Stigma and Silence: Culture and Disability

Separate, but not equal. We, the disabled, still have to struggle to find a place in this world. Because the world is not made for us, and we shake up people’s foundations of what should be. We live in stigma and silence.


STIGMA noun a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person

History does not speak kindly of how those with disabilities were treated. Shunned, outcast, killed at birth, shunted into different schools. Not a part of the normal everyday world. A story that not only lacks justice, but also mercy. We live in stigma and silence.


SILENCE noun complete absence of sound

Not speaking of something,  a people can pretend it doesn’t exist. Lack of acknowledgment denotes lack of existence. What does not exist can not touch a person, can not affect them. Then one does not have to fear becoming like them, because they are not real. We live in stigma and silence.


I myself have struggled with speaking up about my fibromyalgia, my Interstitial Cystitis, my ADHD, my depression. I do have to fight with shame when I ask for reasonable accommodations. I consider myself to be an intelligent rational person, and I see no shame when I think of others asking for these accommodations, in fact, it is my job to help students get them. So why do I feel that way? Because we live in STIGMA and SILENCE.


3 responses to “Stigma and Silence: Culture and Disability

  1. Cheryl, this is a blog by my friend Cathy. Cathy also battles her body due to chronic illness. Her blog is one I think you will relate to and really enjoy. I am enjoying your words, thoughts, and postings. Thank you for putting yourself out there. I miss seeing your smile at Hopewell. Our kids miss your passion and compassion.

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