The Bark of the Underdog

By Brandon Smith

A recent class assignment inspired the following thoughts.

Will the disabled ever not be the underdog? Will we ever have equal access to employment, information, recreational activities, etc.? The pessimistic, yet realistic answer would be no. This does not mean we will not make great progress, and continue the gains that we have gotten over the past few decades. It also doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t continue to fight for equal access to all the things the nondisabled have access too.

Perhaps I’m taking the negative path on this. Perhaps it’s lack of patience? Give it a few years of technical advancement and my view may change. At this point in time, I am in a position of having to appreciate the leaps in progress, while having to frown at where we’re still lacking.

Just to give some examples. If I want to read a newspaper from say, 1860, if OCR (optical character recognition) can translate the text at all, it’s often very spotty and filled with errors. I recently purchased a book from an online vendor that was nothing but an image, with no text to be found.

The underdog status remains. It’s up to the future whether it will be permanent or not. Fingers are crossed!