The Padded Cell by Michael Alan Northrop
I remember the room as if it was yesterday. It was a room like no other in which I had ever before been. The cold plain manila colored vinyl covering the padding cushions gave slightly to the touch, just enough to absorb a beating. There was a deafening sound of silence as the door behind me closed. I thought to myself, "I can't believe this." Very quickly I realized that in order to occupy my mind while I was in it, I would have to really put my brain to work, so I immediately started focusing on the walls and floor.
My first thought was that no matter what I did, even if I slammed my body against them, no injury could ever come to me. I was completely protected and surrounded. When you happen to have a very serious disability, this is how society makes you feel, like you have to be completely and totally protected from everything. I mean if you were to try something outside of what is expected of you, it's as if you may as well be slamming your head directly against an unpadded wall, as far as society is concerned. So that is how the system works much of the time, keeping people as safe as is absolutely possible by preventing people with disabilities from trying new experiences. It is as if we are expected to conform to this protected status, acknowledge that we are somehow "less capable" than people without disabilities, and remain inside of a metaphorical padded cell at all times for our own good.
Although this book targets people with disabilities themselves and will hopefully make people refocus upon their accomplishments and equality, I really think that people without disabilities who read my ideas will develop a sincere appreciation for what all people have in common, instead of focusing on differences. That having been said, I would now like to take this opportunity to invite people of all ability levels to let me take them on a journey, heading for an absolutely beautiful destination. appreciation of our equality.