A young disabled woman grinning and wearing sunglasses due to light sensitivity while sitting on her walker preparing for the challenges to come. 

Why I am joining the disability march: Disabled individuals face a variety of accusations. We are sometimes labeled as lazy or unmotivated. Some of us are called out as fakers, liars, and thieves. We are thought of as leeches who suck every drop of the money forked over by the good, tax-paying people. Many purport we have a flair for the dramatic. We are also accused of being inspirational and motivational. Our struggles are commodities. People enjoy applauding as we stretch ourselves beyond our limits to perform a task, but they feel uncomfortable stepping in to help when our healthcare is on the chopping block. The reality is that, despite all of these accusations, disabled individuals are people first. While perhaps some of us embody one or more of the previously listed traits, able-bodied people embody some of these traits, too. It is easy to disregard or overlook an abstract concept because most of the time that concept does not provide the full story but rather relies on both the negative and positive ideas that surround it, such as the accusations discussed above. People need to know that disability is not simply an abstract idea. Disability has many faces and emerges in many forms. It is my hope that the disability march will include disabled people who house different ideas, beliefs, values, and experiences. Real people are impacted by the way we communicate, the way we conduct ourselves, and the laws we pass. I hope that the disability march forces anyone who would perform actions that would cause a burden to fall upon the disabled to become acquainted with the very people they are harming.

About me: I’ve always had a passion for social justice, and I earned a degree in Philosophy. I am a traumatic brain injury survivor who is determined to find a way to make a difference in the world. My experience as a disabled person has only reinforced my desire to remain a socially and politically active individual. It is my promise that I will work fervently to be a better advocate and ally.

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