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Messages By: marsgramna

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September 20, 2006, 9:33 pm CDT

I am not physically challenged! I have a disability.

It doesn't look like too many people look at this message board, but I am going to comment anyway. I hate the phrase "physically challenged"!!! The media thinks this is politically correct. It is not. I am a person who has a disability, not a handicap or a challenge. Any time other words are used to describe people with disabilities, it undermines our visibility and our right to participate in society just like everyone else. Society has sugar coated and watered down words that describe something it doesn't want to look at or acknowledge. People with disabilities have been shoved aside, hidden away, discredited, ignored and discriminated against for centuries. Probably from the beginning of time. Just because I use a wheelchair and have to do things a little differently doesn't mean I am not able to do anything. It doesn't mean I don't have feelings or that I don't spend money in the market place. Society has looked at people with disabilities as an inconvenience to be tolerated. Even with the Americans with Disabilities Act, I have to find out ahead of time if a building is wheelchair accessible before going there. And even when they say they are accessible, I may be able to get in the door because of hastily constructed ramp, but I am unable to go any futher. Accessible parking is a joke anymore. Everyone and their brother as a permit to park in those places even if they are perfectly able to walk. This message is more of a complaint than a support for anyone, and I appologize for that. I have had multiplesclerosis for 34 years and have learned to deal with it one day at a time. However, there are days when I am so frustrated because of the cost of medications that I need to take and can't afford to buy. The government doesn't make it any easier. And try to meet new people and make new friends sitting a wheelchair. Don't even ask if I have had a date in the last 10 years! I am very frustrated tonight and feeling very alone and depressed. My disability makes it evern more difficult to get a decent job that I spent 10 years in college to be able to earn enough money to pay my medical expenses. Sorry I am not very cheerful.

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