Life can be tough with a disability, but surveys have shown people with disabilities consistently have a good quality of life, which means nondisabled people should stop asking disabled people what’s wrong with them. Clearly, “It’s not us, it’s you.”
Sixty-one million adults in the United States live with a disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To validate the surveys, we polled 0.000008% of them about gratitude. Our evidence-based results conclude that disabled people want nondisabled people to stop saying “I’m sorry” about their disabilities. Again, it’s not us, it’s you — heck, disabled people are a grateful bunch!
Here are participants’ responses when asked to complete the sentence, “I am grateful I …”:
1. Can’t see creepy crawlies
“I shed a tear when my vision deteriorated,” said Kris Cornell, who is legally blind. “But I bawled with happiness when realized I no longer have to see creepy crawlies!” An entomophobe, Cornell never truly embraced his blindness until that “Aha!” moment and calls it a blessing.
2. Have awesome friends and family who help more than I need
“I was constantly explaining that I am independent and don’t need help,” said Mary Teresa, who has spina bifida. “It was draining, so now I just say yes. It’s a win-win situation! They believe they’re helping me, and s**t I hate doing finally gets done.” Teresa’s stovetops are now always spotless, her bedsheets are always creaseless and dirty dish pileups no longer exist. When friends really, really, really want to help, she allows them to remove hair from the drain and scrub her toilets.
3. Get freebies and discounts
“Who doesn’t love freebies and discounts?” laughed Beth Soskin, who likes to be identified as a penny-pincher rather than a disabled person who has spinal damage. “OK, OK, they’re accommodations so disabled people can do things equally like our nondisabled peers, but I know it’s because I am just an awesome human being!” Soskin is particularly grateful for discounted bus fares, free national park access and disabled parking.
4. Can drink and not drive
“I am thankful I can drink and not have to drive!” said Johnnie Waulker, who is legally blind. “Friends always feel sorry for me, but I am the one who feels sorry for them! I never have to be a designated driver.” Waulker is compiling a list of cocktails for the holidays and may need to join AA at some point or choose something else to be grateful for.
5. Get to move to the front of the line!
“Hell yeah!” said Emilia Hart, who is paralyzed from the waist down. “I just show up, bypass the long security line and board before those fancy-schmancy first-class passengers!” Bound for Mexico this holiday, Hart confessed she whispers, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah,” and discreetly makes an “L” on her forehead as she passes them by. She is also grateful she can sit at the front of the bus and gets to move to the front of the Vegas buffet line, like a boss.
What are you grateful for this season? DM us on Instagram to share!