Three Tiers of Responsibility For Living With A Disability By: Guest-Blogger: Melody Burba

Often, people like to put responsibility on others when they know they should be taking it themselves. My friend and today’s guest-blogger, Melody, knows the way to understand and unify people with disabilities; it starts with oneself. Check her out as she breaks down her own tiers of responsibility.


As everyone knows, there are two sides of every coin. On July 26, 1990, we began celebrating the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A Federal Civil Rights law enacted to protect the rights of people with disabilities.  Responsibility is the flip side of this coin. In my opinion, there are three interrelated facets to responsibility within the disability community. They are: Personal Responsibility; Community Responsibility; Social Responsibility.

Personal Responsibility involves embracing disability, resilience, and a “Nothing about us without us” mindset.

Given that no one can do it all, Community responsibility is critical because there are immeasurable benefits from connecting with others that share common obstacles. As a community, we have a responsibility to call out ableism and engage in meaningful dialogues and invite allies to join us. In fact, we have a unique role as leaders because disability intersects with race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, etc. We can strive for the unification of marginalized people.

As far as Social Responsibility goes, I feel I have an obligation as a person with a disability to educate the community about disabilities. Being social with others gives a sense of belonging. We all need to feel that sense, no matter what part of the track one comes from. As people with disabilities, we must be open to an often-unknowing world and sit among them; so, they’ll know we are a part of the community and whom are social. Often, to be social, takes patience.  Questions from the uneducated may come up, but the more they know, the more we can all grow to form a union of full inclusion.

In conclusion, remember, responsibility starts with you.

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