Hi friends! Happy 29! I always find today so cool because I’ve always found leap years interesting. It’s true what people say, I really am an old soul and I find little things interesting. It is amazing what can happen in four years. Today back in 2016, I was journaling about the rough day I had surrounding some personal things happening in my life at the time, and about school challenges that aren’t typically understood unless you have a disability or are friends with someone who does. I also was thankful that things were going well with Phillips because at that time in life having a male reader made me a bit nervous. Funny how life works and he ended up being one of the best things to happen to me. God knows what he’s doing. Really. Now I am thanking God for many things including being published, graduation, reconnecting with some friends, those lessons we must learn for our own growth even if they’re tough ones, my list goes on. Whether you’re a believer or not, what are you thankful for today or for so far this year?
Today I wanted to talk about the importance of calling blindness for what it is. In fact, unless the person says otherwise, we should be calling disabilities for what they are. Recently I was at a party and while these young people are nice, I heard one whisper, “She’s…” and their friend whispers back, “Blind.” Right away, I called them on it. Not in a mean way, but I quickly told them they should just say it out loud. Yes, I’m blind. Yes, it can be awkward for people, but say it for what it is. Now I certainly have a few friends where we can finish one another’s sentences, but I believe that especially with young adults, we need to grab onto teachable moments and run with them. I made sure to let them know they didn’t make me mad, but I wanted them to know for next time.
Another time I walked into one of my nutrition classes at URI. I made my way into class and asked someone to help me find a place to sit. Any assistance I had at college often happened after classes. While I had directions to my classes recorded on my recorder and eventually planted them into my memory, URI is a huge campus and bigger classes were always harder for me to get myself to a seat. I walked in and one student whispered to another, “She can’t see,” and I was wicked tired that day so I just kept my conversation short and found someone to help me sit down for our lecture. If you have a disability then you particularly understand that some days, while advocacy and education are important, some days we have to pick our battles because everything we deal with in a day can sometimes get pretty exhausting. I laughed with friends later about it. I thought it was funny. I mean, in case anyone can’t tell, I can’t see. Surprise! =) No need to keep it a secret.
Now I’d like to hear from you. I think it’s so important that we help people understand it’s perfectly okay to talk out loud about our differences and disabilities. Go ahead and tell people. My best friend is blind. I worked for a blind person. I had a student in class who is blind and they made some great contributions to my course. My blind employee makes my company great. Whatever it is, tell someone about it. While everybody uses different language, (more on that in another post) you can speak about disability without being offensive if you learn how. What are your thoughts? Let’s connect! If I should be blogging about topics not discussed on my site, let me know. Find me on Facebook at Miranda Oakley, but if you connect with me on there, all I ask is that you please send me a message telling me who you are and how you found me. You can also find me on Twitter at mirandaloakley and you can leave me a comment on my website. =)
Enjoy today and have a great rest of your weekend.
My best to you,