Human Ability

The term ‘disability’ is one I just don’t like. It implies the lack of ability. It also seems to be a subject that few people wish to discuss. Few wish to acknowledge its existence in the world. Let’s close our eyes and pretend not to see the kid in the wheelchair or the one who seems to be playing alone and not want attention. Let’s not focus on the one who requires gastrostomy tube feedings or the one who is blind and hearing impaired. Let’s turn around when the child on the Autism Spectrum is screaming because her schedule has abruptly changed, her routine is suddenly incoherent to her, her safety has disappeared and she needs it back. Now.
Let’s just not see that, or hear that or acknowledge that.
How about we pause for a minute and rethink the decision to not acknowledge or focus or see? How about WE become less disabled in our thinking regarding people with challenges and instead, become more aware, more focused and more accepting?
How about we become more human?
That would be nice. To accept people as they are. To be less judgmental, less lazy in our thinking that because someone has a ‘disability’ that he is less in ability? Less capable? Less knowledgeable? Less human? I don’t think so.
Some of the most creative intelligent people who I have had the pleasure of coming into contact with have been diagnosed with some challenge or another. They find new ways to learn, to cope and to adjust and BECAUSE of their challenge, they become more capable and more creative. They think up new ways to adapt to reading a text book, or interpreting a question or maneuvering their way through a complicated building, even braving a new environment alone.
Nobody’s perfect and we all have our constraints and idiosyncrasies. We all have limits to what we can do physically, emotionally and mentally, but when those limits are made the focus of attention and lauded as something that makes one less capable, less knowledgeable or less of a human being, that’s wrong. No one deserves being made to feel less, of anything.
So, let’s change our language and our focus. Let’s change our attitudes and adjust our thinking just a tad. We are all the same. We all function on one distinct and universal level. We are all human. We all deserve respect and to be treated fairly. We all deserve a voice.
The right to be heard, to be seen and to be recognized as a viable and contributing member of the world is what we all want.
Let’s give those who may need a louder voice, that chance too.

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