Monday, August 26, 2019

Know That "Disability" Isn't a Bad Word

It’s time to teach the world that “disability” is not a bad word.

What is a disability? Look at it like this. A disability is something that makes a person require extra resources in different circumstances. Simple as that.

Ever since we’re young, we’re taught that disability is something we don’t want to be associated with. We’re taught that it’s a bad thing that happens to people, or that people are born with, and we have pity for people with disabilities. We’re taught that people with disabilities are suffering in some way.

Because of this, prior to my other illnesses, when I had Type 1 Diabetes and Type 1 alone, I shrugged it off. I never considered myself to have a disability. I definitely didn’t want to be associated with the word. No. I was normal. I just happened to have diabetes on the side. And while yes this is true... I didn’t realize that all disabled people are normal. They all just happen to have something on the side.

Even when I was in college dealing with anxiety and depression and I was offered extra help getting through my courses, I felt odd and out of place going to the disability office to get things set up. I didn’t feel like I belonged there. I didn’t feel like I was disabled. The word turned me off. For no reason other than that was how I was conditioned to feel. That’s the mentality I grew up with.

Now, as an adult with more prominent disabilities, I know that having a disability isn’t the end of the world. It’s not something I need to hide. And it’s not something I “suffer” from. It simply explains that parts of my body work differently than other people’s to do everyday things.

So many people need to learn that disability is not a bad word. People with “mild” disabilities who don’t even know they have a disability. Able-bodied people who think having a disability is some sort of disaster.

Growing up, children need to know that having a disability is NOT a bad thing. It’s not something to be ashamed of. No child or teen should ever feel embarrassed to use resources available to them that are offered at places like school just because the word disability is associated with it. 

Language matters, people!


  1. Well for me, I am also disabled, and I hate being disabled. Not that being disabled is something wrong or bad, i just hate being disabled. I hope some day I will get over it. But, frankly I doubt it and that is OK for me.

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