Hey who knew the road to hell really is paved with good intentions!

Lately people have challenged me and asked what gives you the right to advocate for the disabled and the abused? I got to thinking, if I respond immediately I would scream angrily “hey stupid maybe the wheels under my ass and the ten years of molestation I survived”, Then I paused and engaged mindfulness and my answer suddenly became more involved.

Groups all over the country have popped up in recent years, the challenged athletes foundation, adaptive climbing, Para triathlon and so many more one of the oldest is Achilles road runners.

These clubs all do it right, but for everyone that does it right there are ten more that think that for instance a snooker and nine ball club for amputees is as simple as a bar and a pool table, but what about food?

I have found from conversation with amputee friends that some of them have stomach and digestive problems from the same illness or injury that took their limb.

Diabetes is one of the biggest causes of amputation in the United States, and if you’re diabetic as well as losing a limb you have to follow a strict diet to control your sugars.

If you run a group for the blind you have to be aware of uncluttered access.

Of course the examples above are obvious but you would be surprised how many groups I have been invited to that were wheelchair accessible, only to find out last minute switching of locations by the moderator has found me at the bottom of a staircase.

If you run or moderate a group you don’t get to say “you’re an adult your responsible for yourself”, if you are going to start a group that invites the dis or otherwise abled to any kind of common interest while they are dropped  off in your care you must make sure you have planned and arranged and double checked everything. Access, facilities, bathrooms and  extra help for the severely disabled   and of course food for everything from the  diabetic to kosher and  vegan and don’t forget Sign language translators for the hearing impaired.

 All the previous stated are necessary because for whatever amount of time those people are in your group or meeting they are yours, you wouldn’t invite people to a party or a dinner without making sure every minute detail was covered well it is even more important when those coming are already fighting everyday life because of some kind of disability or impairment.

I don’t want to labor the point  so let’s finish with this to wrap up, no one is denying your good intentions but organizing the advocacy and training of a portion of society is so much more than just saying here’s the address show up.  Before you can even consider running a group you have to make a list bullet point by bullet point.Even if your greatest desire is to give back to your own community you have to ask yourself if your leaving one unfed or at the bottom of the stairs is helping or are you just rubbing in their disability by being one more person who just didn’t put any  thought to their involvement.

2 thoughts on “Hey who knew the road to hell really is paved with good intentions!

  1. You raise excellent points here, especially for groups like the one I want to start, which seeks to reach many different conditions, disorders and disabilities. Thank you for bringing up chronic illnesses that may still be a part of someone’s life. It is very important to try and accommodate as many people as possible. Really, would anyone do less if they were inviting some people over to their home? Wouldn’t you try to make sure every guest’s needs were seen to? Wouldn’t you do your homework ahead of time to accommodate each guest?

    It is just plain courtesy and manners to do so, but then again, I am reminded daily that few take into account the needs of others. It may not be possible to think of everything ahead of time but as any group gains experience, they need to be open and always willing to make anyone feel welcome and a part. Thanks for a very thought-provoking post!

  2. Reblogged this on karlitoweb and commented:
    Many people perceive the disabled as passive, weak, lacking the skills to stand up for themselves. Mia here, as well as I, respectfully and loudly disagree. Tell us that we’re benefit sccroungers and we will get in your face. Tell us that we’re acting entitled and just want special tereatment, and we will tell you that attitudes such as those are why we have ADA. Tell us we’re not good enough to work, or that we “cost too much to accommodate” and we’ll tell you to fuck off and start our own businesses. We have worth. We are not “defective” we aren’t “benefit scroungers”. We’re active, we self-advocate and yes, we make enemies doing it. I for one am PROUD to wear the Black Hat, if it means others in my community benefit!

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