Why Disability is a Feminist Issue
When we were little, my parents needed an easy way to tell my identical twin and me apart; so I always wore blue sneakers, she wore red. But somehow, my child mind understood what blue and red really stood for: I was the “normal one”, she was disabled (born profoundly deaf, with unspecified brain injury.)
Fifty years later, four of us squeezed into an eye doctor\’s exam room: the patient – my deaf, brain-injured twin – the technician, the sign language interpreter, and me (the caregiver). The native spanish-speaking technician was asking – through the sign language interpreter – which eye drops my sister used. “Sterile,” she said. “Steroids?!!” said the tech. “No,” I stepped in: “She’s just remembering that the bottle said ‘sterile’ on it. I’m sure it’s just artificial tears.” Even with the help of an interpreter, my sister needs me there to untangle misunderstandings like these.