“I wish people knew that disability is isolating… If you know someone who's disabled, reach out, they might need some extra support or just a kind word.”
As part of the Disability Awareness Campaign in the Spring of 2023, KSU students, faculty, and staff responded to a series of questions designed to help them share their experiences of disability and inclusion. This is Charli's story:
What does inclusion look like to you?
Inclusion looks like everyone having an equal seat at the table. As disability rights
activist, Judy Heumann, said "If I have to be thankful for an accessible bathroom,
when am I ever gonna be equal in the community?"
Disabled people deserve to be just as included in everyday life as much as abled bodied people do.
What would you like to share with everyone about a "Day in your life"?
As someone with multiple disabling chronic illnesses, everyday looks different for me. Sometimes I need to use a mobility aid or need to be nourished through my feeding tube. I also take many medications every day to keep my conditions controlled. What I want people to know is that everyday I have pain and fatigue that I have to push through and sometimes I need to use equipment to help me with that, and that's okay. I am not more or less disabled based on whether I use my wheelchair or feeding tube or not.
What do you wish people knew about disability?
I wish people knew that disability is isolating. For me, I spend hours each week at the hospital either getting infusions or going to appointments. I sometimes have to miss going to social events because of my symptoms. And I have different priorities that many others my age because of my disability. If you know someone who's disabled, reach out, they might need some extra support or just a kind word.