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An Exercise In Futility?

Another blogger in a wheelchair posted her thoughts on what it’d be like to live in 1949.  I re-blogged that post and my own thoughts here. I just wanted to take a moment to expand on those thoughts.

As I read the post I had to remind myself that she was referring to 1949 England.  Wow! I thought. 1949 England sounds like a pretty decent place…until I remember it was still 1949.  The point is that it seemed like the government really made strides to be inclusive of people with disabilities.  I’m not so sure 1949 or even 2013 USA is doing that.  You can disagree all you want to, but until you roll a few miles in my broken chair, that i can’t replace because I don’t have insurance, then please, just sit and listen.

I have in the past to find it incredibly difficult to find employment, I disabled just enough for there to be a need for people to modify things for me to require access, but not so disabled that I am useless to the community, the Disability Discrimination Act or DDA came into force in 1995 and with it a new set of laws designed to incorporate those less fortunate into society and promote equality in this fair land of ours.  In most fields, and with a little help from the 2012 paralimpics things in some areas and in recent times have got better, Employment isn’t one of these. – Four Wheeled Wonder Woman

I agree.  The US is no better.  I have several degrees, am 30 and have so much to offer yet, I cannot make it past the interview stage.  I want to say it’s me!  It can’t be anyone else BUT me!  And I’m right.  It is me, but it isn’t really my fault.  I’ve come to realize that when the hiring manager sees anything that will make them have to modify ANYTHING just a little (be it move a desk or lower some boxes) they immediately take me out of the running.  How else do you explain it? I have proven a contributing member of society.  I have a great education. I have a great resume (full of volunteer positions but, still great).  And yet, after I leave the office and give the final handshake, that is the last I hear from them…ever.  I began wondering what was wrong with me.  What was I doing wrong? Did I not ask the right questions or did I not say the right things? According to many, I do well!

Tiara, honey, everyone is going through that. The economy is bad.  Yes! True! However it is even more difficult for people like me.  Someone told to find an agency that helps disabled people.  I find them and learn they are for those who have a developmental disability.  The original blogger wrote:

As a Disabled child until the age of 18, the support available to you is constant, full on and all consuming, at the age of 18 everything stops and you, as an adult are left to fend for yourself.  Leaving people lonely isolated and unstimulated.

I remember those days.  Sick? Go to the doctor! Insurance will cover it.  Broken wheelchair? No problem, just mosey on down to the hospital and get a new one. Need a program to “get a head?” You got it! And then I turned 17 and graduated high school.  I felt like the kid who aged out of the foster system.

Image

You’re On Your Own, Kid!
photo credit: Tim Sturtridge, 2013

It’s more than that.  It’s the feeling you get when you know you’ve done everything right and still can’t catch a break: not because times are hard, or because someone was just a bit better.  But because someone was just not YOU and that’s it. The EEOC doesn’t say managers have to hire me, it says I have to be given the same opportunity to be hired.  All that means is an interview.

My dream is law school.  I want to be in a position to affect the way my country works.  I also know that it will be a tremendous process.  I’m ready for it.  I just need society to be ready to give me a fair chance.

Until then, I guess everything I do and have done for the advancement of my career and betterment of my life will continue to be an exercise in futility.

But I’m keeping hope alive

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One response »

  1. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this site
    needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more,
    thanks for the info!

    Reply

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