Sue O’Reilly, who has guest written today’s column on The Angry Cripple is a freelance journalist and the mother of a 21-year-old son with cerebral palsy. She co-founded Australians Mad as Hell last year with Fiona Porter to campaign for an NDIS and established a charity called Fighting Chance to help people with disabilities pay for essential therapy services.
The president of South Australia’s Council on Intellectual Disabilities recently stated that all people with disabilities have “a right to live in an ordinary home in an ordinary street”.
But what if some people with disabilities don’t want to live in “an ordinary house in an ordinary street”?
What if they want to live in something like the manicured villages that have sprung up everywhere for people over 55, or an apartment complex with 24/7 care facilities?
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Most Australian media like to run the “Crippled Orphan Boy overcomes Headlessness to Swim the Murray for Charity” or “Wheelchair Bound (yuck) Woman Speaks to Schoolkids about Dangers of Drunk Driving” kinds of stories.
They are not often actually inspiring to me. Mostly, they make me feel as though people with disabilities are to be routinely pitied, and awarded if they do anything more than get out of bed in the morning.
There was, however, one guy doing the rounds last week who was a little different. Nick Vujicic, a 28-year-old Brisbane bloke who is a Minister and motivational speaker, and he’s got no arms or legs, just a kind of a foot that sticks out from one hip. This guy’s ‘can do’ attitude is almost sickening.
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