Saturday, 2 March 2013

The Vanity of Disability

One of my friends has trouble with speaking. When she was very little, her parents discovered she had hearing difficulties. Rather than trying a hearing aid, which had more promise of helping her hear, they opted for letting the child walk around unble to hear. The reason for this was not that they couldn't get my friend an aid, it's that their child would look different from others. They denied the child the right to hear properly (which is crucial in developing speech) for vanity. You can only imagine how hard it is for her now.

I always wondered what would have happened if my parents tried to hide my disability. I bet they would make me wear trousers and long dresses all the time so no one could see my knees. And I probably would have worse arthritis because it would be ignored. That is, if I would be let out of the house at all due to my limp.

The world is a cruel place. For some people, home is an understanding sanctuary. For others, it's where the cruelty begins unfortunately. Although my disability is 'hidden', the effects of it are obvious at times. And yes, people do stare at times. It's true that some people don't accept difference. That's why we must embrace differences; ALL people have the right to take care of themselves, whether it be through a hearing aid or through needing assistance sometimes. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think it's better to take care of a problem right away than to let it grow and become a larger challenge later.

Thanks to Grace, who shared her story with me and helped in the writing of this post.

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