Whilst writing a piece about sport and overcoming adversity I have become side-tracked on this tangent. Upon thinking extensively, I have realised sport is not the only area people with disabilities face such hardship and in order to overcome this adversity must show strength and courage to succeed. In previous blogs I have stated people with disabilities still have huge hurdles ahead of them in terms of demonstrating what accessibility really means and its application to everyday life. For example, inclusive work spaces would allow the capabilities of all to prevail and with reasonable adjustments to surroundings established careers and a means of contributing towards the economy could be a reality not only for non-disabled employees.
But unfortunately, a lack of visibility and affirmation of disabled individuals in the media and among those in power creates even more unnecessary misery. This deficit guides people into thinking that disabled people can’t be powerful, sexy or in control. Unfortunately, in society today, disability is still deemed undesirable, and disabled people are frequently looked upon as hard work and less sexy in general than their nondisabled peers. With disability, the representation is still woefully inadequate and just as we are no less competent in our fields of work, our body types are no less deserving than our fully functioning peers!!! In order to ensure that all body types know they are valuable, we must begin at the core of what is influencing the wider public or we might start to compare ourselves to media image ideals that are frequently airbrushed and not realistic. Deserving representation that stands alone is a must. Being exposed to more disabled people on public platforms and not shielding them away is at the foundation of how we can alter misconceptions about disabilities and negative body images.
Moreover, visibility influences feelings and if disabled people are only portrayed as weak and sickly, it becomes difficult for a viewer to see them in a positive light. They are powerless, resembling suffering, loss and hindrances. Also disabled characters being played by able-bodied actors, where is the acknowledgement of disabled representation? In 2018, you’d expect social attitudes to be evolving, that the benefits of having a diverse society apparent but in truth a much more refined approach to disability in our society is paramount. Regardless of our disabilities our skillsets are still intact and the government should focus on facilitating these. The benefits of having an assorted,fair society should be recognised with accessible employment opportunities implemented safely and correctly for all. In order to uplift, empower and encourage individuals with chronic illnesses, we must educate and raise our own awareness and only then can encouragement of conversation amongst others happen. Just representation is needed to change the public’s idea of what it means to be sexual, talented and disabled even by society’s flawed standards of beauty.