Monday, November 21, 2011

Disability, Differently Abled or Abilities?

When it comes to running a blog where you address issues that affect those of us living with physical disabilities I am always surprised to find that some people are actually offended by the use of the word “Disability”. Many people suggest that it might be better to stop using the word all together and that we should instead use the words “Differently abled”. Others aim to just use the word “Abilities” instead of “disability” since they only want us to focus on what persons capabilities are. Some even believe that it is better to ignore the negative parts of living with a disability but can we really tell our stories without including are struggles? Is the word “disability” really something so negative?

In some societies and yes in some people eyes having a disability is viewed as a negative but the truth is we are just like anyone else we just do things a little bit differently. Could you say we are "differently abled" sure why not? Throughout the years I have never been offended by other people living with disabilities who use words like “differently abled” or “abilities” when it comes to talking about those of us living with some type of physical limitation. That is why I hope no one is offended when I use the word “disability” in a few of the posts you find here on the My Becker’s Story blog. The truth about those of us living with disabilities is that we have a lot of good things going on in our lives and many of us are very happy people and even though we may have certain limitations we are just like everyone else. We all do the same things we go to the movies, hanging out with friends, go to the mall, restaurants; churches and even attend college and university. Many of us choose to not allow our conditions to hold us back from accomplishing anything and a lot of us go on to live successful lives that is why I believe the word “disability” actually represents strength. To me the word “disability” makes me want to strive harder and just like anyone else I too want to be successful in life and maybe I can’t do it physically but mentally I am as strong as the next person. And like they say; "You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it" and it doesn’t surprise me that many people living with physical disabilities are amazingly smart people who go on to become anything they want to in life. I am sure you could ask anyone with a disability who has become successful and they will tell you the word “disability” doesn’t have to represent a negative. They would also tell you; “Life is what you make it” that means no matter what you still have the ability to achieve your dreams. Sure you might have to go about it in a different way but in the end you will get there. So whatever word you want to use to describe your situation whether it’s “disability”, “differently abled” or even if you want to only focus on using the word “abilities” that’s ok with me I will never be offended. In the end the truth is the word "disability" doesn't always have to represent something negative.

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1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. I certainly don't believe that the word "disability" is one to be avoided (all that politically correct nonsense of "differently enabled" is, frankly, patronising), but I do think we have to be extremely careful when we start to use such terms to generalise. I write a little more about it here: