Ordinary lives in ordinary places is the buzz phrase in the disability community. I assume it means that people like my 20 year old severely disabled daughter should be able to enjoy the same kind of life as everyone else. Realistically, that will never be entirely possible, but I’m doing my best. It means being brave, doing lots of research, asking for special treatment (something I hate doing) and being ready to leave an event if necessary (another thing I hate doing).
But then one of those fortuitous coincidences happened. My dancing friend Jazzyville has finally recovered from a serious back injury and was to appear in a show near me, in a venue I knew to be disability friendly. The show promised non-stop music, dancing, action and lights, just the sort of thing my daughter B enjoys. My friend Margaret’s son also loves musical theatre and since both him and B have birthdays at Halloween, it seemed like a perfect birthday treat for the two of them.
And what a night it was!
But will my daughter always enjoy opportunities like this? Under new disability legislation she will be entitled to make her own choices, and my experience is that she will always choose the safe and familiar.
I would be worried that even with a video of the dress rehearsal, she would still pick a trip to Insomnia and the promise of cake over a night out like this one, that saw her entranced by the spectacle on stage.
I hope I’m wrong. I hope she will always get to experience new things and enjoy them too.