Disability comes in many different forms, some better known, some doomed into obscurity. Today, the 3rd of December is world disability day. I wanted to include some statistics about disability in this article, but it proved difficult to find international statistics about the subject, as most sites only listed numbers about the United States. It might be that there are no good international statistics, as I think the people in developing countries are focusing their healthcare resources on something else.
Disability doesn't mean just being in a wheelchair or having missing limbs. Disability can be congenital or acquired. It can be caused by eg. a hereditary condition, problems during pregnancy or during birth, psychologic trauma, chronic illness, poisoning, complications of an acute illness, complications of medical treatment or injuries sustained due to an accident or violence. Sometimes a disability can be cured or put to remission by treatment (such as surgery or medication), but in most cases it's more or less permanent, with a steady level of disability, a relapsing-remitting course of illness or a progressive course.
In many cases disability is invisible, meaning that you won't notice that someone is disabled if you don't know it. A person may appear perfectly normal even if they suffer from cognitive impairment, chronic pain, severe fatigue, depression, blurred vision, compulsive thoughts or some other symptoms caused by the disability. This often leads to the disability being belittled and in extreme cases even to accusations of lying or malingering the condition, because it cannot be witnessed from outside.
Did you know...
...that not everyone who is in a wheelchair is paralyzed? Some people suffer from severe fatigue or muscle weakness that makes them unable to walk and others experience severe pain if they attempt walking.
...that people in wheelchairs can play many sports or even dance?
...that in Italy companies are mandated by law to hire disabled workers (disability percentage more than 46%)? Eg. if there are more than 15 employees it has to hire at least one disabled person. Companies with over 50 employees have to have at least 7% of their workforce consist of disabled people.
...that even brief treatment with some medications that can be life-saving, such as antibiotics, antipsychotic drugs and corticosteroids can in some cases cause permanent damage to the body?
...that many disabled people commit suicide, not necessarily because of the actual disability, but because they can't get treatment or assistance or because they receive inadequate pain relief?
...that many people who survive cancer receive long-lasting or permanent side-effects from the radiation, chemotherapy or other medications, such as chronic pain, seizures, cognitive impairment ("chemo brain") and damage to heart, lungs or other organs?
...that children suffering from a chronic illness are often misdiagnosed and mistreated, because their troubles are attributed to school phobia, problems in the family or even Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, which may lead to the children being taken away from their parents?
...that up to 5% of the population suffers from autoimmune illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, lupus or scleroderma?
...that sometimes normally fairly benign conditions such as anemia, rashes, or PMS can cause severe disability?
...that almost all chronic illnesses can kill, even if they're not usually viewed as terminal? Multiple sclerosis and lupus are two well known examples, but things like rheumatoid arthritis, CFS/ME, endometriosis and epilepsy can also in rare cases prove fatal.
Since DeviantART is an art site after all, the main focus of this article is to feature art and literature related to disability. I've tried to include a wide variety of visual art, including traditional and digital art, photography, resources, icons, designs and artisan crafts. I also tried to include a wide variety of disabilities, but unfortunately it's impossible to feature all of them even if there are are about them on DA, so please don't feel offended or left out if I haven't featured anything about your disability. But feel free to post links in the comments section.
Faded.Can't sleep tonight. Medical steroids are making me want to jump right out of my skin.
I am feeling very ick tonight. It's been an ick day. I remembered why I don't attempt to eat huge meals, and it's because I inevitably suffer from a crushing depressive guilt episode immediately following.
Stupid, but true.
I've talked to a lot of very hurt, down people this week. I wonder if it's something in the air.
I can go from up to down in no time at all. I've never understood that. I can sit here and write something amusing or something cute about my son, and ten minutes later I can write about pain, or bad memories, or anger. The stuff bubbles beneath the surface until it boils over and spills into every conscious moment like a poison.
I don't know why that is. It's like there are little angry, depressive mosquitoes flying around, and they bite me. The effect lasts for a while, and then wears off.
It may also be the other way around, and the mosquitoes are happy while I am sad, bu
Good SoldiersI, too, saw God through mud –
The mud that cracked on cheeks when wretches smiled.
War brought more glory to their eyes than blood,
And gave their laughs more glee than shakes a child…
At the doctor's office, I'm limping.
Long weeks have passed since hysterical coiling demons first awakened in the muscles of my legs, strangling the veins to my feet as an invading army would cut off water to the besieged. It no longer hurts, but I walk gingerly on wooden toes, fearing what new injury fibromyalgia -- the Beast -- has inflicted on my depleted, worn-out body.
Like a jockey without his tack, I ascend the platform to have my weight read.
