Skip to content

What is the challenge to having a disability? By Lorre Leon Mendelson

What is the challenge to having a disability?
Lorre Leon Mendelson

April 13, 2015

What is the challenge to having a disability? Nothing. People I’ve met with disabilities don’t view disability as problematic or something to overcome unless told so by others.  We are not brave or courageous by definition of disability. The problem is not social reaction to us, the challenge is reaction to disability. Rather than recognized for our academic, athletic or professional accomplishments; we are celebrated or disparaged for perceived differences.

One person who is blind is often asked, how long have you been blind, can’t you see anything? can you sign your name?  joking about his blindness to him. In a gathering few come over to say hello to him. Why? We believe eyes are the “window to the soul.” What happens when people:
  • Cannot make eye contact to connect with others? Isolation.
  • Cannot access businesses because of steps and are told it it is “grandfathered in” so don’t have to make a change.
  • Disclose a psychiatric diagnosis and treated as pariah’s for fear they will be dangerous.
  • People with intellectually disabilities’ marriage is in the health section instead of wedding announcements.
This is a sampling of the indignities people with disabilities face daily. What can you do to change the forecast? STOP thinking of us as different, less than or more than and your behavior will follow. Check with disability and deaf communities to see what accommodations you will need to provide not if you need to.
Make the dream of the Americans With Disabilities Act a reality.
On April 15th, the ADA Legacy TourBus will be at the Kennedy Center at Vanderbilt at 110 Magnolia Circle for a 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA Legacy Tour will be there from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Tennessee Disability Coalition and the Middle Tennessee Center for Independent Living and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center hope to see you on April 15, 2015!  (April 15) from  1-3 pm at the East Park Community Center on Woodland Street



Lorre Leon Mendelson

Disability Warrior, Educator, Author, Advocate, Artist


3 thoughts on “What is the challenge to having a disability? By Lorre Leon Mendelson Leave a comment

  1. Reblogged this on denverqueen: The Blog of Weirdness and commented:
    As a disabled woman, I’m going to do the Story Corps thing. I have seen many facets of disabled people that you don’t want to see. Some people are bitches, some aren’t. Some just don’t know how to act. Oftentimes, disabled individuals with blindness are sheltered to the point where they must live in sheltered care. It’s really sad. The worst thing about having a disability is that people see you in an incompetence prison cell. I have a boyfriend, also blind, and we want to be married. The thing is that I’d love to marry him, but a guardianship prevents it. I’m in the process of evaluations and stuff to prove that no, I don’t enjoy hurting others, but I do personally take pleasure in the bad guys going to jail. I had to take the MMPI before, and the first time I did, it was invalid because of all the adult questions on there. Things about sex just weren’t right to ask a young girl who had been sheltered too much. My parents also got notice that I would need an attendant in school, would be unemployable. I’m now 28 years old, and the testing picks up on negative views of mother and father. You wonder why.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: