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amazing luxury that able-bodied people do not know they have. Every time I’m going out anywhere, one of my first questions is always related to the bathroom – where it is, how big it is. I do not have a weird obsession with toilets. If I’m going somewhere where using the bathroom would be difficult, or flat out impossible, I need to know be- forehand. It doesn’t stop me from doing things; if I only went places where I could use the bathroom without issue, I would have no life. I limit my fluid intake when I have to. It isn’t torture, or even an inconve- nience. It’s a fact of life. I am lucky though that if I am in dire straits, my friends step up – even the guys.

4. Transportation can be a headache: Having a disability, it’s not always so easy to hop on the bus or subway or even grab a cab. Using designated wheelchair transit usually requires pre-booking and it does not travel one foot outside of designated city limits. Real, honest- to-God spontaneity when you have a disability is a rare occurrence. See above, re: able-bodied friends and why I love them.

3. Wheelchair parking permits: Not a perk, a necessity. Again, I’m lucky to be small and light. With a little help, my friends and family can afford to park anywhere and we all manage. I have no patience for peo- ple who park in wheelchair spots without a permit. Once, I was out with a babysitter and someone was parked in a wheelchair spot illegal- ly. She wrote on their windshield with her lipstick. That ain’t coming off with windshield wiper fluid.

2. I don’t pay attention to how my way of doing things compares: I’ve never really considered myself to be an inventive problem-solver. I’m a person with a disability, con- stantly adapting to an inaccessible

world. How I get things done is sec- ond nature; this is the only reality I know. Sometimes I don’t realize how unusual my reality can be, until an able-bodied person watches me in awe.

1.Privacy is a luxury: While getting a tattoo (one of several, all strategically placed to be no one’s business but mine) the artist asked if I was excited to show people. I said I wasn’t planning on showing anyone; I wasn’t going to make a point of showing it off. He was perplexed at my answer. I said, “Okay, I’m going to be blunt. A lot of people see me in various states of undress and countless compromising positions, never for the fun reasons. I need a lot of help with things that are private and personal, so my body art is in places where as few people as possible will see it unless I choose to show them.” Most of what I need help with are things no one wants a hands-on audience for. Wish it wasn’t so, but that’s the way it is.

Submitted by Barb

“ The other thing most people don’t realize is that having a disability is expensive.”

Submitted by Kathy

“ This is so accurate. My son is 45 and has spastic quad cerebral palsy. We sometimes forget how difficult the easiest things are for someone who has a disability. Thank you for this post.”

More blogs at www.disability and throughout the DT Network.


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