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Thread: Do you call yourself disabled?

  1. #1

    Do you call yourself disabled?

    When I think about the definition of disabled it does fit me. When I think about spinal cord injury that doesn't feel accurate either because the injury is over and now I am healing. At times when I'm the passenger I do not park in the handicapped spot besides never using that word because no one has their cap in their hand begging so I wonder if not using all of these labels, negative or positive will allow me to just be me and feel awesome because I am here in the universe having an amazing experience? OK so if this makes no sense do not worry I've been fasting and when I meditated tonight these are thoughts that came to me. I just feel grateful.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    That's a myth about the origins of the word, 'handicap.'

    According to this, the word wasn't used to describe a physical or mental impairment until 1915. Previous to that, it had other meanings since 1653. I used to believe the same, that it was meant as 'hand in cap.'

    http://www.uhh.hawaii.edu/~ronald/Ha...Definition.htm
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  3. #3
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Here we go again.

  4. #4
    I would be stupid not to. Deaf people are fucking deaf. They don't hear in different ways.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    I've never said I was disabled while applying for a job ... but do I say I'm disabled when trying to qualify for the disability income tax credit? Darn right I do!
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  6. #6
    I just look at the word 'disabled' as a word that describes the opposite of something else: able-bodied. I am many things, but no matter how you want to slice it, able-bodied is clearly not one of them. If I truly had been able-bodied, I would have become a search and rescue pilot (or at least tried very hard to get there). So yes, in that sense, the word 'disabled' fits me: I lack certain physical abilities that are considered 'normal' to have.

    We could go back and forth forever about where to draw the line that separates the 'normal' from the 'abnormal', but I think that would take us too off topic in this instance, and in any case, we'll probably all agree that not having the ability to walk cannot be considered 'normal'.

    The problem is, to society at large, 'disabled' seems to carry many meanings beyond just the basic 'not able-bodied'. 'Lacking a certain physical function' gets mixed up with 'lacking the ability to do x or y' too often. Yes, because of our physical impairments, there are things we can't do that we might like to do, or perhaps once actually did. How 'disabled' that makes us depends on how we choose to deal with it. If I can't become a search and rescue pilot (let's say that was my dream job), that doesn't mean there's no other job I can do that will be satisfying and rewarding for me. If I can't run around hauling boats, that doesn't mean I can't be at the helm of a boat.

    Do I feel disabled? Yes, and no. I have physical impairments. I live my life despite them. I have a job, a bunch of good friends, and plenty of hobbies I enjoy. I generally (with some notable exceptions) don't feel excluded from anything I genuinely want to do because of what I am physically incapable of.

    In the end, the question of whether I'm disabled or not is moot to me. I am who I am. I have my limits, but so does everyone else. And yes, there may be a difference of degree there (meaning the world can't accommodate a wheelchair user quite as easily as, say, someone who simply lacks the ability to jump or stand on one leg), but at least for me, the difference isn't so huge that I feel too hampered by it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Type Fran├žais View Post
    I would be stupid not to. Deaf people are fucking deaf. They don't hear in different ways.
    No, but they do communicate in different ways -- the same way we wheelers don't walk in different ways, but do move from point A to point B, albeit not in the same way someone else would.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
    Here we go again.

    Yeah no kidding. I always read these posts and think about how irritating it must be to people who post on this site who have to use Dragon to post or type with a pencil strapped to their hand because they can't type or even hold a pen because of their SCI. Oh the angst of wondering if you are disabled.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by t8burst View Post
    I always read these posts and think about how irritating it must be to people who post on this site who have to use Dragon to post or type with a pencil strapped to their hand because they can't type or even hold a pen because of their SCI. Oh the angst of wondering if you are disabled.
    I don't think the OP is wondering whether or not he *is* disabled. Clearly, he is. I think the question is whether, if you *think* of yourself that way, it influences the way you lead your life.

    I think it does. Whether you are disabled or not, it always pays to see possibilities rather than limitations. If one loses the ability to use their hands, one possible reaction is to think "well, that's it for me, no more writing". Another is to find a way around that limitation -- whether it be a software tool, or a pencil strapped to an otherwise unresponsive hand.

    On a less severe level, if you find yourself needing a wheelchair for mobility, you could think: well, that's it for me, no more walks in the forest. Or you could buy yourself a freewheel, train the muscles you *can* still use, suck up the slowdown, and do it anyway.

    Are you still disabled? Yes. Do you feel just as disabled as before?

    I don't know what other people think about that, but to me the answer is clear.

  10. #10
    Senior Member flying's Avatar
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    What happened to the hole ALTERNATIVELY ABLE. Hey just trying to be politically correct.
    T12L1 Incomplete Still here This is the place to be 58 years old

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