Society

Disability advocacy – not porn to me.

Leanne Watson / February 24, 2017

“Disability doesn’t make you exceptional, but questioning what you think you know about it does.”Stella Young 1982-2014

I don’t know how many of you have heard about or knew Stella Young. She was an intelligent, witty and outspoken woman. As an advocate for an inclusive world for people of all abilities she was a force to be reckoned with.



Stella was a fellow Melburnian whom I had only started listening to and hearing about in the last years of her short life.







During that life, Stella was a comedian, a high school teacher and a member of many boards including Women with Disabilities Victoria and the Youth Disability Advocacy Service. She edited an online Magazine for  Melbourne’s ABC  Ramp Up.



I don’t profess to know the details of how far reaching her influences were but I do know that she certainly made me really start thinking about what it actually means to be disabled. It has taken me a very long time to consider myself in that light. I really never felt like a disabled person before starting to listen to Stella partly due to not enjoying the idea of pigeon holing people and partly due to the sneaking up and progressive quality of my LGMD.It seemed I was an “adapting” able bodied person.



Stella’s experience with her own physical capacity was far different to what mine is. While I wouldn’t adopt some of Stella’s views, such as claiming “crip” as an empowering verbal self description I am now less reluctant to use the terms “physically disabled” or “less mobile” or “lesser abled” about myself.



Stella’s pragmatic and strong views on where we all fit into an inclusive society; how we are all valued and what we can do to change perceptions that seem to regard the less abled as inferior or unworthy (or even inspiration porn link explains all) has left a lasting impression on me.



Be inspired by an articulate, strong and forceful woman who has a lot to say and is not afraid to say it.



I know I was and continue to be .

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