(Self-) Advocacy and survival

I believe that knowledge is power (or at least, as Michel Foucault believed, that knowledge and power are inextricably linked). Mainstream discourse around health, reinforced in part through healthcare hubris, is highly ableist and serves to marginalise or exclude chronically ill and disabled people from all social domains. Such exclusionary discourse and societal norms also create barriers to accessing knowledge and constructing a counter-discourse that is legitimising and liberating for people who don’t fit the mainstream mould. Sharing our experiences as chronically ill and disabled people helps us to break down these barriers. At the same time, I am mindful that those amongst us who would most benefit from having our voices heard are typically those who are most marginalised.