Sunday, May 2, 2010

Taking the 'dis' out of disability

I have never been to fond of the word disability for many reasons:
1. Typically when someone hears the word disability they start treating the person differently or start looking for the disability
2. Just because a person has a disability does not mean they have no ability at all
3. A person is much more than a label

Truth be told the word that I shy away from defines who I am. Yes, I have a specific learning disability. My disability is mainly in auditory processing in reading and math. Reading is no longer an issue any more. I might need more time to comprehend what I am reading, but I have adapted. Now math is a different story. If you were to sit in front of me and strictly teach me a lesson in math just by using your words; the information will literally go in one ear and out the other. Unfortunately, I have acquired years upon years of perfecting my talent of tuning out math. Anything that has the slightest resemblance of math I turn the other direction!

I will probably be blogging a lot about disabilities because it plays such a huge role in my life. Today, I want to focus on the word disability and how changing our words could change our perception on what a disability is.

I love looking up words in the dictionary! So of course I looked up the prefix of disability...dis here is what I found: belittle, criticism and lack of something

//not to uplifting is it//

Now on to the second half of the word in disability...ability: competence in an activity or occupation because of one's skill, training or other qualification. Talents, expertness, special skills and aptitude

//paints a different picture doesn't//

Lets see what happens when dis and ability colide to form the word disability: lack of adequate power, strength, physical or mental ability, incapacity, one that prevents a person from living a full, normal life or from holding a gainful job and disquilification.

//how would you like that to define you//

It is sad to think that 10 little letters could have such a huge impact in someones life. Perhaps next time you encounter someone who has a disability look for the ability first instead of what they are lacking!

"Disability is not a brave struggle or 'courage in the face of adversity.' Disability is an art. It's an ingenious way to live" Neil Marcus

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