Material World

I am not “differently abled” … Disability and Normative Language

Why I am crippled and not (dis)Abled, differently abled, or handicapable: When you say that we are not disabled, when you say that we are “better than that”; that instead we are “handicapable”, simply “differently” abled, or when you haphazardly throw a parenthesis around an unsuspecting prefix, what you are really saying is that you are afraid. You are afraid of acknowledging the fact that someone can be disabled and still be human being, no more and no less than anyone else. You are afraid of our bodies; and try to lessen the blow by concealing them with normative labels.

When you say “See the Person, Not the Disability”; what you mean is: our bodies should be ignored and our experiences erased in order to make you more comfortable with our presence. What you mean is: Disabled bodies are offensive, macrabe, and they must be overlooked in order for the substance and the humanity of the person to be seen. When you separate the person from the disability, you are erasing and denying a part of that person’s identity. People are not their disability, but their disability is a part of them, and you shouldn’t have to erase it, ignore, or see past it, in order to accept them.

  1. smittened reblogged this from mossflowers and added:
    Step one: ask someone’s preference. Step two: use that language for them step three: don’t assume everyone uses the same...
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    This is why I love my job so much. I get to see this everyday :)
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    this is what confuses me though, because there are disabled people out there that would rather be called “differently...
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