There’s not enough opportunities for people with disabilities to work in theater. There’s not enough opportunity to even try out. Some theater places won’t even look at you because you have a disability. They’ll say, “Yeah, you have a disability, forget it.”
As a college student, I face barriers to information. If printed material is not available electronically so that I can access it with my screen reader, I feel separated and unequal.
It wears on my self-esteem; I’ve experienced it so much. I feel that I’m the one educating others.
Sure, we’re discriminated against, and yes, we face many challenges, but what I am is fine. What does need changing is the world. We’re not immune to the pain and frustration of coming up against a locked door.
George Shardlow shares how his childhood was a weird roller coaster ride. He says, “You seek out communities where people accept you.”
I don’t look at my disability as a stumbling block. I don’t look at it as an obstacle. You know what? This is who I am, and I’m going to take it and run with it.
I’ve learned many different skills in the theater world. When you’re creating a character, it’s fun expressing, figuring out what’s best for you.
When you let people with disabilities try it, you learn that, “Oh, this person can easily learn these lines.” Give us a chance, and we can show you what we can do.
“Having a mental health disability – people don’t see it, people don’t understand hidden disabilities. The more we are open about them, the more they’re going to be understood.
“Ask us questions. Start a conversation. Conversations will get us closer to that holy grail of equality.”