Assistive technology does not cure disability

When I get into an airplane, I don’t turn into a bird.

All assistive technology is like that.

Airplanes are not wings, and wheelchairs are not legs.  Rolling is different from walking, and it’s ok that it’s different. Typing is not speaking, it’s typed communication. Reading braille isn’t seeing with fingers, it’s tactile reading. And so on. Assistive technology is important, and worth respecting.

Airplanes are amazing. I respect them without pretending that they are wings. Likewise, other people respect me as a competent human being without pretending that an airplane has turned me into a bird.

Assistive technology enables people with disabilities to do more things. It does not turn us into nondisabled people — and it doesn’t need to. We do many things differently, and that’s ok. Respecting us means respecting us as we really are, including acknowledging that our assistive technology exists and matters.