The Social Construct of dis.a.bil.i.ty

The rePurposed Life

Disability. Dis-ability. disAbility. Dis.a.bil.i.ty.

Reclining Man Charcoal sketch by Rose Wolfe

I have a label. It is dis.a.bil.i.ty:an impairment of function. You might think that it doesn’t matter. After all, there is nothing tragic about wheeling around in a wheelchair. You’re right. Until I try to become part of the world around me.

Making the decision to participate in the public arena takescourage. Frequently, people react to my presence with patronization, irritation, intrusive gazes or disregard. In effect, I am marginalized. Garnering the strength to face the pity, hostility, and condescension requires planning and determination on my part. The effort is physically and emotionally
draining. Sometimes, I do not have the fortitudeto face another day wherein not only am I struggling with my impairment, but I am also wrestling with a myriad of social barriers. Even with ADA requirements, society functions with the assumption that everyone is healthy and non-disabled. Although…

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