Disability “perks” an oxymoron

By | 2017-01-13T20:43:05+00:00 May 16th, 2013|
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5064205170_ec670c4767_mAll this talk about families cutting in line at Disney has gotten me thinking. Families are either hiring a person who uses a wheelchair or milking a family member’s pseudo-injury to the nth degree so they can go on twice as many rides in one day. Ok. Whatever. It’s getting old having able-bodied people covet our so-called “perks.”

I don’t care where I go, NYC, Texas, Seattle, LA, people all over tend to believe there are a few definite perks to our situations. While it’s hard to deny that these small benefits are nice in the moment, they don’t make up for even 1% of what we’ve lost because of our disability.

Accessible parking: Accessible parking is the number one perk the able-bodied masses salivate for. Free and/or really close parking to wherever you’re going – can’t be beat. Our tags our stolen from our cars, some of us have even had our plates stolen. Why don’t you steal my disability too? I’ll totally trade. I can teach you the catheterization-part too free of charge. And btw, don’t you get tired of able-bodied people taking our spaces whenever possible? No, this is not a perk.

You can be lazy: A unbelievable line that has been spoken to us by children to old people alike – your disability permits you to be lazy. Really? I’ve always thought this to be one of the most suffocating things -not being able to get up and you know….move. No sorry to say, but getting away with not clearing the table or always having a chair wherever you go or being able to “go zoom zoom zoom” (commonly quipped by the kiddos), are not perks.

Free money: Disability (SSI/SSDI) is how many people with disabilities live. Unemployment among people with disabilities is sadly, even in 2013, a common thing. Many of us need this money, and we’re not buying lobster and champagne with it either. We’re using it to buy the right pair of shoes for our footrest that costs $80 or to pay for the co-pay on a dozen or so meds or to pay rent. Being limited employment-wise because of our physical limitations does not make a “perk,” no siree.

And this brings me to the “perk” of cutting in line at Disney. I can see why it looks like a perk. It was great skipping the 20 minute line on the Raiders of the Lost Ark ride at Disney Land, but nearly falling out of the ride because I couldn’t hold my legs in quickly negated that little satisfaction. Disability is never cool kiddos, don’t do it.

You know, if there waiss one true perk of being disabled, it has got to be this (and this is something I’ve enjoyed for many years now since my injury; although at first it was difficult) – you get to see people for you they really are. A filter, if you will; a disability makes a great douche-bag filter.

What true perks do you think your disability gives you? Would you hire yourself to families at Disney?