Zitat des Tages von Stella Young:
I have a condition that is included among the 200 or so classified as Dwarfism.
The mere suggestion that not speaking for a day can give you an appreciation of the social isolation that comes with the experience of disability, particularly those whose impairments prohibit them from communicating verbally, is insensitive at best.
Disability is often framed, in medical terms, as the ultimate disaster and certainly as a deficit.
The battle to find a workplace that's wheelchair accessible is a feat in itself, let alone an employer who's going to be cool about employing someone with a disability in a job you actually want to do.
I really love filling out forms - quite fortuitous, really, given that as one of Australia's 4 million-ish disabled people, ticking boxes and recording my life for other people is what I've spent a fair chunk of my time doing.
My parents didn't know what to do with me, so they just pretended I was normal, and that worked out quite well for me.
For me, in some ways, my whole life is a bit performative and always has been - because I'm stared at and looked at everywhere I go.
I let go of the notion of wanting someone to ignore the way I look in order to find me attractive, because really, what kind of relationship would that be? One where someone's only attracted to you because they're ignoring a fundamental part of you? No thanks.
It's undeniable that what we are taught as a culture to believe about disability is at odds with traditional notions of masculinity.
We think we know what it's all about; we think that disability is a really simple thing, and we don't expect to see disabled people in our daily lives.
We are a society that treats people with disabilities with condescension and pity, not dignity and respect.
As disabled people, we are taught from a young age that those who are attracted to us are to be regarded with suspicion.
I once choked on a chip at a friend's birthday when I was seven and had to be sent home, as I'd broken my collarbone coughing.
In my own home, where I've been able to create an environment that works for me, I'm hardly disabled at all. I still have an impairment, and there are obviously some very restrictive things about that, but the impact of disability is less.
Yooralla is a people pleaser with a very powerful PR machine.
Disability informs almost every part of my life. It's as important, if not more so, than my gender and sexuality. It's certainly a great deal more important to me than my religion or whether or not I caught a tram, ferry or bus to work.
People are uncomfortable about disability, and so interactions can become unintentionally uncomfortable.
From time to time, people pat me on the head. It happens on public transport, in the supermarket, in bars. It's a common enough occurrence that it very rarely takes me completely by surprise.
I use the term 'disabled people' quite deliberately, because I subscribe to what's called the social model of disability, which tells us that we are more disabled by the society that we live in than by our bodies and our diagnoses.
There are real-world, devastating consequences for disabled women marginalised by the kinds of attitudes that deny them full agency over what happens to their bodies.
When patronised, I'm unfortunately more flight than fight. Perhaps it's because I actually feel quite wounded.
It became very clear to me that Yooralla was not as interested in media coverage that explored issues faced by people with disability as it was in giving a pat on the back to journalists who maintained the status quo by giving readers the warm and fuzzies over their morning paper.
Let's not forget that the Paralympics, just like the Olympics, are built on a rich history.
For me, disability is a physical experience, but it's also a cultural experience and a social experience, and for me, the word 'crip' is the one that best encapsulated all of that.
Even those among us who are lucky enough to love our jobs would have to admit that at least part of the reason we work is to earn money. In between all this work, we like to eat out at restaurants, go on trips, buy nice things, not to mention pay rent and meet the cost of living.
I tend not to think about living to some grand old age. Then again, I don't think about dying, either.
Too often, we fall into the trap of thinking 'equal' means 'the same' and that we achieve equality by treating everyone identically.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that from puberty onwards, the female body is disgusting and unruly and must be tamed, trimmed and tinted to within an inch of its life before it can be allowed to roam freely in the public eye.
Doctors are not fortune tellers, and neither am I. Having lived with disability since birth does not afford me immunity from illness.
I currently live independently without any funded support. I'm educated, and I'm employed. I enjoy paying my taxes and contributing to the economic life of Australia.
In many ways, I'm incredibly lucky to have been born with my impairment and that it's visible. It means my path has been predictable.
I identify very proudly as a disabled woman. I identify with the crip community. I didn't invent the word 'crip'. It's a political ideology I came to in my late teens and early 20s.
The thing about living with any disability is that you adapt; you do what works for you.
The Paralympics have for too long been considered the poor cousin of the Olympics. It's always run after the main games and rarely gets anything like the media coverage.
I went to school, I got good marks, I had a very low key after-school job, and I spent a lot of time watching 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Dawson's Creek.'
In days gone by, short-statured people were not only labelled as ugly, stupid and freakish, they were often owned by aristocrats and treated, at best, as entertainment and, at worst, as pets.