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The Next Time Someone Tells You To ‘Adapt’

September 12, 2020

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In the past, when I made blog posts or videos regarding how inaccessible this world is, what do people who obviously didn’t watch the video or read the blog post say? “I need to learn to adapt.’ When someone tells you this. I want you to reply with something like

‘ Adapt to what? Discrimination? Ableism? Being misunderstood? Being bullied by NTs for not ‘fitting their norm?’ No jobs for us? Employers, that are not willing to give us a chance and make the job accessible? Stigmas and false info that cause our autism to get brushed off and ignored? You are going to have to be more transparent than that.”

I talk about those things in my blog posts and videos. So I have to just live in an inaccessible world instead of the world making an effort to make things accessible for people with disabilities? I feel that is just an asshole thing to do. How can we ‘adapt’ without the tools to help us access the world the way you do? if I was out of milk that’s one thing. For example, back in my broke Youtuber days, I had to adapt to what I had until I could upgrade.

I feel that activism can help. If someone comes across a post they can relate to, they share it and do on. Then maybe a legit association sees it. You will never know what a simple video or blog can do.

Imagine someone in a wheelchair making a post about not being able to access buildings due to no ramp or elevator and you comment that they need to adapt. Are you saying they just have to deal with not being able to get into the building when, in the first place, the building should have disabled access in the first place? Not only that, you can break your leg and can’t get into certain places because they have no accessibility. Unlearn your ableism. You are one misfortune away from being disabled

Instead of weeding people with disabilities out, you should want them to access the things you do.

Someone wants a better life for their people and you want nothing to do with it so you tell them to just adapt to inaccessibility. This is the message I got when I made those videos and the commenter told me I need to adapt. I don’t need to adapt. You need to take your ableism and shove it up your ass.

Some of you may feel like this is a bold statement. I made a video about how I feel it is harder being an adult on the spectrum than if you are a kid and a guy commented I need to adapt. By his logic, I need to adapt to no resources, being unable to afford the resources due to insurance, etc, being misunderstood, people expecting me to read their minds,s and the going off for not being able to read their minds.

I talked about those things in my video. Yes, some people with autism can cope just fine without support. Some people need support, some don’t. How about YOU adapt to the fact that people with disabilities are going to need support and help so they can access the world. Instead of making people with disabilities adapt to inaccessibility, how about you accept the fact that some folks just need help. Even NTs/abled-bodied people may struggle to afford what they need ( eg glasses, meds for allergies etc)

I hate how leaving disabled people in the dark is justified. Think about it, if someone can’t access what they need, society is disabling them. There is no shame in advocating for better accessibility. Stop telling us just to adapt. If the world was accessible, we would not have to ‘adapt’ to begin with.

If someone post about their barriers and then gets a comment that they need to adapt, it looks to me like the commenter wants disabled people to crawl over broken glass to make it in the world rather than wanting them to have the same accessibility.

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