By ALISON TRIFFET
Did you happen to see “In Your Face” on Australian Story recently?
It was the story of Robert Hodge, a man who was born with a tumor where his nose should be and with severely deformed legs.
Throughout the story (which you can read more about here) Robert talks about living a life that’s defined by his looks.
“It’s hard to know how much different I am from normal people,” Robert explained.
“There have been physical challenges simply getting through life. And you know, there have been reactions to my face and that sort of thing. It’s been very defining,” he said.
It got me thinking about the many faces of disability. And how in some ways, I actually envy those with visible disabilities. Their challenges can’t be ignored – they’re “in your face” – and this can sometimes make a difficult journey a little easier.
There are many with no visible manifestation of their disabilities. In fact, they look so well on the outside they even feel nervous about using their Disabled Parking Permit in case someone (else) abuses them (again). They face different challenges and prejudices, which, on some levels, can make their journey harder.
If you have a visible disability – even a broken leg or an arm in a sling – people get it. They understand. You don’t have to explain. Others may offer to help lift your bags without you having to ask. And they certainly don’t question your right to use your Parking Permit.