host your own party

August 30, 2019

 

In Ali Stroker's episode of ABLE (which launches on AmazonPrime 9/12/2019), she tells viewers that, in regards to disability: "It's important to host your own party."  While we don't delve into this idea too much in the episode, I think it is so important to unpack.  

 

In previous blogs, I have written about how I did not have the vocabulary to accept or speak about my disability until I was a teenager.  And I believe everyone living with a disability gets to decide when to disclose, how to disclose, and what to disclose.  However, I think if folks with disabilities DO disclose, it is important to know how to articulate what you need.

 

Here are some offerings on how you can indeed "host your own party" if you are disabled.

 

1.  Be able to articulate your disability to someone who is meeting you for the

     first time.  

2.  Know the accommodations you need to be successful, and be able to               articulate those needs.  Also give yourself grace in the knowledge that 

     those needs and accommodations can change and develop as you do.  

3.  Are you cool with people asking further questions?  If so, let them know.  

     If not, that's cool too, just let them know where your boundaries are. If you         don't want to talk about it, you certainly don't have to do so.  If you want to   

     educate, educate!

 

When I was first learning how to host my own party, I wrote and memorized a handful of scripts for myself.  For example, there is the script you give to a high school substitute teacher, "Hi!  Did Mrs. Meyers leave you an enlarged copy of the work for today?  That is my copy, I have low vision and need large print." Or the dance class speech, "Hi Mr. New Choreographer, I am legally blind, so when you tell the class to switch lines, I will stay right here on your left in the front line."  

 

At first, these speeches gave me an enormous lump in my throat and felt like serious emotional labor.  But, like any script, the more you practice it...the more it becomes second nature.

 

Learn how to host your own party.  Pop your own champagne, write your own script, throw confetti, and disclose what feels best to you.  

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