Saturday, April 30, 2011

BADD 2011. The fights we fight

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2011

I'm in the middle of 2 battles right now. 2 battles that should not need fighting.

One, I am a one woman anti strobe light league. People have them on the fronts of their bikes, and have told me that they are willing to take that risk because epileptic people cannot drive. It's not their call. Fighting to get flash photography banned at a place I go frequently-the red eye reducer is a strobe light just so you know-has taken the better part of a year and the start of a petition to DOJ. It also took me having 2 severe seizure clusters at the venue because of flash photography and a so called professional photographer aggressively strobing in my face and nearly hitting a friend of mine. Pictures are not more important than my health.

Then there's the restaurant with a strobe light outside, who told me that they aren't the only ones in town with a light and to get a life instead of telling them that they are hurting people. And there are the parking garages with strobe lights. There are the red lights and the school busses, all strobing. Because according to the real people out there, I DON'T MATTER.

I have been told that if strobe lights are dangerous to me I should stay in my house. They are fucking everywhere. NO. It is my world too.

Then there's a fight for access at school. I'm socially different, whoopie shit, and a teacher cannot handle that. It will eventually be covered in full here, but currently there are a lot of legal things going on and I don't think they go on the internet right now.

But this guy heard the word autism and suggested a yoga class and that I cannot evaluate risk because I am autistic. He has alternatingly ignored me and harrassed me for the whole term, because I am autistic. He has coerced the staff at the facility we use into harrassing me, because I am autistic.

He has bullied me via himself, the dean of the school, and disability services, because I am autistic. He is trying to bully me out of his class because I am autistic. Not because I am incapable, but because I am autistic.

The people who are supposed to be my advocates, Disability Services, are giving what he says more weight, because I am autistic. The dean is listening to him and talking down to me, because I am autistic. They are telling me again that who I am is enough reason to discriminate against me even though they have a policy against that. They are doing this, too, because I am autistic.

They will probably get away with it, because I am autistic.

They will fight for each other, but no one fights for us. I am tired of fighting, but I keep doing it because it's fight or die, and I am not dead yet.


Carl Thompson said...

Great post and blog! You can read mine for BADD2011 here if you like:

Martha said...

I'm sorry you have sucky professors. I didn't know strobe lights could cause problems; I hope someone can come up with alternative lights so you are safe too.

Neurodivergent K said...

...I am always so baffled when people say they didn't know strobe lights could cause problems for people with epilepsy. I know I grew up with it, but still, it's on every video game box and every attraction at places with attractions, "Warning: Strobe lights. May cause epileptic seizure".

Wheelchair Dancer said...

Hang in there. Everytime you advocate for yourself, you create a better world for others.

good luck.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry you have to fight so hard, that we all have to fight so hard.

Yeah, I don't have epilepsy and I learned that strobes could trigger seizers eons ago. There was even an episode on The Simpsons about it when I was a teenager!

They also can trigger migraines, which has happened to me. Death to strobes. And I hope that teacher gets schooled.

I appreciated this post.

Never That Easy said...

It's horrible that you have to keep fighting, that people think so little of you (us) that they feel entitled to treat you (and other PWD) this way. I'm sorry. And I wish it weren't this way.