Not Every Disability Can Be Seen

Life Stories
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
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  • "Nobody wants to be a jerk." This advice came from a friend, and it was some of the best advice I have ever received. 
  • This advice led me to ask why the person I was dealing with was being a jerk. 
  • Our story's antagonist Brian learns to be "tuff" and insensitive to avoid being hurt and feeling weak. 
  • An array of tough experiences in early childhood and early adulthood create his mindset that all you need to do is man up. 
  • If you can't hack it, it's nobody's fault but yours.

Meet Brian

It was hot. I could hear the crickets chirping, my hair was matted under the helmet, and I was covered in sweat.

But I felt awesome.

I watched as he began to wind up for the next pitch. I was just a little bit off on the two previous pitches.

I was probably going to knock the next one over the fence.

I watch the ball leave his hand, and then I felt the explosion.

To this day, I still say it felt like something exploded on the side of my face. My body crumpled, and all I remember after that is waking up in a tiny, white, cold hospital room.

I didn't get a chance to knock the next pitch out of the park because it knocked me right on the side of the jaw.

My jaw snapped in two places on either side of the ear flap of my helmet.

Now, I am laying in a hard, hospital bed forced to use pillows that feel like they must be stuffed with straw, and my jaw wired shut.

The side of my face was mostly still numb. So, the mind-numbing pain hadn't hit me yet.

But you know what sucked even more? These damn meal replacement shakes I had to drink through a straw.

Straws are for little kids and meal replacement shakes are for old people hoping that Slim Fast will make them skinny.

I guess if there's one place you want to have your jaw wired shut, it's the hospital. The food is crap though.

The weeks after I left the hospital all ran together into one big suck fest. I was tired of hearing other people in the halls moan and groan about their handicaps and what they couldn’t do.

I took it like a man, not some wimp whining about how the world needs to change to better fit how my life sucks right now or to make up for some stupid little thing that wasn’t accessible.

Shattering my jaw didn't slow me down. It’s only a handicap. If you’re not man enough to push through it.

It just goes to show. If you man up instead of whining about what you can't do and expecting everyone around you to change everything just to make it easier, you'll be just fine.

Real World Impact

Brian essentially forced himself to "man up" and takes on the circumstances of his injury without the support or assistance he needs to have a positive experience.

Believe it or not, this is almost exactly what we see from many of the end-users we serve who live with disabilities and the experiences they have with digital content.

They have struggled to access many parts of the technological world for so long, suck it up and deal with it has essentially become their unofficial technological motto.

Using our passion and talents to allow those who previously struggled in the digital world to not only access information effectively, but to be able to take full advantage of the benefits that modern technology offers despite their disabilities is incredibly rewarding.

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