My mother begins to chafe under the suspicious sideways glances leveled at us by the nurse manning the scale. The woman has decided that the numbers quantifying my collective person are not satisfactory. My mother catches the unspoken criticism and asserts with indignation that her twins eat whenever they can. We Under Suspicion say so ourselves, but
This mouth! This bulging, spongy, corpulescent, puckered, untrustworthy, throbbing, deceiving, feckless, lazy, troublesome, swollen, slothful, negligent, double-crossing, shiftless fiend of an orifice! This bulbous tongue! These equinoid teeth! This flaccid uvula! Curse this inadequate organ, that it cannot speak!
I could persuade the stars to loose their bonds on the heavens, if only I could create the sounds! I could drive the mountains to tears, if only I could form the words! Cities would hearken to my every utterance, countries would rise to my greeting, planets would dance to the chant of my tongue...if only I could SAY it!
It is not a slowness of wit; the words are there almost before the idea has formed. They are lined up on the porches of my lips, ready to cascade outward, a meaningful convoy of sweet reason, when my MOUTH moves into action, butchering each syllable! Jettisoning a machine-gun fire of noise, shattering words into pieces, choking over the simplest of sounds! For
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Accessing Disability Awareness"Accessing Disability Awareness"
A comedic short by Mike LaPenna
INT. MIKE DORM ROOM- NIGHT
MIKE sits at his desk in his new wheelchair contemplating what to write for his latest screenwriting assignment while talking on the phone with CHRIS.
I don't know what to do man. I've been sitting here for three hours and I can't come up with crap!
Don't worry so much, it would come to you. Think about real life. There's plenty of stuff in real life that's funny, you just don't see it until after the fact.
True. I guess I just have to chill the hell out for a minute.
Yeah get some rest man. You sound like you need it.
Yeah, I do! Plus I get to test out my new chair tomorrow!
That should be awesome… but get some sleep and talk to me tomorrow.
Alright Chris, goodnight.
INT. MIKE- DORM ROOM- BED- MORNING
MIKE awakes from a good night sleep to start hi
Yellow Blue Red
The cheese was yellow. The bowl was blue. He pushed the last few macaroni around in the bottom of the bowl. Yellow ships in a blue sea, he thought. Yellow and blue. The macaroni made a ring. The yellow was more orange, he corrected himself. Orange like his truck. It was almost like the rubber ducky in the bathtub upstairs. Orange-yellow. Yellow-orange.
He played with the elbows in the bowl. There were four. He pushed them into a line. One, two, three, four. Four yellow. Yellow four. He spun one around slowly with his fork. It looked kind of like a clock with its hands spinning around and around and around. Four clocks in a circular clock bowl.
He began to look past the spinning of the macaroni to the bowl. It was spotted with orange-yellow (yellow-orange) cheese, but the blue show
Strangest FogStrangest fog, this illness.
Sylvia talked of tulips and white hospitals
when I was seventeen, and I thought,
"This is morose. This is what maudlin
is meant to mean. What strange
self-indulgence." And now,
I see the inside, or I saw it, once.
It's when the eyes recede into the caverns
of the mind, like cupping your hands
at your temples, except it's bone and skin,
in walls around you and the bright at the end
of the tunnel is really very white.
Walk like your body
is not your all.
Talk like a tin can kicked
down the road to sandstone,
soapstone lives you've lived, built
from the matter of your mind,
abrasive, dissolving, waterfalls of memory -
I used to hallucinate when I was younger am I still
hallucinating am I still younger -
Sylvia wrote hospital ice boxes
and no one ever see the day
of dead children or yellow fl
I Can'tThere are a lot of things I cant do. Advanced Theoretical Physics for example, write in fluent Thai for another, although I did go through a phase a few years ago of trying to learn it. Some of things I cant do are due to simple biology, such as seeing without glasses, or singing soprano (not that I can sing in any other range either). Others are less justifiable. I cant, for example, eat pork without feeling violently ill. I cant write in verse without lapsing into cheesy love poetry, no matter what I was writing about to begin with. I cant bring myself to listen to anything by Abba, although as I understand it, that is a common failing.:thumb15165278:
However there are some things that I cant do that make no sense whatsoever. To anyone, even myself. The main thing I cannot do is talk in front of other people. I just cant. I dont know why. No one does. Oh they have theories, but nothing solid. None of the therapists Ive seen in the seventeen year
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BedriddenOh bring me a backbone to breathe with
There is no other patchwork skin but this
ribcages catch the heart, spring a leak and bleed
but drowning lungs trust that nothing is amiss.
Oh silence me foolhardy lips,
speak your sorrows to the air
for collarbones and handlebars
have all but rusted beyond repair.
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