While I recognize that Andrew Ridout’s recent piece on campus accessibility brought forth awareness and good intention, the title alone is insensitive and in poor taste to my community’s daily experiences. As he said in the comments, the article does serve as “a catalyst for opening up discussions,” but Ridout’s efforts feel misguided — the physical, emotional and physiological effects of living disabled can’t be exposed by his blisters and exhaustion alone.
My frustration is sacred. You can’t take my pain, feel it for a week, and give it back; because your white male, able-bodied, crip-faced (a term used in the disabled community, of which I am a member, to describe behaving or acting disabled) blisters don’t validate my struggle, and I don’t want to see you smile in your one-week wheelchair.
Diaz is a radio-television-film alumna from the Rio Grande Valley. This was written in response to Andrew Ridout’s Oct. 24 piece titled “Student uses wheelchair for week to test accessibility on campus.” For more of her work, visit www.fashionabled.com.