You are Not Differently‐abledMay 11, 2018
I’ve seen people going around saying “disability” is such a negative word, such a negative thing. “Let’s not use that word. No, let’s try something kinder. Let’s call it ‘differently‐abled’. Yes, that sounds much better”
And they’re right: disability is a negative term. Being disabled is, by definition, a negative thing. But that doesn’t mean that disabled people’s lives are inherently negative.
By trying to change the narrative through which we describe our bodies, they’re tying our bodies to our worth as human beings. To them, a body not fully functional is a life not fully lived.
“Differently‐abled” turns our most important needs into a kind of “alternative lifestyle” and our activism into a mere nuisance.
Differently‐abled people didn’t climb up the steps of Capital Hill as their representatives literally stepped over them.
Differently‐abled people didn’t block the hallways and offices of members of congress to protect healthcare.
Differently‐abled people weren’t dragged out of their wheelchairs and into patrol cars.
Differently‐abled people didn’t call their representatives to protect the ADA from lobbyist trying to weaken it.
Disabled people did those things.