My body is a balancing act, in a number of ways. I want to be independent, but I need to accept help when I can't be. I want to stay upright, but can allow myself to sit down when I'm at risk of hurting myself. I want to keep mobile, but can use Ruby the Chair for this sometimes. And I'll probably keep throwing myself on the floor randomly. You'd all get bored otherwise.
Whenever filling out job applications, you are asked "Do you consider yourself to have a disability?". I've always said no. It turns out I did not of realised what a disability is. Perhaps it is a stigma or just the more obvious public image but when I say disability, my mind immediately goes to the logo on the disabled parking bays or people with special educational needs...
If David Cameron and George Osborne had been born to single parents living in social housing, perhaps they would look at life differently. Fate saw them born to privilege, but instead of softening their hearts, their good fortune has hardened them and fostered a belief that victimising the less fortunate is a viable social and economic policy.
When I was applying for graduate jobs I clearly remember filling in one of the application forms that asked me: do you consider yourself to have a disability? There was a box to tick if you did. I had no idea why they wanted to know and my immediate assumption was that if I ticked the box, they wouldn't want me.
In short, being an individual with disabilities in a world that is not disabled-friendly means living a very limited life. It is clear that there are many have to be done in order to create a disabled-friendly world. A world without obstacles. A world where being disabled do not automatically equate with being disadvantaged.
People with learning disabilities are an important group, who don't often get heard. If anyone does speak for them it's usually well-intentioned professionals or family members. This tends to encourage the false belief that people with learning disabilities are a rather strange and unfortunate group, who need pity and charity. Nothing could be further from the truth.