Thursday, July 21, 2011

If You Tell a CFer No

Are we still in the dark ages? I just received an email suggesting that a certain group activity isn't a good fit for me because of my "delicate condition." Since when is Cystic Fibrosis a delicate condition? To top it off, it's a Christian based group telling me I can't do the activity. I hardly call that being Godly. People never cease to surprise me.

When I heard about the activity, I made a request for certain accomodations so that I can participate. The accomodations are not that demanding and required little effort outside of me providing. I was just asking permission to bring what I needed. My request was not approved. And then I get an email giving a story about someone who knew when they weren't a good fit. I was pretty appalled by the email. I've participated in the particular activity all my life with family and other groups. So feeling like I'm being told that I can't go because of my "delicate condition" (I'm serious, the email referred to my CF as a delicate condition) is ridiculous.

And because it's a religious group, I'm not sure of my rights. The group is run by a larger religious group that employs people and runs a couple of businesses that I know of, so they do fall under employment rights of disabled people. But what about other rights for people with disabilities? And it's a Christian organization. Strictly because of biblical teaching, no one should be excluded from anything due to their disability, race, sex, worldly status.  As you can tell I'm not very happy at the moment. I'm not even sure how I approach this.

The last time someone told me I couldn't do something was when I decided to study Genetics. And you know how that turned out. I proved them wrong and got my degree, in Genetics. I may only have 30% lung function, but I camp, I swim, I fish, I boat, I've been to Europe and Mexico, I drive a tractor, I bottlefeed orphaned ranch animals, and I write. You don't tell me no.

If it weren't for the fact that I actually have some responsibilities in the group, I would say screw it and find a new group that didn't use people's limitations as a means of exclusion.