Week 12 (March 31): (Dis)ability

In this article, the authors address the prefix “dis” as it is used in terms like “disability.” Disability is commonly viewed as a problem that exists in a person’s body and requires medical treatment. The social model of disability,  distinguishes between impairment and disability, identifying disability as a disadvantage that seems to lack between a body and its social environment. I have been privileged in my course to education to have had the opportunity to become close with someone who had a disability in my high school. In reading this article I connected a lot to the person I had become close with in highschool mainly because of that word ‘dis’. Dis is seen as a negative aspect to society, whether it’s being dishonest, or disrespectful, the word dis is seen as a negative word in society. In this article I found that there are positives to look at within disability. Intellectual disability disses the human, but also desires this group of people. Before reading this article I truly didn’t know how much of an impact the word dis had on society. I constantly found myself rereading points over and over in disbelief on how the word dis could shape a person, from causing hurt, fear, depression to someone. I think one way to eliminate this is with dis/ability. This would be a positive tool for the future and taking out that dis could make a huge difference to many people. I believe engaging with myself in this article I believe disabled people are no different from people who are not disabled, both groups of people have the ability to accomplish life skills. “Intellectual disability is always profound because it enlarges, disrupts, pauses, questions and clarifies what it means to be human. Intellectual disability ‘disses’ (or disrespects) the human but it also desires the human.” (Goodley, 2014)

My perspective on disability has changed tremendously after reading this article, I always seen disability as a bad trait and mainly because of the dis. I always seen disability as people who don’t belong or fit in but after reading this article I realized I was wrong.  People with disabilities are especially influential, as our hardships in life aren’t easily forgotten. Having a disability can be a good thing as it could teach people many lifelong messages, such as it can happen to anyone, patience is key, people with disabilities aren’t different they have to be mentally stronger. That Indeed, people with labels of profound intellectual disabilities offer us exciting new ways of thinking about our humanness in relation to interdependence, mutuality and interconnection (Goodley, 2014) I found that many interpretations on disability are caused because of that word dis, and as a society if we took out the word dis or it wasn’t always associated with being a bad trait then we could improve dis/abilities. In going to be a educator  these negative words dehumanize not only my future students but also everyone else. I am determined to be an equal teacher where everyone will feel welcome and I believe after reading this article a big factor of that will be teaching my students about disability and intellectual disability. I believe we as humans, we do not have the authority to define someone’s ability. 

Troubling the norm is shown in the article Stolen Bodies, Reclaimed Bodies: Disability and Queerness by Eli Clare. It talks of how they raise money for a cure to repair bodies that are seen as in need of fixing. The money raised does not go to funding for things in need like wheelchairs. What is seen to happen is high unemployment rates, lack of access, gawking, substandard education, being forced to live in nursing homes and back rooms. How I seen this story was there are different parts to society, people need different things to be successful and everyone has different needs. I think society has to make it so everyone can be able, we don’t need to raise money to repair bodies, society just needs to try and make sure everyone is able to get the resources they need to be healthy and successful. As a society, recognizing the problems around disability is the first step to inclusivity. This articleis a great read because it does that and finds solutions to get around those.

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4 Responses to

  1. Karlee Andres says:

    Very interesting reading response! When reading your reading response, I recognized the negative effects “dis” has on a specific word that I had never really thought about before. Your connection to “dishonest” and “disrespectful” really made your statement clear. As soon as “dis” is a prefix society recognizes it as a bad thing to be associated with. If “disability was talked about by using another word and did not relate to all the “dis” words it may be thought of in a more positive way. You are right as future educators we need to be aware of this topic in the classroom. As a student, I remember my teacher using the word “disrespectful” many times when my classmates who were not listening to instruction or not doing what they were instructed to do. It was a word that the whole class recognized as bad. Great job on your reading response! It was very interesting to read!

  2. This article is very well written. I enjoyed how you took off the prefix and examined its meaning separately. In doing so you were able to redefine the word disability. I have never before thought about the negativity associated with the word “dis” your article really helped to get me thinking in new ways. It also helped me to see that nothing is wrong with these people and they don’t need fixed

  3. Sarah Breti says:

    Very interesting topic Nolan, I like how you were able to connect this article with you becoming close to someone with a disability and also by turning the word ‘dis’ into a positive term as looking at it as teaching other people a lifelong message. It is unfortunate that as soon as you put the word ‘dis’ in front of a word it suddenly becomes bad and it then, is always remembered as bad or wrong. I like your way of looking at the positive when talking about becoming an educator and teaching your students the difference between disability and intellectual disability. If we teach children from a young age, there is hope that this will change throughout time to hopefully not associate the two different meanings as one. Great post!

  4. Sarah Breti says:

    Very interesting topic Nolan, I like how you were able to connect this article with you becoming close to someone with a disability and also by turning the word ‘dis’ into a positive term as looking at it as teaching other people a lifelong message. It is unfortunate that as soon as you put the word ‘dis’ in front of a word it suddenly becomes bad and it then, is always remembered as bad or wrong. I like your way of looking at the positive when talking about becoming an educator and teaching your students the difference between disability and intellectual disability. If we teach children from a young age, there is hope that this will change throughout time to hopefully not associate the two different meanings as one. Great post!

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