Disabled Girls Who Lift

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E30: Celebrating Disability and ADA’s 30th Anniversary

August 10th 2020

In this episode, Marcia and Marybeth take the time to acknowledge the 30th birthday of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 504 Sit-In that led to it, and the foundation on which disabled peopl... More

this is disabled girls who lift. We are reclaiming what's rightfully ours one podcast at a time, it's mary Beth Chloe and Marcia bringing you the thoughts and unpopular topics to get you out of that. A bliss comfort zone. Mhm Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hey guys, welcome back episode 30 of disabled girls who lift. Do you know what else is on the number 30 The anniversary of the 88 were in the 30th year and you know what kind of babies in the game, We're just here talking on podcast, learning about disability rights and history and activism and how it relates to our lives. So let's talk about it. This is Marcia from south florida. It's mary beth from California and I'm proud as fuck to be disabled, how about you is fun bitch, I'm disabled. What you thought? Yeah, but you don't look disabled.

Yeah, well it's very funny because the so we started this podcast because we have an identity, we have a way that we live our lives, we wanna fucking lift and that kind of clashes, those two realities definitely clash. And so we started a podcast and so here we are a little disabled girls doing our little lifting and then um you spend more time we spend more time building a community, we spend a lot more time talking to people on the internet on twitter and just reading and learning and there are so many things that honestly I see in an entirely new world view and one of those things is learning that july is disability pride month who wouldn't know that I didn't know what to think and what else is in july mary beth Yeah and it's funny too because so much that we learn on like you said twitter instagram or these podcasts you cannot read on a book or watching a movie because either the people that are represented are not disabled and are just working hard on their acting skills to look and act and think like us and it's just not as accurate unless you hear it from our perspectives.

And and every disability is so different to that. It's just nice hearing that we're not alone in at all, definitely july what's in july? What's in july? So we just found out okay his disability Pride month and we knew about Pride Month in june that's rainbow has got it july. Why what are we proud of? Right july 26th then by the time this comes out we're going to be in august but 30 years, y'all, 30 years only feels like a long time. But the A. D. A. Was signed into law, What does that mean? That means saving people now have the right to vote. They have the right to go to school work in the same workplace as everybody else who's able bodied. Uh what's another one? You know mary have the ability to own property, things like that and you were soon that these rights are equal for all but no we weren't included in that. No we weren't and I it's a big gripe with a lot of people that are at the intersection of black and disabled or immigrant, disabled or um, native and disabled because Every fight that we have in this country, it's just, it's like one little piece of you, you know, oh great.

We got civil rights in the 60s, but like I'm disabled. This didn't really, I still have a whole part of my life that needs some rights. You have to wait till the 90s. It's wild to me and it's only like you said only 30 years. So I mean I just I was a toddler. What? Yeah. So it's a concept, honestly, truly a concept. It's wild that it makes sense why why july would be disability pride month because of that monumental act. However, of course, you know, we're going to say that this is like a start. It's not the best thing able ism isn't solved. Just like racism wasn't solved with a black square on instagram, but at least we finally got to start 1999. Yeah. And I mean laws getting signed into into place don't mean and again, this is just the United States. What's going on outside of here, other places in the world, if your baby is born disabled, you're still getting killed.

And I mean we still see it here, but you know like there is always a long ways to go, it doesn't just mean alright if you're building has a ramp, you're accessible if you're building has an elevator For a 5, 10 story building. You know, it's everything else. The conversations that you have with people, whether you look somebody in the eye if they're in a wheelchair. Yeah. You know, so we we haven't talked about able ism all these little things and I think there's like, it's interesting because when I grew up, first of all, nobody ever talked about the A. D. A. Or anything like that. Or there's, you know, there's different acts for related to school and educational programs and all these kind of things. I don't really know anything about that stuff. I learned a glimpse of it in pT school because you treat kids, you know, you learn about kids cerebral palsy and then they'll get this and then an extra therapy, they get this paid for in the school and the school has to give them this. And then, you know, I got like a paragraph of learning but diving into it deeply, it's Not at all, what I pictured is growing up, somebody says something about 88.

