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    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.
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    #2
    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

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      #3
      Here we go again.

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

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          #5
          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

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            #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.

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              #7
              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.

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                #8
                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.

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                  #9
                  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.

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                    #10
                    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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                      #11
                      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.
                      food for thought: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_model_of_disability

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                        #12
                        I really couldn't care less what label is used to define my limitations because I know that whatever someone calls me, my friends call me "Eileen" and do not think much beyond that identifier.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by flying View Post
                          What happened to the hole ALTERNATIVELY ABLE. Hey just trying to be politically correct.
                          What happened to that is that most people now (hopefully) realize that quibbling about semantics does nothing to change reality. It may very well be tue that most people with disabilities develop one skill or another that most non-disabled people lack, in order to compensate for some other skill they don't (or no longer) have. But in the end, the best-case scenario still is that this special skill will enable them to do the same things non-disabled people can do. Plus, they wouldn't have needed to develop said special skill if they'd not been disabled in the first place.

                          People who can see generally don't read Braille. But blind people who acquire the skill of reading Braille do so with the sole purpose of being able to read, just like those of us who can see (albeit not in the same way). The skill they're ultimately after is reading, not deciphering Braille.

                          So those 'different' abilities aren't really all that different: they ultimately serve the same goals that the non-disabled strive for. Reading in this example, mobility in the case of wheelchair skills, communication in the case of sign language or lip reading.

                          The catch is in the fact that very few sane individuals will choose to do something the 'alternative' way, so long as they have the ability to do the same thing the regular way. That's because the alternatives are generally far more inconvenient. A skilled Braille reader can't read as fast as a skilled regular reader. A skilled signer still can't easily communicate with the hearing majority. A skilled wheelchair user still faces accessibility challenges other people never encounter.

                          In the end, the disabled are still disabled. All they can do is try to compensate for that as best as they can, and then it helps not to proceed from the assumption that some things are simply beyond their reach. I read a story somewhere years ago, about a guy who could literally do nothing but lie in his hospital bed, hooked up to a ventilator and a feeding tube, and blink once for yes and twice for no. He managed to write a book about it.

                          Which is to say: yes, there *is* such a thing as disability, and if you lack some skill that can be mastered by any healthy three-year-old, then you're disabled, no matter what you tell yourself. But having a disability doesn't have to stop you from being whoever you want to be.
                          Last edited by Saranoya; 4 Oct 2011, 12:30 PM.

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                            #14
                            I'm a "wheelchair user". That's what I tell people on the phone when I have to inquire about access and things etc

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by brython2 View Post
                              I'm a "wheelchair user". That's what I tell people on the phone when I have to inquire about access and things etc
                              I was a "wheelchair user" before becoming disabled. I worked at a grocery store and when no one was checking out, I'd get in the stores wheelchair and "use" it to amuse myself by popping wheelies. (No, that's not how I got injured)
                              Unfortunately, the closest I get to a wheelie now is when my powerchair nearly tilts over when I get in and out.

                              Isn't it great that paralysis goes from the injury level down and not vise versa... we'd be zombie-like creatures walking around slumped over at the waist, back or neck.

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