New Horizons Un-Limited Inc.
Welcome to Conversations on Disability. Please do not let the conversation end! Visit our NHU Community Forum to engage in this and other important conversations with your peers.
Speaking about people with disabilities in generalities is like speaking of the general population as all having the same characteristics, limitations, shortcomings, etc. without any significant differences.
What can be done to get people to understand that speaking about disabled individuals in generalities in effect causes them to be seen as a separate group rather than a valid part of the society in which we live?
Speaking about disabled people in generalities fails to acknowledge key points:
This is by no means a complete list. It is only an attempt to convey what is taking place.
- The variety of disabilities is huge and the type and degree of disability significantly impacts the degree of struggle and time involved in accomplishing basic tasks.
- Non-disabled people tend to think individuals with a disability can do anything if only they try hard enough.
- The uniqueness of each individual is not seen (in the non-disabled world no one expects Joe to be Henry or Mary to be Alice).
- Disabled individuals have the same problems to deal with as everyone else--problems associated with their disability are not, instead of problems faced by the general public, but rather in addition to.
- Some programs designed to help disabled individuals in effect take away their freedom of choice.
- Disabled individuals not able to work who are dependent on programs such as Medicaid and SSI are destined to live a life of poverty.
- It is generally, through no fault of their own, that people are disabled.
- Senior recreation and meal programs designed to prevent isolation and loneliness for the elderly are NOT open to disabled individuals despite the fact that they have endured isolation and loneliness their ENTIRE lives -- and NO COMPARABLE programs exist for them.
--------------------------A Conversation with a Mother of Adult Children with Disabilities, (copyright March 2006)
For more on the topic of Disability Experiences:
Community & Internet Resources /
News Publication and News /
Personal Experience Form
If you have questions or ideas, information and solutions that you would like to
share with us, contact us by e-mail at: email@example.com or to use
our NHU E-Mail Form or NHU Community Forum, click on the links below.
© Copyright 2006, New Horizons Un-Limited Incorporated
[Updated March 31, 2006]
NHU has no liability for content or goods on the Internet.