You are entering the Independence Zone!

That’s right. It’s been a while since the last bonus round, so today you get one.

You might remember that way, way back when this blog was new, I did a post called “Disability Humor: What Are We Really Laughing At?” I took a close look at what passes for disability-related humor in today’s world to find out if it was really funny. Some of it is, and some encourages us to laugh at PWDs, not with them. For example, you might remember some horribly offensive nuggets of humor like, “Why Beer is Better than R-Word People” or “You might have a disability if you get excited over a gadget that lets you wipe your own bum/spend all your time in the hospital/are glad Grandma understands when you wet your pants.”

This type of “humor” perpetuates stereotypes of persons with disabilities as ill, stupid, incontinent, and unpleasant to be around. Just rewriting and revisiting it makes me cringe. However, we could all use humor in our lives, and sometimes living with a disability is funny. Sometimes that’s because the temporarily able-bodied world doesn’t “get it,” or because, as happens for everyone else, things don’t go the way we plan.

So I thought today, I would share with you a list called You Might Live with a Disability If. I have tried to represent several different disabilities and speak to relatable experiences. Some tidbits come from my own experience as well. Here we go:

You Might Live with a Disability If:

  1. You can rattle off the full names for IHP, IEP, and IFSP, and know the differences between them.
  2. You know the difference between an IEP and a 504 Plan, and which one you need/want.
  3. You regularly fight with elderly, yet able-bodied people over parking spaces.
  4. You are tired of explaining to people why they cannot pet your guide dog/service animal.
  5. If you use a laser-guided head mouse or other tech, you have fantasized about setting the laser to “stun.”
  6. Your wheelchair, braces, walker, or cane could be considered weapons of mass destruction.
  7. You regularly pray against the temptation to roll over someone with your wheelchair.
  8. If Deaf, you have ever turned your back or taken out your aid/implant just so that obnoxious person will shut up.
  9. You love cursing at non sign-language speakers, esp. when they think you’re being complimentary.
  10. When you say to a TAB person, “I can’t use a pencil,” you have been asked if you’d like a pen.
  11. You have popped a wheelie while going up or down a curb.
  12. You can spot inspiration porn 5 miles away (your radar is set to “high” from December 1-25).
  13. You love the look people give you when you say you don’t want a cure.
  14. If you hear, “You are such an inspiration” one more time, you are going to scream/potentially maim somebody.
  15. Somebody says, “But you don’t look disabled” and you say, “You’ll blow my cover!”
  16. You know more about universal design than the average architect.
  17. You have used Tourette’s tics for the express purpose of scaring obnoxious people who make fun of/ignore you.
  18. When someone speaks to you verrry slooowlly and LOUDLY or calls you “honey” or “sweetie,” you love to shock them with your knowledge of quantum physics/British Lit/Euclidean geometry.
  19. You tell your VR representative you want to be a professor; he chokes on his coffee.
  20. You say things like, “It’s an autism thing” or “I only look neurotypical.”
  21. You have watched, or participated in, disability simulations and laughed at what the poor TAB suckers got wrong.
  22. You would like to personally punch Dustin Hoffman in the face.
  23. That goes for Clint Eastwood, too.
  24. You own T-shirts with sayings like, “Keep staring, I might do a trick” or “If I throw a stick, will you leave?”
  25. You know those TAB people are underestimating you. It’s okay. They don’t yet know your plans for world domination. (Cue Pinky and the Brain theme music).

I’m open to suggestions for others, so feel free to post them in the comments.

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