We hear so many annoying and unpleasant things as physically disabled people. Wouldn’t to be nice if we could leap to our feet (or fall out of our chairs) and yell: ‘BINGO!’ This body of literature is so vast and rich, we decided to divide it into categories for easy reference:
These discourses of overcoming disability obscure the nature of disability itself. Disability isn’t a condition external to a person that can be discarded with a cure and left behind. People with disabilities must navigate structures of privilege, definitions of normalcy, and the
internalized superiority of the able-bodied every day. Their development is profoundly shaped by this navigation. Thus disability is a central (although certainly not the only) part of the experience and identity of a person with a disability. Many people with disabilities embrace them because it gives them an outsider’s vantage point and generates innovative perspectives, insights, and opportunities.
In addition to how the inspiration story positions the person with disabilities, notice what the story of inspiration does for the storyteller, for example, when we glorify people who are “willing” to work with special needs kids. For able-bodied people, the telling and retelling of the inspiration story affirms our goodness, benevolence, and superiority. Unfortunately, this sense of superiority results in an arrogance and ignorance that limits our understanding of ourselves and others.