disability

10 Best Things About Being Disabled

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People often feel sorry for people who are disabled. Whether they are in a wheelchair, they have a limp, and they are blind, etc. and yes. It’s not nice. I am in a wheelchair, and it is hard and can be depressing, but it is not so bad. I have a comfy life with lots of friends and family supporting me, and there are lots of other benefits to life if you are from England, America, and many other countries that have disabled rights. I am going to give a list of the things that offer as much chance for a disabled UK citizen to be happy as it does for anyone without a disability 

1. No queues

I am only made to wait in supermarket queues and sometimes in airport check-in queues or queues to checkout in a shop. Also, sometimes at school, I was made to wait in the line for various things like being weighed and measured or for the school photo. Otherwise, people with a moderate disability can always queue barge and simply walk/wheel through life (from a queuing point of view).

2. Government benefits

I receive a reasonable sum of money from the government, and I don’t have a job! I could live happily, going out, buying myself treats, good food, and even holidays, but I could not support my family with that money as well. I could not take us all on holiday or buy my family treats.

The government would pay for rent for a one-person accommodation that would be suitable for me. I suppose one would expect disabled persons another half to provide the support needed for a family.

3. People with disabilities are especially influential

We have a unique life and get to experience and learn things that a person without disabilities doesn’t. Able people learn and experience things that others don’t. They might know more than a disabled person in certain areas but if, for example, an utterly able body was to travel to Zambia and volunteer at a school and subsequently, a disabled person traveled to Zambia to volunteer at the same school, both of the volunteers would come back with similar information. 

Still, the disabled person would have more interesting knowledge about things such as access, the people (because they stop and help),  flying, the airline, and more. A disabled person can see what it’s like for an able body and they have a disabled bodied perspective.

I have found that in some ways, I am more mature than others my age. Since the age of eighteen, I have not been worried about being left behind or not being invited to a party because I already had accepted that I frequently couldn’t keep up. So I spend my time with older people who have families and don’t go out, partying every weekend. I have always accepted when I’m tired, and I go to bed, and I have accepted myself a lot better than most people my age.

Because I am in a wheelchair and find activity difficult, I often just sit and think or observe or talk. Therefore, I am a master of these trades, and I use my brain more than somebody who is very active. My social skills are quite good, but I do realize this might not be the same for every disabled person, e.g., a mentally disabled person

4. You can give a friend a free pass

I have been to many museums, concerts, and theme parks… and got a friend or two in totally free. On trains, the person traveling with me gets 30% off, and in airports, my friend or family member can go on the fast track with me. As well as my friends not having to pay, they also get treated with respect, and they too can skip the queue almost anywhere. 

When I was at school, there were three or four students who were allowed to use the lift, and I was one of them. And the rule for that was that the friends who were with me were also allowed to use the lift. So as many friends as possible would squeeze in with me, always using me as their excuse. 

It was fun, but the teachers soon changed the rule to only one friend at a time and me in the lift. My friends would fight, playfully as to who would join me in the lift. Also, in the refectory, to get food, everyone wanted help so that they could go first, too. I enjoyed being used as an excuse; it meant I could pay my friends back for their kindness, time, and patience towards me. 

Even now, I get the children here in Zambia to use me as an excuse if they’re late for school, so they don’t get in trouble. Even if you’re in a wheelchair, you can be useful!

5. Disabled people are often respected just for being disabled

No one wants to be a culprit of discrimination, in fact, most people want to be seen as kind and quirky so that it will help a disabled person with no fuss. After they see how different our lives are, they think that we are brave (actually we don’t have a choice). People with a disability who are happy and smile frequently inspire people.  

A general feeling of respect is passed around non-disabled people towards disabled people. I often have men kneeling in front of me, kissing my hands and feet. Men and women want to be around me and help – carry me or my shopping for me, opening doors for me, keeping me company at a party or just staying with me to make sure I’m fine. Sometimes it gets a bit much, but most of the time, I really appreciate it.

6. A disabled person ends up with the best people

Usually, the people who are kind, patient, and giving are the type of people who stick by a disabled friend or lover. The people who can’t bear to be left behind, hate waiting, judge a book by its cover or are selfish, won’t stay friends with a disabled person for long. I am so lucky that I have so many good friends who will stay with me, but whether there are a lot of those types of people often depends on the type of background you are from. 

7. A disabled person can make their friends or family feel good by accepting help from them

One of the most challenging things about being disabled is how you constantly have to ask for or accept help. You know that other people have their own lives and can be very busy with little time to spare – if they do have free time, it is valuable, and you feel guilty for taking their time. For me, with all these thoughts, it is hard to remember that almost anyone loves having the opportunity to help someone else and if they do give some of their valuable time to help, it makes them feel like a good person for the rest of the day. 

