Physically challenged man and girlfriend document their relationship to break stigma
A physically challenged man identified as Shane Burcaw, 26 and his able-bodied girlfriend Hannah Aylward, 25, have documented their relationship in a series of YouTube videos in order to help break the stigma they say surrounds people with disabilities.
Hannah Aylward who fell in love with Shane Burcaw who was born with a neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), after she watched a documentary about Shane’s life three years ago, complimented him on his sense of humour in his books and even thought he was cute. 4
The couple who said they want to educate people and normalise their relationship – admitting that strangers often assume Hannah is Shane’s paid caregiver or a relative, exchanged text messages and video calls which led to their relationship, shortly after Hannah who studies in a college in Minnesota eventually visited Shane in Pennsylvania.
Hannah and Shane got to know they wanted to make things work after spending 4 days together. Eventually Shane and Hannah moved in to a flat in Minnesota together in 2018, and Hannah was able to continue with her degree.
And when they began sharing a home they started vlogging to tell the world about their union. The couple has even discussed having children together after Hannah graduates, according to reports.
“Our goal is to normalise disability and relationships like ours,” Shane, from Pennsylvania said.
“When Hannah and I are out in public together, strangers routinely assume that we are siblings, or that she is my paid caregiver, or even worse, my mum.”
“There are a variety of damaging stigmas surrounding disability, but one of the most pervasive ideas is that people with a disability are incapable or unworthy of romantic relationships,” he added, speaking to the Daily Mail.