I am just as capable and am allowed to drink as much as anyone else!
Many people look at disabled people and conform to the reformed stereotype of the word ‘disability.’
A person who is in a wheelchair, completely dependent on others to help with everything they need.
As for their daily routine, people expect disabled people, specifically those in wheelchairs to be taken to school, having support throughout the day and then being taken home, either by supported transport, their parent or guardian.
Once they are home, they eat, then do an activity, most likely sit in their room, then go to bed and then the same thing happens all over again the next day.
I was like this, growing up, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do anything, that I couldn’t. Time has moved on and that has changed.
I went to school, participated in after school activities and went out with friends. Then I went to college, socialised and studied hard with only help when I requested it.
I wanted to be as independent as I could be. I still do.
I am currently on my second year at De Montfort University and working hard, it surely has its fair share of challenges, no doubt.
I do work as hard as I can, but sometimes, I like to go and relax, let my hair down. Some people may assume that when I take time out and take time for myself, then I stay in and watch films, while eating my favorite food.
Don’t get me wrong, I do this sometimes, I enjoy it. However, I love going out with my friends, going to bars or nightclubs, listening to music and maybe having a dance.
When people, who are not in my close group of friends or family, hear that I’m going to bars or nightclubs, I find them staring at me, in what I can only identify as disbelief.
What is it? Can’t I go out? Or, is it that you are surprised that a disabled person in a wheelchair is going to a bar or nightclub?
Don’t worry I’ve been met with these looks and attitudes before.
Getting to a nightclub or bar with a group of friends, people who are lining up outside, waiting to get in, their eyes zone in on me and stare gormlessly at me. Hello? Can I help you? No. Stop staring at me.
Just like when I am at theme parks, the bouncer, once seeing me, comes to get me and help me through the long queue and into the bar or nightclub.
As I pass through the queue, they stare at me, like I’m something, or someone beneath them. What’s the problem?
I move passed them and I can feel their stares at disbelief, their mutters. What is the problem? I have just come out to enjoy the night, have fun with friends.
Positioning myself in the middle of the dance floor, I dance to the music and have a few drinks.
That’s another thing, drinking. Now I’m not a big drinker. But yes, I do drink. When I’ve gone out with friends at night while I’m at university, I do have a few to drink. Why can’t I?