By a student who’s been fighting for accessible education for a long time.
Quote from it:
These things– accomodation, and related issues– are rights, not privileges. But even if I can acknowledge that intellectually, I’m so used to having to shut the hell up in order to get anything at all that my gut reaction when anyone gives me any kind of accomodation at all is fear— waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for them to decide I’m a horrible person who’s just making excuses and is trying to drag out some manipulative game to see just how much of a free ride I can get, and to decide I deserve nothing at all. I’m seen as some kind of puppetmaster, when in reality I’m the ones on the strings being jerked around at everyone else’s whims.
I don’t think people get it. I expect nothing. I expect nothing to be given to me. I expect to be called a liar and manipulator and an excuse-maker and to be told that the system owes me nothing and that I can sink or swim. I expect to be forced to plead, beg and grovel in order to get any kind of accomodations at school, extended deadlines and the like, and to be seen as a manipulative liar if I still can’t do it. I expect to be forced to beg like a dog for food, or water, or sanitary napkins, or the right to go to the bathroom, or similar things, and perceived as a childish brat who needs to be punished and taught a lesson. I don’t know how to communicate to people that I expect nothing, or how to stop them from believing I have a sense of entitlement, when in fact it’s exactly the opposite. The fact that I expect nothing doesn’t mean I should receive nothing, but it does mean I expect nothing, and people should take that into account when working with me.
I have to say I identify with all that. I don’t actually expect to be taken seriously or treated like a human being.