Cruelty because of disability is the unfortunate, de facto, standard of living for anyone who dares to live outside the mainstream of the able-bodied merely by purchase of birth. Janna, a Deaf Woman, and my wife, feels the sting of that cruel indignity every single day with impatient people who refuse to acknowledge her Deafness and who force her to read lips or to use her voice because they don’t feel like writing or finding a common cure that will enable a fair communication dyad that can be understood by all parties.
That inevitable cruelty is part of the daily station of the Disabled, and those of us who love and care for our Disabled friends and family feel that cruelty, too, by proxy, and we do our best to help create a cure of basic human courtesy. We are often unsuccessful.
What fascinates me, in a maudlin and depressing way, is when families of the disabled place politics above doing the right thing. A glowing example of a family member standing up and doing right is found in David Axelrod, one of President Obama’s dearest friends and campaign managers, and the fact that Axelrod is willing to shave off his 40-year-old mustache in order to raise a million dollars for epilepsy research. Axelrod’s oldest child has epilepsy.