Just putting this here.
Forging an identity apart from my disability is hard enough. Misguided sympathy makes it harder.
Disabled people cannot be expected to forge an identity beyond their disability or to diminish the impact that their disability has on them personally, psychologically or emotionally when they are deprived of the very extensions of their bodies that allow them to engage in the world, and when this very engagement is faced with exclusion. When a college, a business or any sphere of civil society refuses the expenditure on accommodation of a disabled person, and when a government actively deprives disabled people of what they need to live, they’re effectively saying that what we are outside of our disabilities and what we wish to become in spite of them doesn’t matter.
As the philosopher of disability Joel Michael Reynolds has said, the world is essentially disabled. Deprive a man of an elevator or a flight of stairs, and could he make it from the first floor to the second? He couldn’t, and it would be absurd to accentuate this inability to the point where it became all the man was.