Saturday, August 28, 2010

Disabled Advocates, Unworthy?

I've been thinking about somethings that have been said about advocates who are disabled recently. Comments that suggest an advocate isn't worthy of being called an advocate if they are on disability such as SSD.

First let me address this myth: SSD is NOT welfare. Social Security Disability is based on what you pay into it through out your working life. That's right, in order to have SSD in the first place, you have to have WORKED in your life. You have to have held actual JOBS. I didn't get to be on SSD because I whizzed my life away. I got hurt. It happens to lots of good people.

Now there was a comment about people on SSD not being allowed to use their funds for donations or luxuries. Well, first, they don't give you enough money in the month to live in any kind of "luxury" or to afford "luxuries" as most people would see them. So that's counterproductive right there. It just doesn't happen. If I could live in luxury, I wouldn't be on SSD. How much do luxuries cost? What kind of luxuries are we talking about? Should people on SSD just live as hermits and never go out of the house? Should they be grounded in life from going to the county fair or movies? See? Ridiculous.

As for making donations to causes, they have every much the right to make a five dollar donation to a cause as anyone. And if the SSD funds is really that much of a sore spot, consider this: People on SSD are actually allowed to hold a JOB! Yep, there is a limitation of hours and pay amount before we start losing benefits, but it is allowed for us to work. That means we are allowed to make some of our own money we can do what we please with.

Now let's get to the idea, from a quote I saw, that suggested that disabled people are not worthy of being advocates. Well why not? Let me give you a special word for this attitude; DISCRIMINATION. And just what should disabled people do? Sit at home and give up on life? Stare out the window in depression? Or would it be better if they actually do something? And who knows what we live with more than us? Who better to stand up for my rights than me? Who better to stand up for your rights than you?

I'm doing something, with my time and my life. I'm trying to better myself in spite of my disabilities. I should think that's commendable, not the other way around. Of course I know why this comment was made at me, it's because I decided people should be informed on a situation, but that's not what this blog is about. It's specifically about the idea that being disabled makes you unworthy of being an advocate.

And, if the person who says that claims to be an advocate, are they still and advocate? NO. But this person was hidden behind would could have been a false name, so I don't know who they are. But the comments were on another blog that claims to advocate (words will get switched there so I use the term loosely).

So, to recap, because I'm on SSD, I shouldn't write my blogs and educate on living with autism. I shouldn't stand up for others. I shouldn't help families find resources like I have. I shouldn't give any advice on anything. For that matter, I shouldn't spend money on a cup of coffee. I shouldn't have any entertainment in my life either. I should just sit in a room and stare at the walls. I'm being sarcastic, but you get the idea. That's discriminatory and I won't stand for it. Neither should you. Keep living people! Disability is not the end.


Melissa said...

AMEN..and AMEN!!!!! I could not agree more!!!!! I too, get SSD off of my late father's benefits..but even if i was still getting SSI...why should i have to be holed up in my house either just becasues i am honestly not able to work due to my autism and the way that it manifests? I have commited no crimes, yet there are people in society who feel that just b/c a person is disabled, they can't have basic fun and entertainment or even a book or a CD they like or their favorite magazine..or even a small three day vacation for their sanity? Well said post of just how i feel as someone who is also disabled thru no fault of my own. The whole system and people's attitudes towards us needs to change...and SOON!!!!! They need to start listening to us..cuz we are the ones who live these experiences. Thank you, Dave, for writing this!!!

bubby said...

I'm on SSI. As far as money for luxuries on SSD? That would be a statement by someone who is very ignorant.

Good education on all that money we receive for being disabled, Dave.

David Wilde said...

Yes, and I should also mention that being on SSI is still for disability with only a few changes in benefits and requirements. We are still people and we still have every right anyone else does.