Disability pride is the pride is within that person. In most cases, you have to earn or pride through your experiences. There are usually differences in where you began to where you are currently. You have to learn to readjust your life and lifestyle. It’s important to disregard people’s opinions about someone in a power chair or that person’s health situation. I think that disability pride is something to be learned from within a person and people around them.
It’s one embracing themselves no matter what the situation. If your life is different or if it started different than everyone else, situations can be difficult. Though I believe times are slowly changing and there are a lot of people out there fighting the good fight for more equality for people that have disabilities, which is a major thing in a lot of areas most of us go through on a day-to-day basis. Having a disability can be hard to be sometimes, but as long as you muscle through it, your disability will always be there and you will always own it.
I’ve been in a power chair now for nine years, and I am still learning how to be prideful of my disability. This makes me stronger mentally in any situation. Granted, we all have our bad days, but if you make it as good as you can in any situation, there’s always a silver lining. There are a lot of good people out there and there’s just a few others out there that do not give consideration for people with disabilities.
Learning, understanding and earning your disability pride is something nobody can take away from you. It helps keep you motivated and keeps you doing what you love to do. No matter the situation, and regardless of anyone’s opinion and potential hurdles that can hinder us, we have to show everybody and the world that we can do just as much as the next person. As long as people with disabilities pursue this, we can only get stronger and grow in numbers, and more positive thinking can come from within our communities. A lot of times, we can change people’s opinions and perspectives too. Sometimes, there are misconceptions about people with disabilities, so other people are scared to talk about it with us. So, we may need to go out of our way to talk to others, if they are that interested in our disabilities and how we live. It is a very humorous way of approaching an awkward situation that can turn out well at the end of the day. Sometimes you never know what might happen. You might inspire the person next to you without ever knowing it, so always stay proud of yourself, keep fighting and take your disability one day at a time. You only get stronger as time pasts.
If you take anything away from this blog, let it be this: if you have the disability pride, keep it strong and nobody can take it away from you. Keep your head held up high in any situation, whether you’re in a power chair, wheelchair or some other mobility device. The stronger person always comes out in a better situation, as hard as it can be sometimes. We are our only advocates. And finally, always appreciate the people around you. They’re proud of you too.
About Jesse Cuellar: Jesse is an artist and a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. An accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, so he uses his mouth to paint and expresses himself through his art. Jesse lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and enjoys painting and hanging out with his friends. Click here to learn more about Jesse.