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In this video, people with disabilities tell stories about their experiences of adulthood.

Being an adult is when many of the normative assumptions around what it means to have a good life are felt most strongly. There are certain roles and identities which are often socially and culturally linked to adults living a good life.

Some images which come to mind when thinking about the Western stereotype of a good adult life might include having a job, owning a home, being in a committed relationship and having children. In many ways, these ideas reflect those of an ideal citizen in a capitalist society– that is, one who is productive and reproductive. But as we’ve been exploring, this list can be very limiting and does not necessarily match what people experience as living a good life.

In the above video, the guest presenters tell us some of their life experiences from adulthood. A link to an audio description of this video is available in the See Also section below.

When Antoni is talking about what he wants from his life, he refers to some of the things in the list above. Antoni wants a job, a partner and a family. But what is also crucial to Antoni is that someone loves him “for whatever I am” — a love which he eventually finds in Yuki. Throughout Antoni’s story he also refers to his faith in God. His beliefs are of great comfort for him in adulthood, as they give him faith that he will live a good life.

Like Antoni, Jordanna seeks connection. When she was pregnant she wanted to learn about pregnancy from other women, not just from professionals. But the clinic didn’t allow her to bring an interpreter to a group session. This felt like a significant barrier to living a good life, because she was not treated equally or allowed to connect to other mothers.

Talking points

  • What do the guest presenters see as the key issues of adulthood?
  • What makes it different for them from either adolescence or ageing?
  • How do their experiences of adulthood compare with your own?
  • What do you see as the key challenges for people with disabilities in adulthood?
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Disability and a Good Life: Thinking through Disability

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