suzefricker@mylifeaccordingtome.org Available all the time, just send me an email and I will get back to you.

I am not a campaigner

I am not a campaigner!

I know this statement sounds strange but the truth is I am not. I do not believe the world owes me something because I am autistic, dyslexic, with depression and spinal problems. I know the world does not work in a way where those in need get what they need. However, some people think that because I blog that I am a campaigner.

The truth behind what I do however, is not so much campaigning but more PR.

The disabled community has two things against them.

The first thing is that when someone with disabilities wants to work it is hard to find someone who will hire them. Obviously work places can not discriminate on disability grounds but we all know that if two candidates with the same qualifications and experience go for a job, it is more likely that the one without disabilities will get the job.

Then if someone with a disability gets a job they lose the support that they need to survive from the government. There are benefits that I could be on with advice given to me that if I stopped working I could get them. But unless I am willing to give up work I am not allowed them. How fair is this? Your telling someone who wants to work who would be entitled to the benefit that they have to loose the purpose in their life to get the help they need.

The other thing we have against us is our own community. There are people out there juts like in all communities who will say “fuck it I am disabled I don’t have to ever work again”. Because of this attitude when they are made to work they leave such a bad taste in their employers mouths that the next person who has that disability will get “oh no not another one”.

So what can we do?

I choose to role model myself in to how I would like people to view me both personally and professionally. I tell my team what sets me off, what of me can be changed and what can’t and I have open and honest dialogue with people.

I tell everyone that if I do something to upset you then I need them to explain it to me not just say “oh she is autistic” or “she has depression”. This works for no one.

I am as open and honest as I know how to be so that when the next person has my job, if they have depression, autism, physical disabilities, dyslexia the word my team say is not going to be “oh not another one” but in fact “Yes we have another one”.

Only we can change how people view us. Only we can show them that we are as good as those without disability. We don’t need campaigners, we need people willing to go out and show the world, disability does not mean we are useless.

So my challenge to all those with disabilities. Go out, find a way to show the world the amazing things that you can do. Show the world your amazing gifts that your disability gives you. We all have something. Don’t hide it but show the world the amazingness that is you.

4 thoughts on “I am not a campaigner

  1. “I tell everyone that if I do something to upset you then I need them to explain it to me not just say “oh she is autistic” or “she has depression.” This works for no one.”

    I think part of it is some kind of respectful tolerance, but one that reinforces at the same time that, for example, the person who is autistic or has depression is, by their very nature, supposed to upset people or not supposed to receive feedback when they upset people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I dont know if I have understood this comment so I hope that I dont upset you. My point is, I dont want everything that I do wrong or say wrong to be brushed off as “oh she is autistic we cant say anything”.

      I believe this mentality is harmful. I tell people that there are some parts of my behaviour which is learnable from, some parts- I am playing catch up on and some parts that I can not change any way.

      It is important to know that I do what I can to work with the people in my team in a way that is both beneficial for them and me. It is important that we who have disabilities try not to let them become the fall back excuse because if we do that then that is all we become known for. That is not what we need.

      We have to work 10 time 100 times and 1000 times harder to prove that we can do the same job with some help like work place adjustments.

      One of the biggest complaints I have seen in my job is “why does X get the all this support and I get nothing and penalised” “Why does this person who cant do anything because of their disability get paid the same amount of money and I do more then them”. We have to prove that we are more than capable. That is what I try and do it.

      Like

      1. I feel this kind of tolerance can sometimes paint disabled people as unaccountable. That’s what I was trying to say.

        I agree that the mentality “all parts of this person are unchangeable” is harmful.

        I think it can create distance and resentment; and doesn’t help recognize that communication and adjustments are important and that the capabilities of each person sometimes can be changed, sometimes can’t – but that the whole person isn’t unchangeable, isn’t untouchable, and is not a separate species getting special treatment who should never be approached to discuss possible work conflicts.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ok, I did misunderstand. I apologise for any upset I may have caused.

        You and I are in agreement. This is why I ask my team to talk to me when I do things wrong. They have a good measure of me and know when it is one of the following.

        1) an error caused by opposite disabilities
        2) when it is an error because I am over whelmed/ verging on meltdown
        3) error due to misunderstanding
        4) a general error

        1-3 it’s hard because they know the error is caused by a problem so I may just get support through it or get support then reprimanded depending on the seriousness. 4 is altermatic reprimand.

        They hold me to account as much as possible because I wont let them label everything as a disability related issue. But they also know that in some cases the reprimand I gjve myself can actually be worse then Nything they can give me. For example I got confused in work and made a bunch of mistakes. My team were annoyed but they could hear it in my voice that I was devastated that it had happened and was so angry with myself I wound up in tears

        Liked by 1 person

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