Editor’s note: “Need to Know” is a series inspired by common forum questions and comments from readers. Have a comment or question about MS? Visit our forum.
This week’s question is inspired by the forum topic “Have you ever been discriminated against due to your disability?” from May 29, 2018.
On disability: One writer’s journey
I recently attended the Association of Writers & Writing Programs annual conference in Portland, Oregon.
I was delighted to encounter discussion panels of interest to writers and students with chronic or invisible illness and disability to learn about the groundbreaking creative work coming from various “disease” communities.
It seems that the #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs movement is alive and kicking.
The Disabilities Literature Consortium (DLC) hosted a booth representing disabled authors and a literary reading featuring regional contributors living with disability and chronic illness including multiple sclerosis (MS), deafness, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar disorder.
The conference organizers also made accommodations to address special needs in a space that was built for the able-bodied.
This event was a long time coming for writers with disabilities and chronic illness. Editors have historically turned away illness narratives, assuming their readers don’t care about illness, disability, or death.
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