Like really? That's like you said a ramp, that's all you think of like a wheelchair person, okay, has nothing to do with me. Great. Uh that's definitely not the case for what 88 means and how much more important it really is. Um The other part that surprised me when I looked into it is that it's not really, it's like a guideline. It's a rule, it's whatever, But it's not like you can call up somebody and say, hey, I'm pretty sure I got fired because I'm disabled and you know, the police are gonna knock on their door like, oh, you violated 88, let's go to jail. And I mean that's maybe I'm naive, but that's really what I thought. Yeah. And if they even get to that point, like we have spoken to so many people who don't even disclose their disability at an interview or at an application because of the fear of not even getting hired. So getting fired is almost a blessing because so many of us don't get hired. Like I think about this, I'm back in the job market.

I'm going into interviews. Am I going to hide my hand in my pocket? So they don't think that I am incapable of marketing well for them or doing customer service, right? But I'm not doing that anymore. I'm so past that. I mean, okay, not that passed, you passed today. You're past that today, But yeah, it's up and down. Yeah, exactly. And I mean, took quite a long time to get there. Yeah. I mean you spent your whole life wondering where you fit in and how you fit in and not understanding that disabled isn't a bad word. And like you said, I mean your discovery of being chronically ill, being sick, being an undiagnosed, you know, spoon e goes hand in hand with me even though I'm visually disabled. I never saw myself as that because of the symbol which is a wheelchair. Exactly. How do we not only realize that it's okay to be disabled?

Take pride in it but then also understand you know how are difference you know is is normal and organic in this right? Right. We spend so much time trying to force an idea of normal that if we just like fucking lived and let everybody else live we'd be better off. Like I I honestly feel like I'm spending I'm going to be 32. I'm spending the first two years of my thirties. I feel like I've spent unlearning anything I've learned from 0 to 18 unlearning everything. Learning and learning yep I'm learning unlearning what it means to be disabled on learning what it means that there's a part time wheelchair users unlearning that people are maybe on instagram even though they can't see all of these little things that you just keep on picking up and you have no idea. I mean just me as a spoon and a strength athlete. There's so many people that well come on my D. M. S. And they'll be like you know I never told anybody because I look fine.

Yeah I know I'm talking about dizziness neuropathy or like yeah me too but I'm kind of scared to tell anybody about it. All of these things are real. Yeah very real and very valid and I think the Celebrating that 88 happened, it's kind of like a jump off point and like we're going to say, Hey, this is great. 30 years ago, this happened, this meant a lot and that's that's just like the jumping point. I think if we approach our identities and how we feel about ourselves and what we were capable of, that's how you can find the pride in the disability. So like, Okay, wow, it's a 30 year of 80 a we finally got some disability rights and this is what we want for the future. So you look at yourself, okay, fuck I have lupus or you know, I have chronic fatigue, I don't even know what I have and I'm going to be a badass anyway, and that's how you find pride in it. I get I black out in the middle of a dead lift, I'm a badass anyway.

Yeah, like, and, and I'm still going to do this and I still want more. You know, look, it's not yeah, not an exclusion. It's not an exclusionary criteria. It's not like a deal breaker. Like, oh, something's wrong with you, You gotta go, that's how it used to be. And in conversation with so many able bodied athletes or able bodied people in your industry, our industry, they look at us and like, oh, I didn't even know you're a great athlete despite your disability. You are beautiful despite your disability or like you went through all these levels of education despite your disability. But no, like sure it's a part of us That doesn't define or hold us back from succeeding. But that is the way that it seems still 30 years into the 88 being signed and finally acknowledging us as humans. We're still other, we're still not necessarily seen as the normal human.

But I'm seeing it more now in our conversations and I loved it. Yeah. It's like it's yeah, it's definitely an everyday table conversation. Mm hmm. For some of us, I mean, not everyone, but at least it's on the radar. Yeah. It's definitely on the radar. And I think the that that's that's the future of where we're gonna go, how we're going to get more accessible. That we're opening the eyes of a lot of people to understand that even if they are disabled, their disability is not like everyone else's, Even if they are disabled, they can still do everything they want. And people that don't have disabilities can understand both of those realities. I think that's where we're getting and people who don't have disabilities can realize that they could one day be disabled and realize that it's not a bad thing. That was exactly, it doesn't have that community there for you. Waiting take much, you know, you can have gone fury after having the flu. You're in the hospital. Like damn that go well next.

