Disability – What’s the Big Deal?

Disability - What’s the Big Deal?
Image provided by
Dheepak Ra @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/baejaar/

This post is for the fifth module of the e-course, LifeWrite, I’ve been taking. This is called the persuasive approach.

According to statistics, 13% to 20% of the population in the United States is classified as being disabled [www.GetRiil.org].  Now you should take into consideration that this percentage is from the U.S. Census Bureau in 1997. It does not include disabilities from the war in Iraq or survivors of accidents through the country since then. Disability reaches through out the minorities and majorities.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a person with the challenges of disability. My question to you is this: Who doesn’t have a disability of some sort making life rough in some way? It could be as simple as having to wear corrective lens (glasses or contacts). Why is there such a big deal about this?

Of course, I’m looking at it from the inside. It’s right in my face 24/7. Just the sight of me puts the subject into your head. There is more to me than just the disability, but because the focus has been micro-managed since the birth of the ADA [American Disability Act of 1990 http://www.ada.gov/pubs/ada.htm%5D, society has fixated so heavily on the subject that people have a terrible time looking beyond it to the actual person. The very law that was supposed to help make life easier for those of us who face these challenges, is making it almost impossible for us to be seen as who we really are.

Yes, I know. Here I am discussing this, which is bringing more attention to this overworked subject. I don’t do it to bring more attention to those of us with disabilities though. My angle is a little different. I am asking those of you who fall into this classification to stop bringing so much attention to the very thing that keeps you from being an individual, that sticks you into a slot you’d rather not be in.

When you are asked to describe yourself, do you automatically say, “Well, I’m disabled…”? Is that what you think of first? Is that what you see in your mind before anything else about yourself? Shame on you. You’re focusing on the negative rather than the positive. You are the one sticking yourself into that slot. And saying that you are a person with disability, which is supposed to be politically correct, still is putting the emphasize on something you should be trying to minimize. With all the positive things you are, why are you slapping a neon sign on your forehead saying, “I have a problem!”?

If you want people to know you for who you really are, for heaven’s sake, stop accentuating the negative!

Do you agree or disagree? Bring it on!

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