i am you – a page from my journal

Please stop looking at me like that your gaze stab and bleed me, it hurts so bad but I know I can’t put my thoughts into words or explain anything to you before I get all rallied up in emotions, you that can understand it all but don’t want to; you that are the society of which I am a part too.

I understand you are sad to see me in such a sorry state but are you “sad”? Isn’t it acceptable anymore for a person to fall sick; being vulnerable is what a human is I am a human seems you are don’t know or accept the sad part of reality; makes me question are you really that delusional.

You start your sympathy speech every time telling me but then pretend I am deaf for a moment and direct all you have to say to my parents don’t you know how hurt they feel for what parents wish hardship for their children.  You speak of how hard my life will be now, its ok you speak the truth but who knows of the future quit telling me my survival my fight is useless if you can’t make my faith stronger my belief in hope please don’t make me believe in darkness.

One stumble in life, an ill turn of fate was all you required to see me in a new light through a biased glass. You took all my achievements stripped me of all the respect and love I had earned, put me naked on a podium for display. Sometimes I think you waited for all this patiently, sadness in your words but do I see happiness in your eyes.

I shrink with pain the steps I force myself to walk I fall, fail yet I walk.

It’s said everything in life happens for a reason. I’ve seen none till now, wonder what will I see but I know none even you won’t speak of me with pity but you will celebrate my life and I won’t let anything come in my way to achieve what I have always set my eyes on, no matter disability or no disability. I am not perfect but who are we kidding neither are you.

Written some 5 years ago when I just struggling to accept my new identity as Srijana the girl with a “strange” walking disability.

Dignified & Correct terminologies- words are powerful

Words have an immense power they can easily make or break a person. A word is very powerful and we often underestimate its power.
Of late I have been reading a lot of blogs describing people with disability as “differently able” which angers me a lot because I want to be referred to as person first not different because I have a disability. This is my opinion and opinions are not facts that can’t be proved wrong.

While addressing people with disabilities, knowingly or unknowingly, many of us use undignified and incorrect terminologies. These words will play a negative impact on both the personal and professional development of people with disabilities. This got me thinking there must be data for correct and dignified terminology, here are some I found;

 

Incorrect (out-dated, undignified ) Correct (Dignified)
  • ·         Handicapped, Disabled, Abnormal, Differently Able, special
 

Persons with Disabilities, People with Disability

 

  • ·         Normal Person, Healthy Person
Person without Disability
  • ·         Crippled, Lame, invalid
Person with Physical Disability
  • ·         Blind
Person who is Blind, Visually Impaired Person
  • ·         Deaf, Mute, tongue-tied
Person who is deaf, Person with Hearing Impairments, Person who is unable to speak, non-verbal
  • ·         Wheelchair bound, confined or restricted to a wheelchair
Person who uses a wheelchair, wheelchair user
  • ·         Crazy, Insane, Psycho, Mentally ill
Person with Psychiatric disability, emotional disorder, behavior disorder, person with mental illness
  • ·         Mentally Retarded, Retarded, Slow, Idiot, mentally defective, moron, slow, imbecile, feeble-minded, Down’s person
Person with Intellectual Disabilities
   

*THIS IS NO WAY  AN EXSUSTIVE LIST  please see

http://www.cpdusu.org/about/committee/awareness/

http://www.nfdn.org.np/advocacy-documents/dignified-terminologies-pwds.html

http://www.courts.ca.gov/partners/documents/7-terminology.pdf

http://nda.ie/Publications/Attitudes/Appropriate-Terms-to-Use-about-Disability/

http://www.onestops.info/article.php?article_id=14

http://www.miusa.org/sites/default/files/documents/resource/Respectful%20Disability%20Language.pdf

Things to remember

  • Individuals with disabilities are people!
  • Individuals with disabilities are whole people!
  • They expect to be treated with the same dignity and respect that you do.
  • Just because someone has a disability does not mean he/she is disabled.

Disability vs. Handicap

A disability is a condition caused by such things as an accident or trauma, disease, or genetics that limits a person’s vision, hearing, speech, mobility, or mental function.
A handicap is a constraint imposed upon a person, regardless of that person’s ability or disability. These constraints can be physical or attitudinal. For example, stairs and curbs are handicaps imposed on those who use wheelchairs.
Always remember that the person is not the condition. Keep all your speech person focused, not disability focused.

We live we learn but most importantly we learn for life is always changing always evolving.