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This Netflix Show Reminds Us Disabled People Aren't Inspirational For Simply Existing

I see you at the gym, and I just wanted to say ‘hey.’  It’s super inspiring to see you give it your all despite your limitations.

It’s a scene that plays out everywhere. Person with a disability strolls through town, hits the gym or shops for groceries. Person without disabilities raves about how inspiring it is to see someone with a visible medical condition living life.  But season two of the Netflix Original series “Special” brings this all-too-common scenario to the small screen — and makes a powerful statement about “inspiration porn.”

“Special’s” protagonist, Ryan Hayes (played by Ryan O’Connell), has mild cerebral palsy and is in the process of coming to terms with how the world sees his disability — and how he sees himself.  But

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Ryan Hayes