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


March 27, 2010

disABILITY: 'Disability' is all a matter of how you look at, define it


If the whole world were blind except for a few, I would not be at a disadvantage. I wouldn’t be considered “disabled” at all. I’d be normal. If none of us had legs, or at least didn’t have ones that did much, our world would be built up around the needs of people with alternative means of mobility.

Having said that, now, flip to the N’s in your thesaurus. Find the word “normal” and cross out all the words next to it. Write in the margin “refer to flaw.”

As you may be noticing at this point, all creation is normal in all of its imperfectness. Some are better suited to the way in which society has built itself up around us all.

There will be some people who end up having more handicapping moments as compared to others. But do they really need to be boxed up and separated out like our society tends to do with them?

Is it fair to permanently define people by a situational limitation they have, especially if they adapt to that limitation and find ways of living life and accomplishing as much as any other normal person in society?

If that’s not enough to think about yet, think about this _ is someone in a wheelchair technically disabled because they’re sitting in a chair with wheels? No, they’re adapted to their situation and they are normal. When they roll themselves up a ramp and into a building are they disabled? Again the answer is “no.” Are they disabled when a store owner has neglected to have a ramp built? Yes and no. The circumstance is disabling, but it does not indicate the person is disabled. They are perfectly able to go find an accessible shop, buy their things online, or even make the store manager go get what they need.

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