I recently read the blog post, “Are You Inspired by That Disabled Person or Shocked They Were Included?” by Crutches & Spice. I have been searching for words to describe exactly what is written in their post. I want to say thank you for writing what I’ve been feeling, but couldn’t find the words to describe how I felt. It’s seen on many TV shows and all throughout the media that if a disabled person shares their talents or decides to do something in an environment where abled people do it every day, that the disabled person is brave. That they’re some sort of pet or cute because they decided to do what they love. When the world uses this type of shock value, what are they really portraying?
Crutches & Spice goes on to write, “when abled people revel in their shock at the accomplishments of disabled people and turn it into inspiration porn, they are speaking to an internalized complicity in maintaining a lack of access for disabled artists and performers.” This quote stuck out to me the most. It’s exactly what I’ve been feeling but couldn’t articulate.
Being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and slowly not being able to walk without assistive devices over the past four years has brought so many new perspectives to me. My views on everyone has changed and made me more aware that everyone is fighting some sort of battle. But when we publicly use someone’s disability as shock value, it’s only showing us how non inclusive we are.
That’s what we should be looking at. Why are we not inclusive as a society? Why is someone trying out for a TV show who happens to be different because of a disability so shocking?
Thank you again Crutches & Spice for helping bring something so important to the forefront.
Here is the link to the post by Crutches & Spice