I Am a Disabled Person

I am a disabled person and not a “bitter tree” or a “leaden bird of death” or any other imprecise, darkling metaphor one might devise. It’s still astonishing how often I must write this. Many able bodied people continue to believe (no matter how educated) that disability pushes against the windowpanes like night; that even hiring the disabled might let loose something akin to darkness in the workplace. They’re awfully complicated—those disabled—wanting special bathrooms or breathing apparatuses or Braille. Of course we oughtn’t take their opinions too much to heart. We’ll get around to them some day.

Let’s bitterize them with metaphors. Note: they were bitter from a prior time—a Karmic thing—that man with the dark glasses who says we should hire disabled people is truly a bitter tree. You see, he was born that way.

Metonymy in metaphor helps too. If he’s a sad tree he’s not quite a man.

Let’s move on.

Safe to say we won’t be hiring disabled persons here at the Widget Designer Birthday Candle Co. —not if we can help it.

And even though the job (as advertised) has the word “disability” featured prominently, we’ll argue that disabled persons are less appropriate.

The better candidates will not have disabilities but will know about disability because they’re good persons—see?

They’re clean. Not dark at all.

If you don’t believe the able bodied screen disability by means of metaphor conisder this: one of the most popular rackets in the world of event planning, often called motivational speaking, depends entirely on transformative metaphors. The blind man overcomes blindness by climbing a mountain; the wheelchair girl becomes a fashion plate.

Disability is just a state of mind.

In this way, disabled people are understood to be dark (troubled) or light (squeaky clean).

There just aren’t enough clean disabled to go around.

And you wonder why the 80% unemployment rate for people with disbilities continues unabated?