Storytelling is Important and Other Thoughts on Andrew Solomon's Essay, The Dignity of Disabled Lives

Annie Liebowitz

Annie Liebowitz

Andrew Solomon writes for the NY Times, “The burden of being perceived as different persists. The solution to this problem is community.”

I was probably four years old when I sat at the foot of my dad's easy chair when he said, “If you work hard, you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up.” I took him at his word, and along the way, encountered glass ceilings on my own journey. Given the words from my father, these obstacles were somewhat unexpected. Finding a community of medical professionals with hearing loss has certainly allowed me to find meaning and identity as someone with a disability.

The limitations placed by society can often exceed the limitations placed by disability. Solomon points out that the trajectory of disabled people has quietly improved in the last 40 years. To improve further, people disabilities must continue to engage the public and tell our own stories. Doing so establishes our humanity, drives inclusion, and demonstrates that a diversity of thought improves the lives for all.

Check out Solomon’s other work on Far from the Tree and his TED talk, Love No Matter What.