This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Lindsay Amer’s YouTube series “Queer Kid Stuff” aims to educate children about LGBTQ issues and language. But Lindsay, along with her sidekick Teddy, also chats with guests about other topics surrounding privilege.
In the latest episode, Glee star Ali Stroker pays the YouTubers a visit to talk about privilege and disabilities. Like other episodes in the series, the conversation is fun and accessible for kids, and serves as a great conversation starter for parents who want to educate their children about disabilities.
Stroker, who played Betty Pillsbury on the Fox show after appearing on The Glee Project, introduces herself and her wheelchair, which she named “Twilight Flake.” As the group discusses ability status, Stroker explains that, because she uses a chair to get around, “I’m not able-bodied. That’s sometimes called being differently abled or disabled.” She prefers to call herself disabled, but notes that others prefer “differently abled.”
“Sometimes, it’s really easy to tell if someone is disabled or differently abled, but sometimes it isn’t,” Stroker explains. “You shouldn’t assume someone’s ability status based on how they look.
“The biggest thing you need to know about people like me, who are differently abled or disabled, is that our bodies work a little differently than able-bodied people like Lindsay,” she continues — and that’s where privilege comes in. Stroker says that getting around can be hard because most places aren’t designed for people in wheelchairs, but adds that her disability doesn’t prevent her from doing plenty of cool things.
When Teddy expressed that he has a question he’s nervous to ask, he whispers it to Stroker. She says it’s one she gets asked a lot: “Why do you use a wheelchair?” Her suggestion for phrasing this question is, “What’s your story?” In Stroker’s case, she sustained an injury to her spinal cord in a car accident when she was two years old and she’s now paralyzed from the chest down.
Before demonstrating how she gets from her wheelchair and into her bed or her car, Stroker emphasizes the importance of focusing on the positive. “I get to use my wheelchair to get around every day. It’s pretty fun, and I love rolling down hills really, really fast,” she says.
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