The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


November 3, 2007

disABILITY: Disabled, able-bodied very much alike

Growing is a skill that takes time and effort; groaning, however, is only a reflex. It's simple enough to understand, right? Unfortunately, however, it may not actually be quite so easy to practice.

There are certain people, for example, who somehow fall prey to circumstances and events in life. It's as if they just kind of melt into this lumpy product of those circumstances. There are people with disabilities and people without who fall prey to this type of lifestyle trap and warped mental outlook. Are you one of them?

Fortunately, though, there are other people out there who face challenging circumstances, and yet they use it as a ladder, on which they simply climb to newer heights.

What exactly has made me start ranting like a crazy woman like this, though? Well, it was the article I ended up reviewing recently. It supposedly was written as a means to educate people about a particular disability. In my opinion, the article was appalling, totally and completely appalling.

After I finished reading through it, I sat there trying to figure out whether the author was really trying to familiarize others with the disability, or whether the author was looking to spread yet another layer of guilt on her readers and scare all but the hardiest souls away from her.

You know, I have a feeling the whole movement regarding political correctness has already done a good enough job at reinforcing a sense of paranoia and guilt surrounding what to say or not to say, what to do and what not to do, around people with disabilities.

It is my belief that making more rules on top of what we already have is the absolute last thing that needs to be done.

Please don't get me wrong, though. I think it's really good for people with a disability or those with specific needs to verbalize those things. It is not, however, realistic to start making a pamphlet of do's and don'ts for the general population to remember whenever they see a person who's got a disability.

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