You know, you have DeAndre or who knows, who knows what happens. Maybe have you know an accident, who knows There are people right now that haven't fully recovered from covid. They don't even know what to call these people. Mm So who knows? You're right. Really? At any point it could be you. So there's no no point on shipping on that idea or identity. Um And then like you said that despite word, I think we stick to end. So we're six to and I'm disabled and not that oh, doing this despite that. Like that's uh well and I think about it a lot when new people are coming into our community and saying, oh just our name. You know disabled girls who lift. We could be a girl. We could be a man, we could be disabled and not disabled. We could lift without those identities. But grabbing hold of that and being proud of our abilities I think is what comes out of the name a lot more than Oh just like I don't know.

People see it as uh huh. Oh, what are they saying? People see it as not. Very many disabled girls can lift. But this group can but that's not at all what it's about. I think people need to start understanding that just because we take pride in these labels doesn't mean that that's how we define ourselves, right? Or that is how we define ourselves. But your definition and my definition are two different sets of sentences. Yeah. And we don't solely define ourselves as disabled. I think the problem is that um because there are people that are me, especially when we had to uh the talks about sexuality and all those different labels in terms and people were really confused about like, well why do you need to say pan? And I heard this? And I had a sexual and there's alot and there's that like, well why does it matter? And well, when you are that other person, of course it matters because you spent your whole life not knowing what to call yourself because you looked at, you know, a regular standard quote unquote person, you're like, that's not me.

You know, you look at brad pitt and whoever in the movies when you're growing up, definitely not me. I'm like that's not meat. Like so when you find that word and you're like, this describes who I am, like, spooky, like, oh, that describes who I am and some people don't really get why do you want another label? Because I have an entire existence that you can encapsulate just by saying I'm a person. Like, I'm sorry, I want you, I want you to know that the levels I want you to know I'm black, I want, you know, I'm I'm I want you to know I'm a spoon like I want like that's my description. I'm going to put all those labels there and it's it's not? I think it might be like in line with the color blindness thing? Maybe because for me, I would rather put those late, I want those labels that I want. I want you to come up to me and say I'm trans and non gender conforming. Tell me who you are, that we're pitching holding ourselves and putting ourselves in boxes. If anything, we are taking out of the box, what society stuffed in and saying, fuck you, this is me.

Oh, that's how I feel about that. Yeah. And and that's why we have a problem with. I don't see color statements or I don't see you as disabled statement because you still see that as a negative. We're trying to take the negative out of these labels and embrace it and see and show y'all and ourselves what it is we are capable of and especially in the lifting community in the sports industry. Why is this important? Why is it important to showcase lifters and athletes who are adaptive? And, you know, not only because of the tools that we can share with each other resources and other facilities that are accessible organizations that truly work hard to train adaptive athletes. It's because we're not seen on the cover of sports illustrated only recently have we been literally in the last few years and then when you do see it, what do you see? You see amputees, you see people in wheelchairs still we don't cover the chronically ill.

When are we going to show people who are chronically ill and and openly talk about that, what it is that we do to adapt at a para lifting or strongman meat, you know, the crazy ankle weights that Marcy puts on how that's more to her advantage, but not to, you know, but to the disadvantage of people who are not spoon ease. Yeah, yep, yep, yep. This is all very true. This is all very true. It's just like a wild fucking time that we live in. But I totally agree with everything you're saying. And I think it's like um so I was listening to Alex wong's, she she has a podcast of sorts. She has a book, she has a whole bunch of stuff going on on disability visibility. But there's this one line that she said, and I think that kind of applies to what you're saying uh here it is, sorry. So she said, and I'm pretty sure those are pronouns if I sucked it up my bed access is so much more than just compliance to the A. D. A. Access is something that we should all have a responsibility for and access is something that we all have capacity in some way or another to give one another.

