Month: April 2019

Do You See The Ability?

Dis/ability represented with a slash demonstrates that the word disability can be broken down into dis and ability. Dis means to disrespect, to criticize or lack something. Ability means what people are able to do. Disabled people have the potential to be part of the normative that humans are balanced, independent, and self-sufficient. People who are living with disabilities want to be treated with equality and be included.

Young children may be frightened by disabled people, because they do not understand. I remember as a young child going to work with my mom (a place where disabled people do activities) and there were lots of “different” people. They would squeal and talk different and I could not understand what they said. I was scared when I saw them and would hide under her desk. She would explain this to me, but I still did not understand, until I was I was older. As I got older, I got to know some of the disabled people and could see some of their abilities. There is Ryan, who is blind, tells amazing jokes about how it is nice to see you, or I haven’t seen you in awhile (which is cute, because he has always been blind!) Tyler, who is a lady’s man, will do anything for a hug. Judy, who is getting old and loosing her memory, but all I have to say is my mom’s name who she adores. I also graduated high school with a girl with down syndrome who always makes people smile. She is continuing to take more high school classes, has way too many boyfriends and does regular activities with other high schoolers like attending sports. They all have many abilities that are unique to them. Some abilities that disabled people may have are: math, typing, memorization, and the ability to make people laugh and smile all day long.  

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that people with special needs and disabilities have bigger hearts than most other people I know. Having a disability does not define the person. As future educators, we must see their ability and strive to help our students progress and treat everyone equally with respect. Acknowledging the ability with in the disability is an important skill for people to understand.

“Sometimes we who are activists and thinkers forget about our bodies, ignore our bodies, or reframe our bodies to fit our theories.” This is an important quote from Stolen Bodies, because it is easy for some people forget about their own body when they do not have to deal with daily struggles as a disabled person or their caretaker. Disability activists believe that disabled bodies do not need to be cured. Disability rights movement has created a new model for people with disabilities, where disabilities do not define by their body. Society is starting to acknowledge the ability by installing wheelchair ramps, automatic doors, etc..

All humans are valued, loved and worth fighting for. People may have hesitant thoughts about disabled people and their relationship with people in society. It is important for everyone to understand that people who are disabled are not any different. We all bleed red, we all die, and we all deserve to be treated with respect. Watch this video called “how you see me”.

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