The Challenges of Disability

When you think about what presents a challenge to you, do you immediately think of something physical, like a race to run or mountain to climb? Or do you think of a mental challenge like a puzzle or brain teaser?

People who are disabled often have a challenge most of us rarely consider to be a challenge, acceptance by the society around them. That is not to say that we don’t all face a challenge of some kind when wanting acceptance, but people with a physical disability aren’t blessed with the ability to “blend in” like many of us are. A person with a physical disability must often work to ignore the stares as they progress through a store or navigate a busy intersection. There are often questions from strangers about the nature of the disability: Were you born with this? Or were you in an accident?

These situations may not seem like a big deal, but in truth, they can be very isolating to the person who is living with the disability. Questions, as innocent as they might be, only point out the differences between those with a disability and those without.

It isn’t just the questions, though. It is also the impatience exhibited by people who wait behind a person with a physical disability to navigate steps or go through a door when those behind them are in a hurry. It is the stares or commentary of others that can be seen when an apparently simple task like getting groceries out to the car requires extra help from store personnel. One may think these acts go unnoticed, but they often do not.

As we get closer to our time of Thanksgiving, let us remember the blessings we have in our lives. And let us remember that every single person who isn’t the same as we are can only add to our blessings. The people with disabilities help us learn that only together we can give thanks.

The inspirational football coach, Lou Holtz points out that ability is not the most important ingredient that determines where you go in life:

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”


This article about the challenges of disability is brought to you by the good folks at Accessible Living for All.

Please contact us at 919 417 0485 

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Posted on November 17, 2012, in Americans with Disabilities and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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