Image of the cap and scroll an undergraduate dreams of.

The Undergraduate

You’ve got to be kidding, I say to my husband, my voice drenched with resentment. How is any of this fair, I wonder as I struggle to gain control of my emotions. He’s just finished telling me how he completed his entire undergraduate degree without independently looking up a single academic database for supplementary materials whatsoever. I’ve recently begun my PhD. I’m sitting on the lounge scrolling through academic articles on my phone when he comes into the room utterly miffed by the discovery that academic information has to be bought like a hand of bananas or loaf of bread. He always thought it was freely available, and is curious as to how the system works. I explain it according to my very limited understanding, but am distracted by something immediately unravelling in my mind, and unbeknownst to him, I cannot possibly have this discussion right now. I’m too busy reeling back in horror at the fundamental shifting of my universe. […]

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Image of a woman's hands with planet earth hovering above them.

For All The World To See

What would you do if you could see? The question is posed by a stranger on the train, a shop assistant, colleague, potential employer, acquaintance, friend, or society in general, like a spider meticulously threading its web of power and liberty around a fly, innately illustrating yet again to me just who has the upper hand in this situation. I can almost see the expectation hanging in the air between us as I take a deep breath and gather my wits about me like a protective cloak, knowing this could get ugly. Of course, I am expected to reward such obtrusive attention with a walk along the moral high ground, with its gracious answers and honey sweet nectar. Never mind the encroachment, intimacy, invasion or intrusion on my very being, let alone the offensiveness or impossible nature of the question. The fact is, everyone does disability differently. There are as many means, ways and work-arounds for people with disability as there […]

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Image of the Great Wall of China from outside.

The Great Wall Of Inequity

So this is what broken feels like, I think as I slump against an all too familiar wall of inequity dividing the labyrinth of my life. The blue sky is ever watchful above me. I glance at it hopefully. A tiny, distrustful part of me is afraid it won’t be there, even though it’s been over a year since that fateful afternoon when it first appeared literally out of nowhere. It surprises and delights me with its audaciousness. I still remember climbing on the outdoor table to reach it. It’s the same table I sit at now, wondering if I will find the strength and stomach to get back up this time, and continue onward, the way I’ve done so many times before. The problem is, this feels different. This doesn’t feel like the exhaustion between battle rounds. This feels like a shedding of something I’m yet to put my finger on. And if I weren’t quite so shamed, shattered and […]

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Image of coloured jigsaw pieces all locked in place.

Disability, Ableism And Inclusion. Oh My!

Ableism comes in many forms, and despite what we like to tell ourselves as a society regarding our progress in this area, I think we are failing. We are failing the ghosts of advocates past, present and future by our tendency for play acting, rather than truly acknowledging our shortcomings and moving forward in any meaningful way. Even today, with all the advances in disability rights, legislation, inclusivity, human centred design, and supposed social understanding, sometimes I have to wonder if the push for inclusion is just a box ticking exercise with no intention to back it up. So often the powers that be apply no substance, logic, or practical application to their methodology. It is as though they almost deliberately leave a fundamental piece of the puzzle out of the equation, and thereby set us up to fail, while still being able to make themselves feel good about just how generous they are by allowing us to dwell within society. […]

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