Originally posted on November 14, 2013 to Facebook
I was given 12. I thought I'd do things a little differently because a lot has been on my mind lately in regards to disability. So in the comments section, My 12 Random Thoughts and Views on Disability:
1. If I woke up with the ability to walk independently, the first thing I’d do is run up and down our dirt road to warm up my legs and then trek over and climb T Hill. I hear the view is beautiful.
2. That said, Melanie’s told me she is going to find a way to get me up there one of these days and I believe her. My sisters have always found ways to get me to impossible places.
3. I played Tiny Tim in our high school’s production of A Christmas Carol, and I loved every minute of it! I still remember Ms. V coming to me, prefacing her request with, “Now, you don’t have to do this at all, but I was thinking…” I said yes before she even finished.
4. I think it’s BS that casting directors cast abled-bodied actors in disabled character parts, no matter the disability. I don’t care if you’re Daniel Day Lewis. There are virtually no parts for working actors with disabilities as is. So it always feels like a slap in the face when I find out they’re not disabled in real life.
5. Vince Gilligan, brilliant writer that he is missed a huge opportunity to delve into Walter Jr.’s motivations, desires-anything really. I know it wasn’t his story, but he really was the least developed character and it’s a damn shame because there were so many eyeballs on that show.
6. I’m determined to get at least one of my script ideas written and produced. Even if takes until I’m 90. I’m going to get the disability community’s voice to Hollywood. It’s time we write, produce, direct and act our own stories!
7. I love disability humor, I’d much rather laugh than take things seriously. But context is everything.
8. Heather and I tried to fool our dad that we were the other one once. She got in my chair and I directed her on how to sit just so to get the right look. “Ok, now lean over more, now tilt your head, now put you hands at this angle.” CP bodies have minds of their own, and I wanted it to look just right. Re: #4: If able-bodied actors are going to portray disabled people they should do their due diligence and look the part. : )
(These next ones are more serious)
9. This one is sad in retrospect, but every birthday wish from I’d say 6-11 was a wish for the ability to walk. After that I came to my senses. If I could tell li’l Hil anything it’d be to focus on what you have instead of what you don’t.
10. My first, honest, gut reaction to having a child with a disability would be one of sadness. I’d be sad, not because of her disability, but because I know how this world perceives those with disabilities. Societal and attitudinal barriers abound. It’s a hard road. She’d know from a very young age that she’d always have to work thrice as hard as anyone to be thought of as equal.
11. After the sadness passes, you better believe I’d work my fingers to the bone to give her every opportunity out there that her peers would have. Indeed, that’s why I want to go into public policy, to make this world better for all the little ones coming up behind me.
12. I don’t believe I have a disability because of some divine plan to teach those around me. I have a disability because I was born premature and suffered oxygen loss that affected the part of my brain that controls mobility. It’s pretty straightforward actually. That said, this is the hand I was dealt, and I’m always going to do everything in my power to advocate for those with disabilities who can’t advocate for themselves.