The brand new "See Us" campaign by the Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation was launched this week, and we couldn't be more excited about the message its sending to all.
Using the hashtag #ReeveSeeUs, people in the disabled community are coming together to change societal norms, expectations and stigmas surrounding disability. The Reeve Foundation released their campaign video centring on people who are in wheelchairs, asking viewers to not just look at them, but see them for who they are, not what they are presumed to be.
We encouraged all our followers online to get involved and share THEIR voices to promote change using the hashtag #ReeveSeeUs and show who they really are, instead of who people think they are.
Taken from our @wagsofsci Instagram post promoting the movement of #ReeveSeeUs:
"How do people see you and your partner when you’re out together? What do they say? What do you want them to know about you so that the way people perceive your relationship changes? “Are you his nurse?” “he must be super rich otherwise why would she be with him?” “How do you have sex?!” “What’s wrong with her if she would be in a relationship like that- she must be crazy or desperate” “wow good on you for landing her buddy!” “You’re such a saint for being with him - you must be an angel!” “Love seeing you two together- aw how cute” “here’s my number.. call me when you want a REAL man” These are just some of the things we hear from strangers who see us out and about together. After years of living this life of caregiver and romantic partner, both of us have learned to accept and live with the ignorant comments and remarks that come from people who do not know any better, or think they’re trying to help. But what is the underlying issue at hand? The way society views relationships like ours is remarkably still flawed. In today’s day and age of free thought and acceptance, the stigma associated with disability and relationships is still alive and well. Every time we hear a comment like this- yes, we roll our eyes or shrug our shoulders and move on with our lives, but what if we could actually DO something besides demonstrating our love out in public or running this group- that could help change the way people view those with physical disability? We hope that some day, we won’t have to deal with assumptions that are not true, and sometimes just plain hurtful about our relationship. We do not believe that people generally mean to be hurtful- we do however believe that these powerful assumptions can be changed if enough of us continue to share our stories and show our love out in the open, loud and proud. We are excited to announce the brand new @reevefoundationcampaign called “See Us”. How do you want to be seen? Head to the link in our bio to learn more about their campaign that aims to decrease stigmas associated with disability. Share your story. Use the hashtag #ReeveSeeUs and use your voice for change. - Brooke and Elena"