:If the image is cut in half in your browser click on it to open the image properly.


  1. Back when I was well enough to still be walking around a bit, the gasps of strangers when I would get out of my chair would hit me as either incredibly funny or incredibly rude (depending on my mood).

    “There aren’t just two kinds of people – disabled and not. Sitting in a wheelchair doesn’t make me some disabled-zombie stereotype. I’m still as complex as I am out of the chair, still as complex and individual as you.” I LOVE, love love this line. Excellent post!

  2. Thank you for explaining this so succinctly. I have neurological problems due to Sjogren’s – some days I am falling over (I think I need a cane) and other days I am dancing.

    Anyway, I think I get that a) the disease is real and b) it is not black and white. But it is hard to explain.

    I’m not sure I want to.

  3. As a child, once I could walk on crutches or a walker (about 4-5 years old), I was not permitted to go back to a chair. The wear and tear on my body, getting up and down, up and down, for decades, has taken it’s toll. Now, at 50 years old, my shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, elbows are trashed. This was unnecessary or at least could have been PUT OFF until I was much older. Most people with CP describe the same deterioration, made significantly WORSE by demands we act as able-bodied as possible. (If I didn’t learn to walk 24/7, for instance, I wasn’t permitted to attend school.)

    So, we have an example of fear of disability/wheelchairs actually contributing to MORE disability. I think this happens more often than we know.

    Please don’t let this happen to you–walk or sit as MUCH AS YOU DEEM NECESSARY. It’s your body, not theirs.

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