I'm like it's just bucking bars right there access is an action, which we don't realize and we have a personal responsibility to provide to you, wow, that's strong. I love Alice she's got some bars right there all day, every day. Top fire. She doesn't stop. But I guess it just just perfectly encapsulates what we're trying to say is that you don't have to go out and be a fucking activist. You don't have to make a sign and go picket city halls and stuff. You can look at what you're doing and understand that somebody else might need a different experience than me. What can I do for them? Yeah, that's it. Yeah, that's it. And it's not just checking off a box. Not at all. Not at all. Not even in the slightest. And it just seems to be just so swept under the rug. So you want a power lift. Um just to the pair of a pair of Leonard or whatever is just go ahead by, go look up the pair of thing.

I don't know by special olympics. Like uh we're not gonna deal with this true story that actually happened to me. I'm still crunching it's we'll find your people and do what they are. Don't do it here. No, we all have the capacity to get for access. Like we really do. There's something that all of us can do. Just do. You give a ship. Exactly. And it's not that hard. Y'all think that it takes. I mean, yeah, it does take a village, you know, to make it inaccessible village. But it all it really takes is communication with your athletes, with your clients, with your customers. What is it that they need? How can we communicate to them that we are willing and open to, you know, making it more more equitable for you to be a, you know, be trained by me or to come into my building or to attend my meats.

Even as even as the person in the crowd, what are you doing for the people in the crowd? Yeah. Most of these places, or like Mandy said in our last episode, she goes to these meats and she's literally making over toes. She's like, I don't get a move. Yeah, that's what she has to fund them toes and she has to do. But the person that's directing the meat, if they, you know, they woke up and said, okay, I can access to something I have the capacity for, okay, I have this experience with somebody else. Does not what can I do about it? That's that's still, that's all you start the train of thought with. Mhm. And then, you know, follow up with an action and when you don't know, you find someone that does and that's the other part where people cop out on, it's like one, you have to give a ship and think about it and to acknowledge that you don't know, find someone to help you figure it out. Like it's not, it's okay. And that's why when you said you've been unlearning everything that you've learned in the 1st 25 years of your life, that's so important for sports, like powerlifting where it literally sprouted in a garage in somebody's backyard by able bodied men.

And so when you're not thinking about making sure there are aisles between your chairs for a wheelchair to pass through or uh handicapped stall in your garage in bathroom. Like I'm I am grateful that the 88 was signed into law because now it is required for every building that has clientele or any public access to have both a handicap stall restroom, a ramp. What else? Uh they call it, you know, just aisles so that they're large enough to either fit doors, have to be a certain with and all that good stuff. You notice it too in your streets if you're walking around, especially like a big city of ours in California is Oakland. Uh um Are you torn? Er There's obviously a tiny little ramp um for wheelchairs to be able to get up onto the sidewalk, but then you see those yellow pad ing's that kind of like are different than the cement So that blind people as they're walking up into a curb or off of the curb, they know when the street starts and that's formulated around 80 a If you notice in cities, you know, they are building around 88 and it's amazing, but not all cities are like that, Not all countries are like that, No, no, not at all, depends on where you're at.

Which is pretty sad. Sad to see. I would definitely like to see a lot more access in sports and and how we are showing sport because no one needs to see, oh my gosh this lady is missing a leg and she's doing cleaning trucks. Amazing. I can too. Like we gotta move on man. Like we got to move on from the inspiration porn and actually include people. So I mean this year we're doing we're doing a lot more but pandemic canceled a lot of things so we didn't get to see the wheel wild games and I'm not sure what they're doing about that right? So that's too bad. I mean we did get to see the adaptive section of water pollution to and we did get to shoot on them for not giving them good enough prizes and I think they changed it. What was it? 100 bucks versus 1000 or 20. Like the 10th place of able body got more than the first place in the adaptive some squired ship like that.

Uh So there's there there is some good stuff happening but we still don't really know all about it. We still it's still not in the mainstream like we knew you and I know about these things because we're just getting more into it. That's where our interests are. That's what we're looking up. But if you're just a regular bro. just Yeah, on strongman sites or whatever, You were just like blogging on Reddit, this might still be a mystery to you. So how do we break through that if you're not look if you're not looking for us? Like I want you to find us anyway, But I think that's what I would like for in terms of access and sports and representation, like I wanted to be in your face, You can't escape us. Technology is like that's probably why we're seeing so many people like us or experiencing what we are experiencing because sure we've we've started a community, but we're following hashtags like adaptive athlete. We're following hashtags like uh disabled girls who lift or um black and disabled or because we want to see that on our feet.

