Chewing the Fat
blog describes a young man who's lived experience of illness or disability wasn't welcome at the table. The author makes the observation that "I wonder if the world of disability
blogging is so huge because it gives us an opportunity to control the agenda, to
bring disability forward as a legitimate experience to be
as a social phenomenon worth noticing,
a minority experience with
social justice issues equivilent to others."
I think this is a huge topic. I know, for me, it's why I blog. In my blog, I can control what I say. I can make it a place where people are free to ask questions. I can post about guide dog access issues, captcha, pain management and other disability and illness issues as much or as little as I want. If I think something is relevant to the experience, I can write about it. If I don't, then I don't have to. And because it's a form of writing which is accessible to me, I can write anytime I want to. I can raise a voice when I feel it needs to be raised. And I can open the post up to comments and answer questions whenever I want to.
I don't have to write this blog like I do research papers. If I don't want to focus in a certain way, I'm not forced to. This allows me to truly share me, with all of the struggles, fears and questions which come with those implications. Having a way to exercise my voice is important. Being able to speak out allows me to figure out where I stand. And it's a way to start the conversation. That's important because when I want to understand an issue, starting a conversation allows me to learn more than I would ever know on my own. It brings new perspectives, without the silencing effects of societal expectations. Things relating to my RSD aren't always pretty. Pain isn't something I love. But it does need to be addressed. The humor around the effects of various treatments, for example, doesn't always make for wonderful dinner conversation. But blogging has shown me that there are reasons why it can be helpful to go public on those topics. And it's helped me, because I have friends who do want to hear about it. Because I know how valuable that is, I'm even more grateful for the friends I have and with whom I share these challenges.
I've seen how blogging leads to good changes in my own life. I can only hope that in 2008, it leads to these types of benefits in the disability community. We're already seeing this happen, but I hope it keeps happening!