DANNY TURNS DOWN THE….

By: Daniella Jade Lowe

Danny was a young Para-Superhero. Nobody had seen or even heard of a neurodiverse superhero. He had an adaptive costume for all occasions. His wheelchair was faster than the speed of lightning.

Being born as a Para-Superhero, made Danny quite the ‘oddball.’ He was birthmarked to defy genetic dispositions. He demanded respect wherever he went.

As a Para-Superhero he always wanted to prove people wrong which made him ambitious.

‘A superhero is supposed to save the day,’ he thought.

‘How can I save the day as a Para-Superhero?’ Danny thought to himself.

Unfortunately he inherited the nickname, ‘supercrip.’

As Danny got older he could not tolerate the stigma that came with being a Para-Superhero. Too many titles from society caused him to lose who he was. As a result, he suffered an ‘identity crisis.’

Danny already dealt with physical limitations. He didn’t want people’s labels too. It brought intersectionality to his personality.

The mainstream world saw Danny as ‘privileged’ but ‘abnormal’ when all he wanted was ‘acceptance’ which often led to discrimination.

‘What is normal?’ Danny would think to himself.

‘Normal is the setting on a dryer!’ he concluded.

This one stereotype has repeated itself so much that it resounds like a broken record to Danny.

His mother reminded him, ‘It’s not about what they call you, it’s what you answer to!’

Stereotypes were his handicap. Danny had two options, either take life lying down or be motivated to live up to his own goals and expectations. So he started a war on stereotypes with archetypes.

This war included fighting against exploitation of disabilities, deformities, misconceptions, and negative portrayal of disabilities. ‘Disability is not a taboo!’ he said. Inclusion is not a delusion.
  • Heroes don’t need to overcome their disabilities.
  • Wheelchairs aren’t exclusively for older people.
  • We are not “inspiration porn”.
  • Who said you need to walk in order to be a hero?
‘Let’s have a ‘big conversation’ on stereotypes,’ Danny exclaimed!
‘Stereotypes exist, definitely, but that’s why we should listen to the individual voices of disabled people over non-disabled charity voices’ Danny said!
Danny says, ‘Let me tell you how to deal with the terrible power of stereotypes.’ ‘Disable the label!’ Assumptions are lazy. Statistics should not affect status.
  • Change the stereotypes. Challenge the ‘status quo.’ Upset the fruit basket. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
  • Buffer the stereotype threat through shifting self perception to positive self affirmation.
  • Reframe the stereotype threatening task as a challenge. See a stereotype as a chance to prove people wrong instead of getting offended over it.
  • Reinterpret the anxiety that comes with stereotype threats. In other words, ‘don’t take it personal’ and make bold steps to overcome them.
And that’s how Danny turned down the stereotypes!

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About Daniella-Jade Lowe

Hello, My name is Daniella Jade Lowe. I am a PURSUN researcher and I am working on marketing myself as an Accessibility Consultant. Journalism and Politics are my passion. I have a BA degree in History and Politics. What type of disability do you have? At birth, I was diagnosed with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus which are neurological conditions. As a result, I use a wheelchair for mobility. What is disability to you? The only disability is a bad attitude. I have a disability. It doesn’t completely define me; it just enhances me in a way which differentiates and strengthens me. My disability should be viewed as an ability: to see the world in a different way. I don’t really like the term because sometimes it indirectly implies someone is dysfunctional or helpless. The most important thing is to never make assumptions. Someone with a disability can be very, physically, fit and strong, highly intelligent and articulate. What has been your experience from the time you remember till now? - positive and negative experiences. My life as a wheelchair user has been generally okay. Wheelchair Accessibility is frustrating. I was teased a little in school. Other than that, life is great. How do you cope with: -daily activities - your disability, do you have times when you are down - people's reactions towards you. I have carers, a Social worker, District Nurses, a GP, and extended family in this country. I am also in contact with a local disability charity in Yorkshire. I also have a friendly landlord. How do you keep yourself motivated? I must stay organised and practice good time management. I also prioritise my plans. What is your word or advice - to those with disabilities? - to the society Don’t let people put you in a box. You have a voice, use it. 10. Tell us about your platforms if you have any- Blog: The View from Where I Sit Facebook: Daniella Jade Lowe Instagram: @daniellajadelowe/@theviewfromwheresitblog Thank you!