To me, IHSS is the embodiment of the disability rights movement—the belief that people with disabilities aren’t patients, but rather the experts of their own care, that they deserve to have control over every aspect of their life despite the severity of their functional limitations. Interdependence and being part of a larger community is my definition of independent living. I may be ‘dependent’ on others for my survival, but I also contribute to society as a whole.
I don’t think many people truly understand the invisible work that people with disabilities do everyday. Stuff such as photocopying pay stubs, mailing them on time, taking two buses to go to your nearest SSA location, waiting in lobby for your appointment for hours even though you are fatigued, these things all add up. From dealing with daily microaggressions in public to the myriad of bureaucratic tasks that are required if you receive services and benefits, these realities can erode a person’s sense of self.