When someone can see a disabled person struggling, to make the bed, for example, and offers to help and that person will accept the offer, the other person will not only feel more comfortable but also more saintly. I often apologize (English culture) after asking for or accepting help, and the one who is helping will say something like, ‘don’t be silly’ or, ‘I want to help’. I know sometimes, it’s not true, and really the person is thinking, ‘when can I go…’ or ‘I have so many better things to do with my time’ but generally, people really do mean it.

8. Disabled people can get away with a lot more

The number of times I have wheeled straight past a ticket officer without buying a ticket, whether it’s for a festival, to walk through a beautiful garden or to get a train. I smile and wave at the officer, and he/she smiles and waves back, and that is all. It’s not that easy every time, and I do expect to pay for a ticket, but I do use my disabled charm to its full. 

Many times at school, when I was in trouble, I would use my disability as an excuse, – ‘I’m sorry, I can’t control my laughter because of my condition’, ‘sorry I’m late, the lift wasn’t working’ or, ‘the walk here was too tiring, so I can’t concentrate’. No matter how ludicrous my excuse was, the teachers would always sympathize with me. Also with train tickets, if the ticket man asks for my ticket while I am on the train, I just say, ‘sorry, I didn’t have time to buy a ticket!’ sometimes it’s true. If you’re unlucky enough to have a disability, you might as well use it to your advantage. 

9. A disabled person has an excuse not to do household chores

To be honest, I think I do quite well with household chores. However, there are times when I can’t be bothered to do the washing up, so I ask other people to do it, and no one ever judges me for being lazy. 

When I am staying at my parents’ house, I don’t do much to help at mealtimes like cutting vegetables, laying/clearing the table, washing up, emptying the dishwasher. I use the excuse of not wanting to get in the way or break something when really, I enjoy just sitting back and relaxing. If I leave my room in a mess, people don’t think I’m unhygienic and good for nothing. 

10. Disabled people can inspire others and give them a unique taste of life

A disabled person’s life is nearly never boring. There are too many struggles and too much attention. A day out with a disabled person is different and can be quite adventurous, especially for an able person who has a normal life – go to work at eight, sit at an office desk, break at ten thirty, lunch at twelve, go home at five. Relax, watch television until bedtime. 

And again they do the same thing 5 days a week and at the weekends, they relax, read, watch television, might walk the dog if they have one. It’s true, they can go out to a party or a pub more quickly than a disabled person, and they have fun, but as soon as they spend time with someone who’s in a wheelchair or has another disability, they realize how original it is. 

Yes, some people find it too difficult and sometimes un-enjoyable. Still, a lot of people find themselves having fun and appreciating what a disabled person does (going shopping) and how they do it (ask a stranger for help or try and reach the canned tomatoes on the top shelf with a stick). 

When a friend goes out with me, they learn a lot about how most places are not wheelchair friendly and about how other people look at me and treat me. Or, if they spend time with me at home, they realize there is often little or no time to relax and watch television. By the time I’ve made supper, eaten, done the washing up, bathed, changed into pajamas, it’s all such nonsense that my friends and I just want to go to bed after that!

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Alalia Cardozo
Alalia Cardozo
Alalia Cardozo is a disabled author who writes mainly from experience. She published her first book at the age of 19 and has been writing ever since. Her condition has made her wheelchair-bound but that doesn’t stop her from doing what she wants. After she finished school, she studied at University for one year before traveling through Europe, Sailing across the Atlantic, traveling through India and finally settling down in Zambia. Alalia has written and given presentations about her life and ambitions, raising money for different, charitable programs. She comes from a big, English family who supports her with whatever she does and so does her friends who also help her to be included and to get where she wants to go despite her physical difficulties. Alalia is a blogger and keeps her friends and family updated with photos and non-fictional stories about life in Zambia
Alalia Cardozo
Alalia Cardozo
Alalia Cardozo is a disabled author who writes mainly from experience. She published her first book at the age of 19 and has been writing ever since. Her condition has made her wheelchair-bound but that doesn’t stop her from doing what she wants. After she finished school, she studied at University for one year before traveling through Europe, Sailing across the Atlantic, traveling through India and finally settling down in Zambia. Alalia has written and given presentations about her life and ambitions, raising money for different, charitable programs. She comes from a big, English family who supports her with whatever she does and so does her friends who also help her to be included and to get where she wants to go despite her physical difficulties. Alalia is a blogger and keeps her friends and family updated with photos and non-fictional stories about life in Zambia

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