Perspectives Blog

     As it was my first Casino night, I thought it was a hit. I didn’t really have any expectation to what it would be like but it was more amazing than I could have imagined. Just the mere amount of people that showed up to participate and support combined will all of the fabulous donations, food, and games made the night exciting in itself. I am really proud to have contributing and been a part of such an amazing event. The pavilion was the perfect location, being physically accessible for all, with no stairs, plenty of tables, and lots of space.

         Working in my one on one level sessions this semester has further proved to be how disabilities to not cap potential and opportunity. People with disabilities are just as intelligent if not more intelligent than people without disabilities. Casino night epitomized this because every individual with a physical or mental disability still participated in all of the carnival games and all of the gambling games. The gambling card games aren’t as easy as they look, I’m pretty sure the only one I know how to play is blackjack, yet everyone at the event, disability or not, participating in these card games. It made me so happy and content to see such a large crowd of people come together and unite for a good cause and for some classic casino shenanigans.

         Finally, after listening to the voices of individuals with a disability, not just at Casino Night but all throughout the semester, it could not be clearer to be that facing society and people’s perspectives is one of their biggest challenges each day. The struggle doesn’t come from doing everyday activity and getting from place to place or reading a book but it comes from the way people see you from the outside. Most often people with disabilities are talked about rather than talked to or talked to as if they were 10 years younger than they actually are. Things like this are so degrading and disrespectful. I wish that more people would be aware and educated about what it means to have a disability so that these individuals don’t have to feel uncomfortable. Events like Casino night and organizations like level have done a great job is spreading the word and especially awareness about people with disabilities and I hope that they will continue to do so.

 

Blog Post #4: Murderball

I think a lot of our past readings really resonate well with Murderball. I think this film does a good job of representing the mindsets of many people with physical disabilities while showing how they conquer historical barriers. These competitions and tournaments for wheelchair rugby would have never existed years ago because of the presumption that people with physical disabilities just could not succeed at sports. We’ve seen many times in class that these disabilities do not put a ceiling on the opportunity and achievement for these people. In the beginning the various athletes discuss the version of disability rhetoric people view them with, the consensus seemed to be related to the sentimental rhetoric and in this case it was overwhelmingly unwanted. In the Garland-Thomson reading from the beginning of the semester it states, “The sentimental produces the sympathetic victim or helpless sufferer needing protection or succor and invoking pity, inspiration, and frequent contributions”. When people call these players out and ask if they need help, wonder how they are able to drive, put clothes on, and more it annoys the players. It’s this rhetoric and attitude towards people with disabilities that make them angry and further fuels their drive to be successful and competitive to show what they can do.

Because this was an international competition it also reminded me of disabilities on an international level. I was happy to see teams from different countries uniting for their passion of rugby. It just shows that there are people all around the world, in every nation, who are physically disabled and passionate about overcoming their disability by participating in intense competition and being successful within those combats.

I tried to find the reasoning behind naming the game Murderball. Obviously most people say it’s because it’s “brutal, it’s fast, it’s intensely competitive and it’s bone-shatteringly full-on”, which I assumed. I was curious to see if there was any other meaning behind the tag but turns out its purely is called that because of its brutality. Another aspect of the sport that some may think is a bit brutal was the numbering system based on how much somebody’s body “works”. The combined count of four players on the court cannot exceed eight. In a way people may see this as degrading and animalistic because the players are just stamped with a number but I think it’s kind of cool. In this environment certain people with physical disabilities can be dubbed barely disabled compared to others. It makes the athletes feel good about them selves and instills confidence.

I enjoyed Murderball and I think it’s a really good film to raise awareness about physically disabilities.