Having a group of disabled peers is absolutely invaluable to me. It’s so refreshing and comforting to be able to share experiences with people who understand what it’s like to be disabled. They may not even have the same diagnoses as me, but the shared understanding that occurs simply by being disabled is such a strong bond.
Often we’ve had similar experiences with inaccessibility or ableism that we can share and discuss. And even when it’s not an experience that the other person has had, it’s cathartic to be able to vent or brainstorm solutions with people who get it. For that reason having that circle of people and being able to talk about issues with them is priceless.
Never do I feel this more than when I’m in conversation with a non disabled person and I know that I’m just not being understood. There are certain encounters that, no matter how I try to get something across to another person, what I’m trying to convey just doesn’t stick. Those interactions are so frustrating and sometimes draining. But I always know that I can come back and talk to my circle.