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You still don’t see me, not really.You know I exist.Yet, I am never fully visible.

You are glad I am not your problem to deal with.You are glad you don’t have to deal with all that is involved with someone like me.You run to hold that door when you are not within close range.You go out of your way to smile asking me how my day is.You are quick to comfort me.You think you safely assume I don’t understand the world around me so you can speak whatever under your breath and I won’t notice


To you, I am a burden.To you, I am too much to deal with.To you, I am weak and unable, the one you must help, guide, correct.To you, my life is one of struggle and suffering.To you, you see a life that could never possibly be happy or worth living.To you, I am a drain on the system.To you, I am less.I am not human.A useless piece of junk that you turn away from.You wish I would hide so you don’t have to face me.This is your world.How dare I disrupt it.

Do you even pause to consider me?Nope.Forget being asked how I may feel or what I may think.It’s much easier to just control the situation.It’s much easier if you tell me what to think, how to feel, and to anticipate what my wants and needs are.

Dare I try to speak? Hell No.I must let you rescue and protect me.You know better.You know what’s best.You know what’s right.You are ABLE.

I belong to an exclusive club that all may become a part of. The club welcomes all no matter what.This exclusive club is different than any other club. This club is one that once you belong there is no way out. In this club, we are not connected by color, identity or orientation, shared thoughts, or beliefs whether or not we are spiritual or religious. The connection shared here is the one thing that forever makes us different from the rest of the world and the one thing we have in common.

We roam among you having you insisting on providing hidden spaces just for us. You talk about accepting differences, representation, and being inclusive of ALL. It’s obvious you truly don’t know what that means. When you talk about inclusion you are talking about including those that are like yourself. You want to include the able people and still disregard me.

I am white. Just like you.I am black. Just like you.I am a Christian. Just like you.I am, Non-Christian. Just like you.I am trans. Just like you.I am gay. Just like you.I am a lesbian. Just like you.I am pro-life. Just like you.I am pro-choice. Just like you.I am Italian. Just like you.I am French. Just like you.I am English. Just like you.But, I am also disabled.That changes everything.

To see a representation of myself means seeing someone in a wheelchair or scooter. To see a representation of myself means seeing someone using, crutches, a walker, a cane. I am mobility impaired.

To see a representation of myself means seeing someone with a prosthetic limb. I am an Amputee.To see a representation of myself means seeing a guide dog user, someone being guided using a sighted guide, or seeing someone using a white cane. I am blind.To see a representation of myself means there are visual cues. It means using sign language or technology to communicate with me. I am deaf/hard of hearing.

When a white person attempts to represent someone in the black community we question whether or not it is appropriate. When a black person wants something or someone that white people have and adapts it to themselves we call that deserving of seeing themselves. When a disabled person wants representation we label it a liability issue. What I get to see is able people “playing at” being me. None of it is right or fair and someone always ends up hurt.

Your version of inclusion is different from mine. It doesn’t include me. For me to be included:

Every space needs to be larger to accommodate moving in a wheelchair.

Doorways and hallways need to be wider.

Bathrooms and stalls need to be larger.

Things need to be on tables low enough for me to reach and high enough that my knees can fit under.

All paths must be clear of any obstacles as this traps me and I am unable to move, may get injured, or fall. I am mobility impaired and my safety is at stake.

I require things in audio format. I require a larger text that is easier to see. I require an alternate color paper to prevent glare and light sensitivity. I am blind

All materials must be captioned or provided in a text version. I require visual signals and sign language or lip reading. I am deaf.

There are so many things I need in order to be able to take part, NOT just to feel included or prevent me from feeling left out. For me, inclusion is a must. It is a NEED. It is NOT something that should be taken lightly and is something that has a long way to go. It never should be something that is mocked.

The connection and bond of disability is complex. There is always a twinge of survivor guilt when I have survived something that a fellow person with a disability has not. There is always a sense of loss and grief that comes with hearing about someone that has lost their life when they are younger, around the same age, or has a similar disability to my own. There is always a battle with anger when an injustice has been done to a fellow person with a disability.

I don’t stop to think “oh that person is black so they aren’t like me” because THEY ARE.

I don’t stop to think “oh that person as gay, trans, lesbian and I’m not so it’s different.” IT ISN’T.

I don’t stop to think “oh that person isn’t a Christian so they are evil or they are a Christian and I’m not so they don’t matter.” IT MATTERS.

I won’t mention all of these things to toot my own horn or attempt to come across as better than anyone else. I merely want to point out that I am deeply impacted by something that many have the privilege of never having to understand. For you, there has to be some level of personal connection to a situation or a person to feel an impact. I hope the pain I know is something you never have to face.

All there is left to do is sit here on Planet Alien waiting for the world to catch up to what I need to belong in order to be a part of the human race because you have made it perfectly clear and painfully obvious that you aren’t ready yet.

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