Last night a friend made an excellent post on Instagram about the labour involved in being a disabled or chronically ill person and having able-bodied people constantly dish out unsolicited advice, appearance policing or thinly veiled insults disguised as treatment tips. She encouraged us to “bring on the salt”, I suggested a tee that read “salty”, one thing led to another and I ended up with a RedBubble store full of salty disability designs. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Salty, of course, is a word particular to dysautonomia patients, as we require tonnes (ok, grams) of salt to get through the day. But once I started reflecting on the more frustrating aspects of disability, I had more ideas: disabled, a nod to the infantilising trend of referring to disabled people as “differently abled”, “diff-abled”, anything but the actual word.
Not your inspiration has leanings to Stella Young, who gave a TED Talk about how disabled people aren’t here to be your inspiration. And cure ableism is pretty simple: there are a lot of people out there who want to cure disability, but maybe the real problem is ableist attitudes which create and reinforce the disabling factors in our society.
If you’re not aware, RedBubble works by having independent designers upload their designs, which RedBubble then prints onto nearly everything you can think of. The defaults for my designs are what you’ll first see when you click through, but you have the option of choosing from a variety of tee and hoodie/pullover/jumper variations in a range of colours. (For example, I ordered a Salty – black text on a unisex tee in heather grey.) There’s spiral bound notebooks, too.
This venture isn’t really to make money (seriously, I earn like $4 a tee) but was a fun way to channel my frustration at societal concepts of disability in tee form. I thought other spoonies might get a kick out of it, too. You can find me at The Salty Spoonie on RedBubble.