Over the Christmas period, my brother-in-law’s brother kindly read this blog and poetry and gave me lovely feedback on everything I write about; allowing readers to get a tiny glimpse into my world as a person and as someone living with a physical disability. Thank you again for your kind words and encouragement!
Later that day I had flashbacks to 95% of my Tafe teachers telling me that I shouldn’t write about my experiences as a person with a disability, I should imagine what it’s like to walk through the grass or on stones. I’m not kidding you! I can still remember sitting there being told that. Twenty years later I wish I could take my wisdom and give them a response like “try to write as a wheelchair user!” That’s just one example of what I was strongly suggested to do. So for a long time that was what I did. (not that I ever tied imagining walking through grass…I just wrote stories about fairies and toys.)
In the past five years, I have seen perceptions of those with disabilities change in society thanks to the likes of Australian Of The Year 2022 Dylan Alcott, funnyman Andrew Hills and his mates on ABC’s The Last Leg and people in the society who speak up about their experiences having a disability. But have things really changed?
The world is in a pandemic…still and here in Australia people with disabilities have been overlooked…once again! Some people living in a house setting alongside others with disabilities are still waiting for third their booster Covid-19 shot! These people are amongst the extremely vulnerable people and if they contract this nasty virus will (and sadly) many have lost their lives. Some disability workers are still waiting for their third booster and/or RAT tests! Hell, Mum and I are still waiting to receive our RAT tests she ordered early last month. Unfortunately, most Australians are in the same position, even schools! So once again, Mum and I are in semi-lockdown for the foreseeable future.
Is this fair? Is this progressive? I had hoped this year I would be able to go to the Melbourne Comedy Festival in March, and later on this year a Diesel gig. But unfortunately, we can’t see these things happening for myself and for others with health problems.