Labels created by disability


The conditions are merely a label which I am determined to break the written conventions which surround them. Labels provide a pre-printed view which can often lead to unneeded social stereotyping. We state ‘everyone is different’; yet disability is obsessed with grouping people together. Yes I know it is used as a means to treat people and in the medical world I believe it works to a certain extent. However if you take it out of that comfort zone you get hit by reality.

I believe that there is a great deal of awkwardness which spirals around mental and physical disabilities, but why? Scope have recently released ‘End the awkward’ videos on YouTube and I feel that they really do ‘hit the nail on the head’ in explaining that we too are part of the human race and have as much rights and deserve the same amount of respect. I am not saying that the reasons behind this it is because the community is rude, certainly not. There just isn’t enough education out there. I know that it is probably always pushed in your face, yet I still am a part of a world which does not know how to react to a wheelchair. Come on, it’s just a bit of metal with wheels which allows me to get around. Also I’m not saying that wheelchair full/ part time users are the majority but we do exist (4 in my school). You don’t see me staring at your shoes now do you?

Furthermore if someone wears glasses I would like to believe that most people get a positive response ‘ohh I love your new glasses’ yet they wear them because they cannot see correctly and need support to do so (as well has been quite a high fashion accessory). Flipping the tables, you don’t seen anyone saying ‘ohh I love your new wheelchair’ yet that is used because I cannot walk correctly and sometimes need support in doing so. Yes I know what you are thinking, a lot more people wear glasses then people who use wheelchairs, does that make the actions right though? I’m sorry to say but it infuriates me, not the people, just the lack of education which is on offer in a world people like to call equal and promotes equality. Equality may be accomplished with ramps and lifts, but don’t you think people deserve to feel socially included?

Mindful had a petition to try and get mental health as part of the national curriculum and I agree 100%. I feel it is a major issue which is over looked and missed. Just because something is invisible does not mean it is not affecting far too many young people and older people. If educated from a young age it would get rid of the stigma which in turn would get rid of the awkwardness for society but also for the individuals who have these disability and will face the repercussions created by the stigma on a daily basis. Also I believe that physical health/ disability has its right to gain national curriculum. Personally acceptance is key so if you are able to maximise the number of people who accept people socially the better, right?

At the end of the day disability labels exist for both positive and negative reasons. However it does not define the person or limit them. Everyone is unique and different. Disability is also a very small part of the person’s life, despite it possibly having a daily affect. Why not keep it that way? Together people can be educated and get rid of the stigma. Disability is a small part of the person, look past the label and see the person, you might be amazed what you find.

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