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The overlooked discrimination toward those with a disability

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posted on May, 18 2009 @ 11:36 PM
I have noticed that people with disabilities are very much discriminated against. My girlfriend of two years is paralyzed from the shoulders down and depends on a ventilater to breathe. She isn't one of those who let her spinal cord injury stop her, she managed to go through college to pursue a career so that she doesn't have to depend on SSI. Which I give her a lot of credit because in my opinion this is a good example of where such money could go, not some drunk who claims they have a mental disability too get free money, or some self inflicted fat so who made themselves 600lbs just so they don't have to work and can collect taxpayer money as well. She does make those milkers of the system look bad, and she doesn't care. Right now she is having trouble finding a job like everyone else, but at least she is staying more positive than some people.

She's had nurses who brag about recieving food stamps and other government aide they don't deserve and wants to proof that someone in her situation, if the adaptive technology is available, then she doesn't have to depend on it. But this ones who like the screw the system hate her of course because if she is working and others who are actually disabled follow suit, then they will have a harder time getting benefits. This is all in theory of course, but a noble plan at least. But the problem is, she also hears enough garbage from people that is really shocking. People will tell her, mostly on the internet or over the phone more than enough in person that someone like her abuses and drains the system and that she's trying to make everyone feel sorry for her because she is in a wheelchair and will get no such pity from them because their lives are hard and her life is easy because she just sits around all day and has people take care of her, feed her, etc.

There are also people who pretend to understand her situation and give the phony niceness just so they don't look bad, but are often condesending anyway. in my two years with her I cannot believe how people talk to her and it's not as though she is looking for trouble, she's very friendly and very nice, and never plays the "i'm the poor girl in the wheelchair" line. When she brings up her disability, she tries to do it to educate people. She wants people to understand what they take for granted everyday, look at their petty little problems and that things could be much worse. But she is also trying to show people that even though she cannot do things like everyone else can do, that it is possible to find ways around it. The technology that exists now makes her able to use the computer on her own.

The adaptive technology out there right now is pretty amazing and is constantly improving so that people in her situation can live as much of a normal life as they can make it without having to just rot at home doing nothing or live at a nursing home. But people don't want to hear this, they like to think that their lives are worse off than everyone elses and think the world owes them something. They are the same ones that jump for joy when someone that is successful fails, and they also wish the worst for people that are in worse situations than they are. A year ago, she was trying to end her bank account and set it up at another bank because she was unhappy with that one, so she wanted to take out all of her money. Her attendant signs her signature (me, or a nurse, or whoever is taking care of her) but the teller demanded she signed it and didn't care that she couldn't and that she would have to somehow find a way to do it, but it better match the records. This woman was self important and self satisfied doing this to her.

I signed the check anyway, she said if signature doesn't match, she will call the authorities. We told her it would be different because i wasn't with her when she opened the account. Didn't matter, she informed us to stay while she talks to her manager and that they will be contacting the authorities. We said go ahead, but after they tell you how stupid you are, we will be back with a lawyer. I guess her manager had told her something similar because the smug self important look was gone and she looked like she got hit with the stupid pipe. Didn't have much to say in her defense other than "oh, i just didnt' want to lose my job", i had told her she would be losing it because we are coming back with lawyers.

Lucky for them, my girlfriend isn't the type who believes in suing people even over something like that. She felt that, the matter was resolved, she got her money, got the end the account, and the woman can live with her stupidity. But that is just one example. Even the agencies that exist to help her try to life a normal life as possible treat her like she is milking the system somehow. There are endless stories like this. There are also many of abuse that should have former nurses thrown in jail, but no evidence no proof, no case. It's also amazing what people will say about anyone on the internet. Peoples real opinions about the truely disabled are no different.

Yesterday, my girlfriend entered a chat room, the theme was books and literature. She was bored and wanted to talk about one of many subjects she loves. She was talking with someone in the chat room, they had gotten into her disability and such, and me, her and even a few of the guys she was talking too were taken by surprise how she was verbally attacked. I mean, it was nasty. They made fun of everything from her pink font, to how she can't do anything because of being in a wheel chair, they made fun of the guys defending her. It's not unusual for one or two idiots to make such comments, but this was a dozen people in a chat room as a group attacking in the meanest ways possible. I wish she would have kept the window open, saved the conversation and demanded yahoo do something about this or go public with this. Free speech is something to be cherished, but this was an abuse of that and chat rooms such as yahoo and aol need to regulate things like this better. At first she wasn't bothered by this but the relentless attacks were just getting to her. She also experienced something similar in other chat rooms and as soon as the wheelchair thing came up, she was flamed again, not as bad but just dumb comments. She knows that it was obviously a bunch of teenagers or a group of 30 year olds still living with momma that aren't contributing to society at all, but the words can still hurt.

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 11:45 PM
I'd also like to add that it is ridiculous how much hate there is in the world. Racial, religion, sexual orientation, etc. But it's just painful to see people who enjoy making fun of someone or taking advantage of someone who is physically or mentally handicapped. There are people that are disabled that aren't very nice either and have that world owes me everything attitude, but those are only a few people. I notice that my girlfriend isn't the only one who experiences these things. I've talked to many others who are and I just can't believe some of the stories I hear. I've heard people even complaining that it's unfair that handicapped spots exist. They throw that "everyone is equal" line and feel that a person who is disabled is their own fault and should have taken better care of themselves instead of being a burden on society and not "waste my tax dollars". There are ones who abuse the system, yes, but remember tax dollars do actually come into good use for many people. It doesn't surprise me people's selfish and apathic attitude anymore. It seems like people are getting more and more like this. It's very sad.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 03:44 PM
reply to post by itinerantseeker

I have a disability also. I cannot walk a block without it seeming like I ran a marathon. Most places will not hire a person with such a disability, but will use another excuse. They do not want to pay the medical and other future costs for upgrading facilities.

I also think you are overstating people cheating to get SSI benefits. Do you know how much it is for the vast majority? A little under $700 a month, and less if the person lives with someone. I do not know where you live, but that is barely enough to survive on without Section 8 and food stamps. BTW, food stamps are not very much either, mostly @ $25 a month (they add in other income and benefits and subtract from the total).

There probably are some people who do screw the system by collecting benefits and working under the table. However, most morbidly obese people have a glandular problem and would gladly shed the weight so they can breathe normally and have a regular life. I would like to agree with you on alcoholics and drug addicts, but I have never been in that situation so I cannot judge. I did know a kid who had a mental illness and his mother and step father kicked him out of the house. They collected his SSI checks and deposited them for their own use. The boy was homeless while they lived off his income. It isn't just the handicapped, but family members who take advantage of them too.

Like your girlfriend, I did not ask for this condition. I also do not pay much attention to what others are saying to me. I want to be able to do the limited things I can do. If I stop doing one, then I become even more immobile. It is hard to describe why, but I refuse to use the mobile carts at the store, even though my mother thinks I should. I lean on the shopping cart and sit down all the time, but I think I will lose the ability to walk around the store if I use the mobile cart. Whatever I give away, I will never get back. I cannot walk on a beach or park, which is something I really used to enjoy.

BTW, in the part of your story where you threaten to sue the bank teller, was your name on the account? I know it made you angry, but she may have been doing her job. I have seen people get fired for less reasons, and with the job market the way it is, they know there are thousands of people looking to take the job. While she should of handled it better, I see no reason to gloat over her being dressed down. (When I used to work at a convenience store, I would not accept credit cards that were not signed. I would check them with IDs, and would be screamed at by all kinds of people, even though that was required by management to prevent fraud. You can see why I am taking her side as I used to work with the public and they can be frustrating.)

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