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!

Leave a Reply

About Daniella-Jade Lowe

Hello everyone! Welcome to my page. My name is Daniella Jade Lowe. I am a university graduate with a BA degree focused on History and Politics from the University of Bradford, England. Journalism and Politics are my passion. I have even represented Bermuda at the London 2012 Paralympic Games as a reporter for Bermuda’s Paralympian Jessica Lewis. During the games I also assessed the level of Wheelchair Accessibility at the event. I am an emerging Journalist, Politician and Disability Advocate. My motive behind doing this was to be an advocate for people with disabilities. I have a disability. It does not 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. As a wheelchair user, I have advocated for Wheelchair Accessibility in Bermuda, by writing various articles for numerous publications on the subject. I also have a blog where I also write about various disability related issues. During Middle School and High School, I used a Garaventa StairTrac to navigate the school for classes. In fact, one of the reasons why I pursued further education and started my career in England was due to Wheelchair Accessibility. During College, I became the Disability Officer for the Students’ Union and I advocated for the students with disabilities. On July 27, 2007, I was invited by former Premier of Bermuda Dr. Ewart Brown for a ‘Brown Bag Lunch’ to discuss issues like Wheelchair Accessibility amongst other things. I have also been sporadically involved with WindReach since I was young. This is how I amplify my voice for Wheelchair Accessibility! I am also skilled in Politics, Microsoft Excel, Customer Service, Microsoft Word, and Strategic Planning. Strong media and communication professional with a BA focused in History and Politics from University of Bradford.