This is what I think disability acceptance means:
- Facing what your abilities are and aren’t
- Accepting yourself as already having value
- Living your life now and doing things you care about.
- Not putting your life on hold waiting for a cure
But, some kinds of acceptance talk end up putting destructive kinds of pressure on people. And I think:
- It’s ok to like or dislike being disabled. It’s ok to like some aspects of your condition but not others
- It’s ok to want treatment and to be frustrated that it isn’t available
- It’s ok to pursue treatment that *is* available
- It’s ok to work hard to gain or keep certain physical or cognitive abilities, and to be happy or proud that you have them
- It’s ok to decide that some abilities aren’t worth keeping, and to be happy or proud about moving on from them
- All of those things are very personal choices, and no one’s business but your own
- None of them are betrayals of acceptance or other disabled people
The point of acceptance is to get past magical thinking.
It means seeing yourself as you actually are, without being consumed by either tragedy or the need to focus on overcoming disability. It means accepting where you are, and living now, without putting your life on hold waiting for a cure.
Acceptance creates abilities. Acceptance makes it easier to be happy and to make good decisions. But acceptance does not solve everything, and it does not come with an obligation to love absolutely every aspect of being disabled.