“What happened to you?” The question from strangers to people with visible impairments suggests a popular fixation on accident as a cause of disability. It is as though the most important thing to know about disability is its genesis (Linton 2005)—perhaps due to anxiety about whether or not “it could happen to me.” This narrow meaning of accident as unforeseen bodily trauma (as compared with illness, congenital trait, or aging) highlights one axis of diversity that both enriches and complicates disability studies.

This essay may be found on page 17 of the printed volume.

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