Australian comedian Stella Young’s TED Talk Transcript:
I grew up in a very small country town in Victoria.
I had a very normal, low-key kind of upbringing. I went to school, I hung out with my friends, I fought with my younger sisters. It was all very normal.
And when I was 15, a member of my local community approached my parents and wanted to nominate me for a community achievement award. And my parents said, “Hm, that’s really nice, but there’s kind of one glaring problem with that. She hasn’t actually achieved anything.”
And they were right. You know I went to school, I got good marks, I had a very low-key after school job in my mum’s hairdressing salon, and I spent a lot of time watching “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Dawson’s Creek.” Yeah, I know What a contradiction.
But they were right, you know. I wasn’t doing anything that was out of the ordinary at all.
I wasn’t doing anything that could be considered an achievement if you took disability out of the equation.
Years later, I was on my second teaching round in a Melbourne high school, and I was about 20 minutes into a year 11 legal studies class when this boy put up his hand and said, “Hey miss, when are you going to start doing your speech?”
And I said, “What speech?”
You know, I’d been talking them about defamation law for a good 20 minutes. And he said, “You know, like, your motivational speaking. You know, when people in wheelchairs come to school, they usually say, like, inspirational stuff? It’s usually in the big hall.”