But and why is it only that disabled people want to see other disabled people uh and able bodied people only want to see us when they need some uplifting or empowering or whatever motivation you fucking like, see it's because you want to include us in your dialogue, you know, so that and then teach that to your Children so that when they see us out on the street, we shouldn't have to feel ashamed of not looking like them or, you know, the stairs, we get the stairs all the time. Yeah. Hot mess. Yeah, it's not even a conversation. It's not even it's not even a part of education whatsoever. So I think uh education system just like failed us all around. Yeah, I mean it wasn't until after I graduated from a bachelors that I realized they formed a minority around a minority program around disability education, you know?

But that's an upper division or upper higher education. We're not going to hear that in high school. I mean think about it. Yeah, that makes no sense. So they make you take, you know, like, oh, you have to take one of these, you have to take a cultural class like religions or philosophy. Like why not stuff that matters? Like why? Like appreciation of music? Remember those like nothing classes. You could have replaced all of that with so much more how to be anti racism. History of racism in America history of disability activism. Like you could have went in and how many schools still don't allow ethnic studies classes or gender studies classes in there because it's too political or in high school, that's not what parents want to teach their kids because we're not passed a color blind society or look at who we have in power. He's talking shit about disabled people on live television. He's, you know, actually harassed.

He isn't on the other end. People are also making fun of him and that's able as fuck too. Oh yeah, that's just not cool either. And then people will like defend it. Like, oh well I'm not saying disabilities are bad. I'm just saying that like if donald trump had a stroke or something. We as the people should know because maybe he can't do his job anymore like this. You just said someone who's stroke can't do a job now. Do not understand what you just said. No, no. I draw the same lines. Yes. Yeah. We have to do better. We gotta do better. So like disability in terms of the media, you consume the podcast. You listen to the books you read and the same for for for all sorts of intersections. Like when you read a book like how many times did you just white cis characters are you reading books that talk about trans? Whoever's are you reading books that talk about someone with any sort of illness? Anything like what are you reading? What are you watching? And if you're not really outside of that bubble then you know, it's time to explore. Yeah, it's time to explore, take this revolution seriously.

Y'all don't just be proud of these conversations act on it and really engage in that because like we and we said this before, we are the largest, the largest minority in the world and in the United States. And there's still so many of us who are either undiagnosed or don't identify with its disability title but we're here we're alive and we're well Yeah, my funk around and thrive a little bit watches. Watch us so happy 30 years 80 a and were disabled and were disabled and we're not doing things. Just a disability disabled and were disabled and badasses were disabled and athletes and perhaps book proud. Mm hmm. And we're never leaving. Mm hmm. In fact, we're just gonna get louder. That's the plan. That's the plan.

Anything else before we close out marble? No, I'm excited to learn more. Yeah. So that's your homework guys. Look up some history, do some googling. Uh, maybe a good place to start is check out disability visibility project because she has a lot of essays and projects and it's always good to hear about someone's lived experience to really understand it more than anything. And it's always important to make sure that the information you are consuming is from someone who is actually disabled. Please please. And if this is the first disability podcast you've listened to, please reach out to other more. You've March has been on chronically Badass, which is a dope ass podcast. There's so many out there. Listen to everyone's experience because we can't represent them all when we won't. No, no. We're not gonna pretend to know it all and live at all. We're just living our lives and talking ship. So thanks for joining us disabled girls out. Thanks for listening to disabled girls who left. We appreciate all of your support and everyone who's taken the time to show us some love.

Don't forget to subscribe rate already. Review of our channel. We're on apple podcasts. Spotify player FM. google podcasts and more. You can also find us on instagram at disabled girls who left. Hi. Mhm.

E30: Celebrating Disability and ADA’s 30th Anniversary
E30: Celebrating Disability and ADA’s 30th Anniversary
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