2018-03-18

The horror of disability

This is a topic that has been on the top of my mind for a long time. I'm only recently started to realize how much I use my senses to navigate and appreciate my daily life.

For example, I love learning random things about technology and programming in my pastime. I randomly read stupid articles about "Python vs Haskell" and try out the "Hello World" applications in both. Last Wednesday, hours were wasted on trying to figure out what functional programming is. My time-wasting passion for technology aside, I realized that I wouldn't be able to do most of it in the same way if I became disabled.

For example, I wouldn't be able to quickly make a short program and test it out without taking a significantly longer time if I was blind. I would have to rely on software that would read out the instructions to me which would take forever to process. Reading is such a faster way to learn things. Maybe things would be easier if the website were friendly to disabled people, but that's not the case. I don't blame people though, it takes a decent amount of effort to make a website accessible. This website is probably not accessible to blind people. While there's nothing of value to be found in this website, that cuts out a significant portion of the internet from people. Also typing seems like it would take forever.

Fun fact, I use the word (?) "I" a lot in this post. Oh well, I'm too lazy to phrase my sentences in any other way.

Even if I was able to see, let's assume I have a hand injury. I wouldn't be able to type as fast as I do right now. While that's probably not bad as being blind, it's still a horrifying prospect to me. I pride myself in being efficient at everything I do and my typing speed plays a big role in this process. I use keyboard shortcuts for everything and spend hours trying to figure out how to make a repetitive task easier. I probably spend more time trying to make a task efficient than spend time doing that task... But it's still fun!

However working at the computer would become a hassle if my hands didn't work. The prospect of that happening terrifies me since using a computer is pretty fun at the moment. I figured out how to make https://lists.vijaymarupudi.com just by messing round with a bunch of online documentation but it took me a LOT of typing. I feel like it would have been impossible if my hands didn't work very well.

I can definitely say that losing my hands isn't as bad as losing my vision, however I can't decide whether my life would be worse off by losing my vision or my hearing. I would probably need less help from others if I lost my hearing, but I wouldn't be able to listen to music here. That's a significant reduction in the number of reasons to live. At the moment, I will rank them the same until I engage in more conversations with people who face the issues themselves. It's hard to think about potential issues for such a major event.

I realize that trying to rank disabilities is kinda bizarre and somewhat offensive, but by thinking about why we would hate losing a certain sense or ability, I think we can learn a lot about what the world sucks at providing to disabled people. I'm gonna get nightmares of losing my vision, as the world is very visual. I wouldn't be able to see art and fonts anymore... Descriptions of art are worthless compared to the real thing. I'm currently just unable to understand how the mind of a blind person copes, I hope that I could raise these questions in a respectful manner when I meet someone with blindness, or any disability really.

What's the most terrifying part of any disability to me is the fact that I will have to rely on other people to have a life. I already hate asking for favors because I feel like I have to pay them back later. If I was disabled, I would feel that awful feeling every second of my life, and I'm not sure if I would be able to take it.

I feel like the altruistic decisions by social workers to help people with disabilities is a mind-blowing choice. I can only hope to do enough good in the world to match their service to humanity. I am ashamed of myself that I am not able to dedicate myself to such a cause. While it's possible, I don't see myself doing all that monotonous work for years. It's a crime that they aren't paid higher by society for their contributions. People who do such work deserve at-least as high as a societal reputation as doctors.

This post ended up being very rambly, as usual, but I can't seem to organize my thoughts about this issue. I would summarize my thoughts as follows: