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The big debate!

 
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BeverlyHillsChick
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Joined: 22 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:02 pm    Post subject: The big debate! Reply with quote

Just the other day I got into a huge debate over this with some friends at work and I also got into a debate about it with my family, and now I want to know what you guys think!

Would you ever date a person with a disability? I'm talking about someone who is confined to a wheelchair because they are a quadriplegic/paraplegic, etc., someone who is blind or someone who is deaf. (Sorry if this question offends anyone! Sourire )

Anywho, this all started when a lady I work with said her daughter met a guy when she started classes at college last month. Her daughter called her and told her she was coming home for the weekend and was bringing her new boyfriend with her. She said she was very shocked when she met the guy and found out he's in a wheelchair as the result of a car accident he was in a few years ago that left him completely paralyzed from the waste down. She said he seems like a really nice guy, but she and her daughter ended up having a fight over him because she just doesn't understand how her daughter could be with "someone like that" because he can't do the same things other people do. I tried really hard to set her straight on this, as I have a cousin who is also a quad and has been for the last 18 years, since she was 16. I told her they can do just about everything we can do, they just can't walk. They can cook, clean, drive, have jobs and have kids. My cousin does all of those things. She drives a van that was specifically built for her with some modifications to the engineering of it, she works in an office, she loves to cook and especially loves baking bread, and for awhile she and her husband were foster parents to a baby girl. Then she got pregnant and had her own baby who is very healthy and very normal, and now she's pregnant again, due in April of next year.

I'm now seeing my coworker in a different light. Maybe she's just having a hard time understanding her daughter and what she's doing, but to me it sounds like she's prejudiced.

I myself would have absolutely no problems dating someone with a disability. If the right chemistry is there, why not? I'd love to be able to help them with stuff and be there for them. I once told my friend Brittany this when we were at work and a deaf guy who was about my age came in and I was helping him. I told her I thought he was cute and he seemed like a sweet guy. She's not prejudiced in any way (She has several friends with disabilities), but when she asked me if I'd date someone like that and I said yes, she said she didn't think she could. She asked me how I'd communicate with the guy and I said "I'd learn. I could always take sign language classes if I knew we were going to be together for a really long time and he could help me with them, and we can write. A lot of deaf people can read lips, and body language also conveys a lot, too."

Maybe it's just because I have a mild disability myself that I feel this way. I have a very mild form of Cerebral Palsy which affects my balance and coordination, and as a result of the CP I also have Dyscalculia, with is a learning disorder involving numbers. Basically put, it's just like Dyslexia, except that instead of switching words around and having a difficult time reading, I sometimes confuse numbers and have a hard time understanding mathematical logic. Needless to say, Math is NOT my best subject! Rire I don't consider myself to be disabled, though. Nobody can even tell that I have the CP just by looking at me. I can walk normally, I can talk normally, and I can do everything that just about everyone else can do. I'm just a little more clumsier than most people, and I like to joke about with others about it by saying I always trip over my own two feet. Sourire So, in a way, for me I'd feel like I had someone I'd have a few things in common with.

Just because someone has a disability doesn't mean they're any different than any of the rest of us. Most everyone wants to be loved and liked for who they are, and they deserve to be.

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jarjar23
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't know...I guess I would if I liked the person? Confused Embarassé
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ottoman
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Joined: 17 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wouldn't matter to me, as I have autism. It makes no sense not to love someone because they have a disability.

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Thanks to all that supported my site for 7 years, I hope to see you at my site, rocketpowerheat.tripod.com! Sourire Très content
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BeverlyHillsChick
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Joined: 22 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ottoman wrote:
Wouldn't matter to me, as I have autism. It makes no sense not to love someone because they have a disability.


That's how I figured it, too. Also, not everyone that has a disability was born with it. Some disabled people lived completely normal lives up until something unfortunate happened that caused their disability.

Several years ago my cousin considered opening up a daycare and preschool specifically for disabled kids. I and several other relatives encouraged her to do it, but it never came to be. (At least not yet.) She said she thought it'd be good for the kids to get to be around other kids with disabilities and she really wanted to let them know that they're not alone. She also thought it'd be good for them to have a caretaker and teacher that was also disabled, that way they'd at least have one adult in their lives that actually understood the obstacles they had to overcome. She said that if she could ever open something up like that that she'd like to employ others with disabilities that would be able to work and keep a job as well as others without disabilities.

Like I said before, though, I would have no problems dating someone with a disability if I really liked that person, and since I have CP that might make it all the more easier to talk to that person about my CP since they might understand where I'm coming from with it a little better and we might have lots of things in common.

On a side note, I love fielding questions about CP from people when they find out I have it, because they are usually surprised when I tell them I do. Some of the questions I have been asked are:

Q: Why aren't you in a wheelchair?

A: Because I don't need it! There are several different types of Cerebral Palsy, and they range from very moderate (What I have) to severe. (The people with the severe types usually can't walk or talk, and their movements are very jerky. They also drool a lot because they sometimes have problems controlling the muscles in their face.

Q: Are YOU retarded? (Do you know how many times I've been asked this? Sometimes the asker is joking when they ask this, and other times they're being serious. At any rate, it's NOT funny!)

A: (And I do say this to them!) "Do I look and sound like I am retarded?" Seriously, I am perfectly capable of having intelligent conversations, and I do everything for myself. I have common sense, I know right from wrong, etc. NO!

Q: Does it hurt?

A: Why would it hurt? It just affects my coordination and balance, THAT'S IT. You can't "feel" Cerebral Palsy. I suppose you could say it hurts when I trip and fall because my coordination and balance is off, but other than that, no.

Q: If your balance and coordination is off, how do you do things like drive a car or ride a bike? (This question has always been my favorite, as it proves how ignorant people can be!)

A: (This has always been my answer to these questions!) How do YOU drive a car or ride a bike? Usually when I get in the car to go somewhere, I get in the car, put my seatbelt on, put the key in the ignition and turn it on, put my foot on the brake, shift the car into reverse or drive, and watch where I'm going to make sure I don't run over anybody or anything. I stop at stop signs and red lights and stop when pulling out on to the street for oncoming traffic, go on green lights or when the traffic is clear, yield at yield signs, etc. When I get to my destination I put my foot on the brake, put the car in park, turn the car off, take the key out of the ignition, open the door, lock the car up, get out and shut the door. When I ride a bike I get on the bike and pedal. When I have to stop I squeeze the brakes.

I actually had someone ask me once why I didn't get a handicap permit for my car so I could park in handicap spaces when I go there. Pfff Because I'm not technically disabled, that's why! I also don't have a wheelchair, so save the permit and the parking spaces for people who REALLY need them!

So, to make a long story short, I don't consider myself disabled at all. I just consider myself very clumsy! Rire

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