Monday, September 15, 2014

Question: What Makes a Person Disabled?

What makes a person disabled?

A person is disabled if they are limited by a physical or mental condition.  This can include, but is not limited to:

- a physical disability (like Cerebral Palsy)
- a sensory disability (like sensory processing disorder)
- a mental health disorder (like PTSD)
- an intellectual disability (like Down Syndrome)
- an invisible disability (like diabetes)

A person can be born with a disability (like CP or Down Syndrome) and/or they can acquire one later in life (as with a traumatic brain injury.)  It's possible to have more than one type of disability.  Many people with disabilities need accommodations such as crutches, a wheelchair, braille, or insulin.  Many people have disabilities that cannot be immediately detected.  This does not mean they are not disabled.  Many people who are disabled have experienced discrimination (called ableism when it concerns disabled people.)  Many people who are disabled require medical intervention (surgery, therapy, or medication.)

There is no one person who represents a particular disability.  We are as varied as the able population in our experiences and points of view.