Why do I still feel like a „spoiled princess with annoying special wishes" most of the time I ask or care about the accessibility of a party or a venue? By now, shouldn't I be able to simply ask about it as a matter of course? Shouldn’t I even expect my people to think about it themselves?
I probably have to admit that I’m often not self-confident and strong-minded enough to stand up (ha ha) for my needs. Needs that are by no means „extra wishes“ (I’d be SO happy if I didn't have them), but basic needs so that someone like me can participate in social life with dignity.
Fighting internalized ableism.
Doubts on this subject constantly resonate in my head, sounding like: „Can I really demand that they pay attention to it? Only because of me?“ „Can't I make it through the meeting without having to go to the toilet?“ „Is it really that bad when my boyfriend has to carry me over seven stairs to the venue?“
Actually, these unfortunately widespread thoughts are exactly what brings me into this situation at all. If this topic is forgotten again and again or obviously put on the back burner, is it surprising that I hardly dare to comment on it?
I would LOVE to answer all these questions I ask myself with conviction in a way I would REALLY feel comfortable with, namely: Yes, I can demand that friends pay attention to accessibility – if it’s important to them that I participate. No, I don't have to hold back from going to the bathroom for hours just because other people don't manage to pay attention in advance – I won't participate. And yes, actually it's a lot to expect that stairs are somehow manageable – because at the next event this is expected from us again!
Accessibility is a human right.
If accessibility is still considered an optional luxury in our society, how should I not feel like I’m asking for too much if I have to rely on it? So to some extent society is certainly to blame for my dubious attitude. It’s still a long way until people understand that accessibility is not only „a possible option“, „an annoying burden“ or „too much to ask for“ – it’s a human right.
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