When you see an individual in public that is physically or developmentally disabled, it can be easy to make assumptions about them based on what they first appear as. It is important however, to learn more about them as a person.
I recommend that if you have not experienced an individual with disabilities, to start by taking a quick look at this you tube video called Perceptions of the Disabled. Within this video it reveals a day in the life of a 20 year old woman with Cerebral Palsy. She explains within that although she looks different from others, she is clearly just the same as the rest of us.
Within the book “A Different Life” written by Quinn Bradlee, he explains his life growing up with a learning disability. He states, “I feel like I’m always in a battle and the enemy is expectation. I’m always fighting expectation. Sometimes it feels like battle after battle, day, after day. My learning disability has more than 180 different physical symptoms but in the end there’s nothing incredibly special about me. Although I may have a better chance than somebody else does to explain. Maybe I have more responsibility, too” (Bradlee 4).
Another example of the ways in which this word can be easily misused is throughout local schools, colleges, and universities. One aspect that I am not proud of is the fact that I have been diagnosed with anxiety. Ever since I was diagnosed with this in college, I have needed to use the testing center at Fort Lewis College to take my tests. When I received my “letters of accommodation” from the testing center, it clearly stated within the letter that I was “disabled”. This left me feeling dumb, naive, and much different than most of the other students in my class. This is just one example of the ways in which words can easily be a very large social misconception of who we really are as individuals.