Life is not about celebrating disability, but instead about celebrating all that is possible for people with disabilities, and all that they are capable of. As the mother of two children with disabilities, these are 9 things about disability that I think everyone should know in order to support more inclusive communities.
- An approximate of 15% or more of the total population of the world live with a disability. We are all closer to it than we may believe. Disability arrives in our lives through the birth or adoption of a child, or may unexpectedly appear after an accident or illness.
- People with disabilities should neither be idealized nor be discriminated due to their condition. Disability is a common circumstance that hits hard when it touches us or a loved one. Let’s be open minded, let’s be inclusive, let’s do our best to learn. Disability is not the problem, the real problem is judgement.
- Disability on its own is useless; however, combined with the unique abilities and individuality of human beings, it has the power to inspire and demonstrate how capable we all are when we use our talents to its fullest.
- Disability is not as bad at it looks. It may be selfish and limiting on its own, but when it becomes part of someone’s life, it’s up to that person to choose what comes next. Faithful and positive individuals are strong than it. They know and understand that there is something even more powerful than disability, and that is called faith.
- Living with a disability doesn’t make people disabled. Instead, it gives them the chance to discover different abilities that bring them pride and personal strength while using the maximum of their abilities at the same time.
- Disability doesn’t make people happy or special. People with disabilities are mere mortals, and like everyone else, they learn to choose between two options: Learn to be happy with what they have, or forever mourn the things they will never have or achieve.
- Disability can unify or break apart families forever, and again, we can’t blame disability for that, because the truth is that it may strengthen the bonds of love, or irrevocably break them if the love was not strong enough.
- Disability doesn’t diminish or limit. It challenges and invites us to believe in ourselves, to work even harder for the things we want, and to demonstrate to others that with perseverance, dedication and passion, everything is possible.
- Disability should not be a ruler to measure possibilities or limitations. As every other experience, it can be used as a tool to set a starting line. It’s all about changing our perception on triumph to understand that being a winner is not about reaching the finish line, but to enjoy every step and learn that the only time we are allowed to look back, is to realize how far we’ve come.
Living with a disability is not a scholarship to heaven, but is certainly a path for learning to value our lives, love, and the small things.