Disabled.

Yuck. Hate that word. Who really is disabled? Really?

"Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations.
Thus disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives."
 —World Health Organization

"An individual may also qualify as disabled if he/she has had an impairment in the past or is seen as disabled based on a personal or group standard or norm."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disability


Disability? Reminds me of "Diss"

Who doesn't have a disability? Really? I'm socially awkward, have a short attention span, you can tell how "deep" I go by how far I went to research this post.

I believe in ability. What *can* you do, not what can't you do. But the problem with "disability" more than just negative terminology. It's attitude. It's a problem with the focus. I have come to grips with the fact that as much as I'd love to go to Kendall, a great art and design school, and be able to do pretty stuff, that I might just be wasting my time. I like pretty stuff, I respect good graphic artists, but I will not become one. I might get better, but my mind doesn't think that way.

Is that a handicap, a disability, an impairment? I say yes. I admit it. I am a Graphically Challenged American. (interesting that I have a doppelganger, on the other side of the country who is a ga - http://williamcreswell.com/) .My mom never said "You can be anything you want to be". There are some people that like to say that. I don't. We all have limitations, but we also have the things we can do.

Some people use "PWD" - Persons with Disabilities - but that frightens me. It's like assuming that there are people without disabilities.


I love the story, "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonegut Jr. - I like that way it uses the word "handicap". I don't relate to Harrison, or to George - I relate to Hazel.

"What was it?" he said.

"It's all kind of mixed up in my mind," said Hazel.

"Forget sad things," said George.

"I always do," said Hazel.

I hope that this is not perceived as weird, pretentious from a guy who's not typically considered to be, or to look like I'm trivializing the struggle that a someone in a chair, or blind, or deaf, or paralyzed, and comparing it to my being graphically challenged, having a poor memory, struggling to keep thoughts coherent when I speak and write... I think we all have handicaps and we all need to be "enablers" of each other. We are who we are. and we can become better versions of ourselves, dealing with whatever we can do and can't do. It works out best if we help each other, look out for the interests of others, and look to make the best of what we have.





Comments

billcreswell said…
Got a response on the twitter link to this article:

"A long time ago, I climbed into a city bus, and was directed to an empty seat by the bus driver. "Can I ask you a question?" He asked. "What is it that you people like to be called nowadays? What am I supposed to call you?" I replied: "Laura."'

I liked that response!

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