Assignments, social attitudes and a lot of coffee!

Now you wouldn’t class this as your typical ‘student Saturday night’, but here I am writing a blog post and in all honesty it is probably a better option considering how busy my week has been! Halfway through the second semester of university can only mean two things, reading week (AKA no lectures for a week) and assignments.

One of the assignments that I completed this week was about social attitudes, more specifically the attitudes around disability, which actually made me stop and think. We live in a world where disability is often betrayed as a negative, it is seen as a weakness. When in reality is that really true? Yes, it may cause a weakness in some respect, for me that is a physical weakness, but is that a weakness of character or make me any less human than the next person- of course not! Yet when searching ‘stereotypes of disability’ this is the first thing that came up: “Tragic figures whom society should pity. According to them, the burden of disability is unending; life with a disabled person is a life of constant sorrow and agony and that the able-bodied stand under a continual obligation to help them.” Let’s stop there before this all gets entirely absurd!

When in fact, attitudes towards disability can be positive. Not only that, but it has been proven that if the individual has more interaction with someone who has a disability then their attitudes can only improve. All of this can be extremely useful for inclusion and continually demonstrates the need for including disabled children and adults within the community and allowing more mainstream schools to take on pupils with SEN. By doing so, this will not only mean the general public have a more positive attitude towards disability but also provide the disabled individual with a positive self- image, which surely is just as important.

I believe change is just around the corner.

Diversity is becoming more and more accepted within society and it is just so exciting to be the generation to be at the front of this revolution. Slowly people are learning that I am not an inspiration for getting out of bed, that it is not incredible if I leave the house and that it is not a shock if I don’t know your friend who happens to use a wheelchair. That change may be small in all of the world’s problems, but it is a change that will lead onto a fully inclusive place to live- now wouldn't that be wonderful?!

I certainly consider charities like Scope have allowed this to progress over recent years. They have been running ‘End the Awkward’ campaigns for three years to promote a more positive attitude towards disability. These campaigns have ensured that all blog posts, adverts, YouTube videos and pictures follow a positive message about disability, as well as making the disabled individuals relatable and showing how this kind of interaction should not be awkward. I have been so fortunate to be one of those individuals who has been allowed to be part of this. I have had the chance to be part of such a positive movement within Scope and be someone who can change the attitudes that people have about disability. I may write a blog about Cerebral Palsy, and yes this blog is a very big part of my life (because what else would I do on a Saturday night?), but I hope you see me for more than that.

I hope you don’t just see me as a disabled person, but as a writer, a friend, a psychology student, as an individual who probably owns way too many floral dress… yet will most definitely buy more. People are way more than the conditions that they have, the fact that this is starting to be known by society makes the future even more exciting.

Anyone want to finish my other assignment for me? No, don’t blame you!

~Chloe x

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