The Graphics We Choose:
We're frequently asked why we don't display a bunch of photos or artwork showing disabled people doing stuff.
After all (they tell us), that's what all of those other "disability" websites do.
We sometimes get e-mail and phone calls about this. So here's an answer:
This may come as a revelation for some of our "non-disabled" readers, but most people with disabilities don't like to spend much time focusing on their own disability.
We are PEOPLE first ... who just may happen to have some sort of "disability".
It's simply an aspect of some people's lives. Like some people have brown skin, or green eyes, or red hair, or blue suede shoes.
Some people have a disability.
No big deal.
And if you're disabled yourself, whenever you look into a mirror you will already know what a disabled person looks like. Unless you're blind, and then the graphics on our pages probably wouldn't make any difference to you anyway.
And if they do, we provide some pretty good "alternative text" labels and descriptions. Click on the "disabled angel" picture at the right for an example.
As far as whether we should be doing what the other "disability" websites do, here's another revelation for some of you:
This is NOT a "disability" website.
BarrierFreeChoices is a "Live Life to the Fullest Despite Your Disability" website.
BarrierFreeChoices is an Information Service for Disabled Consumers. The purpose of our existence is to help minimize any adverse aspects of whatever "disability" you may happen to have, so you can get on with your life in as normal a fashion as possible, and in a way that your "disability" becomes a less important aspect of your life.
Consequently, whenever you happen to see the phrase "disabled consumers" on our pages, please be advised that this phrase actually means:
"CONSUMERS who may happen to have a disability."
So don't expect to ever see many "disability" images here, unless such images are related to a quote from someone who is disabled themselves (or to a story about them), or if such images happen to be relevant to the purpose of the text on that particular page.
Graphics in any publication, whether in print or on the web, really only exist [a] to provide a bit of visual interest, [b] to provide additional information or amplify some sort of point, and/or [c] to help alleviate the monotony of lengthy blocks of text.
Graphics should illustrate or amplify the page's message, or at least relate in some way to the text on the page.
And since we try really hard to NOT focus on being "disabled", and don't like to talk much about being "disabled", there's really no point in showing the public a bunch of gratuitous illustrations of people who are "disabled" ... unless such illustrations are significant for another reason.
Because we're too busy locating interesting barrier-free places for you to go, so you don't have to waste too much time focusing on your "disabilities" either.