Whats Your Possibility? Muskaan and Red

Conversations about growing up with a disability. Red Nicholson and Muskaan discuss the changes we're seeing in a more inclusive society.

I was a little nervous to interview Red. When looking him up I resonated really strongly with some of the blogs he had written. It was like someone had taken the ideas out of my brain and articulated it in a way I couldn’t.

I had to acknowledge the top tier wokeness this dude was about. I wouldn’t say I’m “new” to the disability community. But I’ve grown up around primarily able bodied people. I’m so used to my friends all being able bodied - lifting me around and doing things for me.

As an adult I’ve engaged more with the disability community and I couldn’t believe all the wisdom I was missing out on. I didn’t know why it had taken me so long, until Red explained it for me

“Two words, internalised ableism”


Red Nicholson explains how young disabled people are affected by the ableist narrative.

Internalised ableism is not a term I previously had in my vocabulary. Little did I know this idea would really change the way I thought about myself and my disability.

Internalised ableism is the idea that people living with disabilities internalise the ableist narrative (that disabled = not good) we grow up with in society. 

I really empathised with this. In school I resented being associated with the disability centre. I didn’t want to socialise with other disabled kids because it was easier to get along with able bodied kids when I played down my own disability.

“You are incentivised to hide your disability, and when you try and hide a large part of who you are it can be uncomfortable.”

As Red explained, “You are incentivised to hide your disability, and when you try and hide a large part of who you are it can be uncomfortable.”

It was really insightful being able to ask someone with a little more lived experience and wisdom about their disability. Young disabled people I believe are at a large risk of isolation or issues with identity because of how hard it can be to socialise.

I have learnt many invaluable lessons from Red, but what I thought was most significant was the importance of collaborating with other disabled people. As Red put it - “We’re often the only person we know with a disability growing up”. And that can be tough! So talk to people who may have a similar experience to you. Be open to listen and learn, you might find it useful.