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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Friday, April 21, 2006

One in Seven

Being a few words written by Lady Bracknell's editor with the intention of crystallising in her readers' minds the real significance of Blogging Against Disablism Day.

We exist in every culture; every race; every class; every creed; every nationality; every political party. We have arrived here as a result of accident, injury, illness or simple genetic glitch. We are adults and we are children; we are men and we are women; we are straight, we are gay, and we are bisexual. We are too frail to leave the house and we are strong enough to yomp across continents. We are desperately ill and we are at the peak of physical fitness. We die young and we live to a ripe old age. We are accepted in our communities and we are locked away in institutions. We have been this way since birth, and we have been this way since yesterday. We are the premature baby and the great-grandparent. We are the criminal underclass and the pillar of society. We are the warmonger and the pacifist. We are the teacher and the student.

We are, without a shadow of a doubt, the most diverse minority group on the planet. We are everywhere you look, and yet you do not see us. We are one in seven*.

We have two things - and only two things - in common with one another:

1. we have some degree of physical or mental functional loss or difference (we have impairments); and
2. we are excluded from full participation in society because we have impairments (we are disabled).

We are not brave. We are not special. We are not tragic. We are not heroic. We are not “an inspiration”. We are not the Bogey Man. We are not objects of pity. And we are not the living embodiment of our impairments. You can’t predict what any one of us is going to be like just because you know someone else with the same impairment. We are people. Like you. We have the same rights that you have. We do the same things you do, but we do some of them differently.

You could join us at any time. Just by taking your eyes off the road for a split second. That’s all it takes. If that happens, will you be special? Will you be brave? Will you just sit there quietly and accept it if no-one will employ you? If you’re prevented from going where you want to go and seeing who you want to see? If no-one takes what you say seriously any more?

No? Then why should we?

We are one in seven and we will remain silent no longer. Our impairments can’t be changed, but our exclusion can. On May 1st our voices will ring out in cyberspace as never before. We’ve got a lot to say, and we want you to read it. Visit
Diary of a Goldfish on May 1st for a list of links to everyone who has made a commitment to speak out on Blogging Against Disablism day.

Post Script added June 07: links to the BADD 2007 entries are available here.

* One in seven of the UK population is disabled.

In the spirit of Blogging Against Disablism Day, word verification has been turned off, and comment moderation turned on. This may be a temporary state of affairs. It will depend on just how much blog spam I receive as a result.


Blogger imfunnytoo said...

(throwing a salute)

A marvelous distillation...

My thanks for writing the absolute truth.

1:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An excellent post. I trust I have not ofended, but I have placed a link to this post, as well as to Goldfish's original, on The Science Forums (in the pub) so that it may be read by many more people who probably would not normally consider the matter anything to do with them.

5:45 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

No offence taken, Charles. The motivation behind this post was to attempt to open BADD up to people who might not otherwise have felt it had any resonance for them.

5:49 pm  
Blogger Katie said...

A brilliant piece of writing there by your editor your ladyship!

Glad to know that a fellow Oucher also applauds Miss goldfish's excellent cause.

It may also be of interest to her ladyship that a certain gentleman Mr Mac has informed me of your interest in the group Outsiders and that while I was at their London lunch on the 8th April, Our paths may have crossed without noticing!

1:28 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell thanks Miss Katie for her kind comments, but feels constrained to point out that Mr Mac is misinformed.

It is more than two years since Lady Bracknell has been fit enough to visit London. And, in any event, she has no personal interest in the Outsiders group.

1:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read your piece on the disabled. I really appreciate it- it certainly put into words things that I could not. I have chronic migraine and suffer that pain. I just wanted to say that you put into words something that most couldn't. Thanks.

6:05 pm  
Blogger Suz said...

This is something I needed to read. Thank you Lady Bracknell.

2:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across this...it is excellent! I am the mother of a a 5 yr old child who is 'differently' abled. Thank you for spreading the word.

6:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a word, thank you. Oops, that was two words.

This should be mandatory reading.

Until BADD 2007...

12:35 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Time for some more thanks, I think.

I am astonished - and very pleased - to discover that my "war cry" has struck a chord with so many people.

It was inspired by a lengthy telephone conversation with the Goldfish combined with a desire to provide something in the nature of a crip equivalent of the song, "I Am Woman".

If anyone reading this has the requisite IT skills and the desire to produce a "one in Seven" tag or a banner which could be published on blogs which support disability equality, please get in touch. It is way beyond my own capabilities.

If this post spoke to you, I'm glad. Thank you to everyone who either commented or linked.

2:04 pm  
Blogger Breathinstephen said...

Beautifully expressed !

4:49 pm  
Blogger xine said...

awesome, eloquent, thank you!!

5:28 pm  
Blogger Puglet said...

What you wrote so simply and strongly is what I never have managed in my years of blogging. Thank you. I'm wondering what words I'll be able to find for my own blog on May 1st

7:09 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Your words move me----this is such a glorious cause---you put things so ....well there is no words to describe it---I will be joining eacj of you
Bravo your Ladyship...

1:41 am  
Blogger Trinity said...


11:35 pm  
Blogger Trinity said...

Oh, and I could create a banner, too -- email me. trinityva at yahoo dot com

11:37 pm  
Blogger Karen Putz said...

Well said!

1:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well written! It makes my day to read about this effort.

4:54 pm  
Blogger Michele said...

Very beautifully written!!

9:24 pm  
Blogger Tundrababe said...

Right on! I love it.

4:29 am  
Blogger The Reluctant Pedant said...

I see you now have a "one in seven" banner - looking good. Could you please let me know where I can get a copy of the code? I'd like to display it on my blog.

Thank you

2:30 pm  
Blogger OrbitalDiamonds said...

Wonderfully written. Hopefully someday this will be common knowledge, not something you need a kick in the pants to realize.

I linked to this with the "one in seven" image in the profile of my LiveJournal. :)

3:20 pm  

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