There is a lot of outrage in our sizable global community of people with disabilities lately. You can read it in a variety of disability blogs, including our own, and see it in various letters to the editors of major newspapers like the New York Times and others.
But that is about it sorry to say. Our feelings, issues, complaints, etc. do not make up much of the content in mainstream media today, nor will they ever, ever, ever. There are a multitude of reasons for this. It is a simple fact. I encourage you to continue to advocate for a bigger piece, better coverage, or a different perspective.
Please believe me when I say I understand all this emotion. I have been a parent of a person with a disability for 24 years and a friend of many others for even longer. If “it” can happen to a person with a disability then I have either experienced “it” through my daughter, seen it, read about it, or heard about it, many, many, many times and expect to do so many, many, many more times before I die. One aspect of the human experience that we share with all our fellow humans is “#*%$ happens.”
Now this does not diminish at all the well articulated and deeply felt responses to the way we are referred to in the New York Times or the way we are ostracized in Florida kindergarten classes, or any of the other public and private degradations that do not make it into the consciousness of mainstream media but to which we and our fellows are subjected every second of every hour of every day of every week, of every month, of every year from before time was measured or history recorded.
These abuses will never cease. No amount of advocating will arrest them. But continue to advocate we must. So please do. But what we absolutely need do is unite. Become a community. Not just join in our coming together to express our outrage, which we must continue to do, knowing it will have both a positive impact but also give rise to an inevitable back lash as well. We must unite in all other ways.
We need to stake out a place in popular culture where we can employ, thus empower ourselves, employ other like-minded individuals, and deliver all variety of archival and ORIGINAL content from our perspective. Our point is and must not be to brow beat, lecture, point fingers, blame, etc. We simply need to create, and by this simple action of employment and creativity, we will have a far greater and longer impact than anything else we do. Let us stop asking others to put us to work and put ourselves to work in television and film. Why? It is any industry in which our country is a world leader, an industry where employment is in high demand, and an industry always in the news, therefore highly visible and lastly it is one that sets trends worldwide. While it would be nice to have a job in a factory, office, or store, how much greater would it be to have one as an evening anchor, sit-com star, or nighttime heartthrob.
There will always be injustice for us though. Why not? There is for everyone else in the world. But maybe with more opportunity and more success and with that the inevitable "better” understanding, there will be less need for outrage.
That is how I see it at [with]tv.