Winners of the What is the Disability Experience? Facebook Contest!

We’re thrilled to share with you the winning entries in our “What is the Disability Experience?” Facebook Contest!

What is the Disability Experience?
By Michael Mooney

Being strong even when you feel weak
Being different – even though you feel the same
Being loud – when you’d prefer to stay quiet
Being separate – when you want to be equal
Being noticed – when you’d rather blend in
Being ‘special’ – when you feel pretty ordinary
Being prepared – when you’d rather just wing it
Being reliant on help – when you wanna do your own thing
Being sensitive to others – even when they are insensitive to you
Being an individual – and not just a statistic
Being a person living with a disability – rather than just a disabled person
Being you! Being!

By Susan Mazrui

I woke up in body not my own
My thoughts, the same
My dreams remained
The sun still felt warm
Music played
But the dancers wore white coats
And smiley face pajamas
Some things have changed not me.
The city is not made for me, now.
One size does not fit all, now.
Stairs are everywhere.
Stares are everywhere…
Ramps raise me up
But do not take me where you go
The tablet makes me the same as you
Until I am seen
Until you stare.

People I do not know cheer me
I am not broken!
I am fine.
Fine, just fine.
And yet, how can I be special?
When I am the same.

You no longer hear my words
They are anticipated
No need to be said
I inspire you
That is enough
For you, not me
I want to do more than breathe.
To work.
To love.
To sing.
To grieve.

You stare without seeing me
Is it your fears?
Your shame?
Your tears?
Your world has changed
Not mine
You close a door
And pity me.
And I pity you.
Because I am not the one who is locked in
Or blinks
I do not flinch
I am not afraid
I am not broken
I did not change
You did.

But you can change again.
You can see beyond the screen
You can take that ramp
It can raise you up with me.
We can be freed
Look at me.
Who I am.
Do not be afraid.

© Susan Mazrui


One thought on “Winners of the What is the Disability Experience? Facebook Contest!

  1. Pingback: Poetry by Susan Mazuri | Disability Visibility Project

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