“The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life”
Zebedee Management asked their young adults what prejudices they come across and how it makes them feel in the hope we can change some of those stereotypes that still exist?
We are really happy to share some of the personal statements from the Zebedee Management models. Scroll down to view.
I am black, I am not white trying to be black with my braids, I have #albinism which causes me to appear white. Yes, my eyes appear pink in certain lights but I cannot shoot lasers with them it’s just boringly the way the light hits the retina! I am very visually impaired but I am not hard of hearing my ears and hearing work fine, you don’t need to shout at me.
Love me for me.
“He dresses well for someone #disabled…”.
Yes, it’s true I have turned my back on elasticated waistbands and shunned velcro on my shoes! I will not dress for comfort. I will dress for #fashion. I will wear the best brands I can afford. My personal assistants may break out in a sweat when they see my skinny jeans and contemplate the tussle they will have when they help me to dress however it’s so worth it. Fashion is for everyone. I feel good when I dress well. Why should being disabled limit the way I dress?
Can we talk about the ‘s’ word?……
Yes, that’s right ‘staring’. Now I know it may be I’m getting you wrong. You may be eye-balling me because you’re checking out my hair or envying my clothes. But there’s looking and staring. That uncomfortable situation when people take rather too long looking you up and down. I cannot promise I won’t flick you the finger when you have spent a couple of minutes goggling at me. Sorry but after all, it’s rude to stare.
Can he speak?
Well, ask me!!! I’m here-right in front of you, yet you will speak to whoever I am with rather than address me directly. Even now there is still the perception that you can’t address a person with a disability directly. Ask the question and I’ll answer. I might tell you to ‘stuff off’ if your question is personal…
Why would my rules be different to yours?
After all, I’m just like you.
Most people look at me and think, “Why is she in a chair?” My disability is an invisible one, CFS/ME. The assumption people make of #CFS #ME is that it’s just tiredness when really, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, CFS/ME is so much more. What people don’t see is the amount of #pain and #fatigue I feel every day, 24/7 with no relief. That is why I need to use a wheelchair when I leave the house. I don’t have the strength or the energy to leave the house without the assistance, without my chair I wouldn’t get out, it’s my lifeline to the world outside.
One of the hardest things is that some people don’t believe the condition is real. Trust me, it’s very real. So, when you’re already going through a lot with your health, you really don’t need the extra stress of people judging you just from seeing you’re in a chair, it’s difficult and hurts. It has lasting effects, social anxiety is one of them. Not every disability is visible, and I want to help spread that message.
People might feel sorry for me because I had a brain injury when I was 12 and now I need to use a wheelchair.
Well, I’m so happy to be alive! I can’t achieve the things I used to in the same way, but I find ways to do things differently and have found different things to do that challenge me. Don’t judge me by the wheelchair, I love my life!
I am not a ghost, I was born with #albinism.
“Why do you colour your hair, it is very bad for your hair to colour it at your age?”
or “Is she blind?” or “Why do you wear sunglasses?” they ask my mum as if I would be unable to answer their question.
Some people assume whatever about albinism without checking with me. I am very capable of answering these questions and admit that I am seriously visually impaired and extremely sensitive to light and have wobbly eyes.
What people do not see is that I am struggling right now with being adopted as I was born with albinism in China where they think I bring bad luck to the family.
In other countries people think that we are ghosts and children cannot live safely with their parents. This is already painful enough.
I am hopeful that people will be more considerate once they better understand what it means to live with a disability and focus on our capabilities.
I have #Tourettes. People think I swear randomly and that’s amusing social media fodder – I don’t, I convulse, jerk, spasm and shake to the point of collapse.
I wake up every morning wondering if I will live through another day of this torture. Hilarious isn’t it?
Some people who have never met Ellie may sign to her or look at me to ask me, “What’s her name or how old is she?” I always say ask HER! She CAN talk!! Once they realise that she can they have a different perspective of her and her condition! And more often than not feel quite embarrassed! Especially, if they see her dance! Then they seem to change their attitude and smile! They can’t believe her confidence, personality or the amazing energy that she naturally gives.
Hopefully, then they realise that having Downs Syndrome doesn’t hold her back or anyone else with Downs or special needs.
“He will never get a proper job, he has #DownSyndrome“.
Well count on 20 years & Nino through his own determination, commitment & talent has become an Assistant Coach with Bristol Bears Rugby.
Nino coaches various age groups of adults & children & works in the stadium on Match Days. He has received a Parliamentary Award for his outstanding work with Bristol Sports Foundation. So yet again a young person with Down Syndrome was written off before his life really started & has gone on to dream, believe & achieve.
All it takes is a supportive surrounding network, someone who believes in them & wants to champion their worth & place in society….someone who realises that their difference can be their key to success.
To view further posts from Zebedee Management featuring more of their young talent sharing their experiences and personal statements for International Day Of People With Disabilities, click here and here.
Find out more about Zebedee Management HERE.
View Ross Bolgers editorial ‘We Are‘ featuring models from Zebedee Management.
Photography via Zebedee Management – All rights reserved.
All posts copyright Zebedee Management.
Please do not copy or reproduce without permission.