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When We Say Representation Matters, We Mean It

When We Say Representation Matters, We Mean It

The following post is from a Twitter thread you can find here.

Just now: Was waiting for the train. A lil girl was there w mom. Lil girl is in a wheelchair.
G: Hi! I like your wheelchair. No one has to push you?
Me: GM. No. This is a power chair. It has batteries and I move it with this joystick.
G: Oh! Where are you going?

G: Im going to the dr for [reason].
Me: I’m going to work
G: Work? You work? And you go by yourself?
Me: I do!
G: What do you do for work?
Me: I work with a lawyer and one day I will be one.
G: A LAWYER?! Mom I want to be a lawyer!

The convo continued on the train until they got off. I took some things from this:

  1. This child doesnt seem to see disabled people often outside of maybe the hospital and if she does they are with someone;
  2. She also didn’t seem to know disabled people work and do things other than take care of medical things; and
  3. Disability representation in society is lacking (not bc of dis-ppl). Not only was she surprised I work, she was shocked that I work in law.

So, parents of disabled children, do your part ok? Expose your child as much as you can to the idea of dis-ppl as members of society.

I was in middle school before I saw another disabled (visibly at least) person working and being out independently. She was a school social worker. Wheelchair. Car. Just doing her. I didnt see another until I started working at disabled jesus camp years later.

I was already in college before I saw a disabled parent. By the time I graduated, I only knew two. No disabled lawyers until law school. This lack of exposure does something to us. Mentally. Emotionally.


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