A Disability Is A Secondary Trait, Not A Defining Characteristic

According to the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, roughly 19 percent of Hoosiers have some type of disability. People with disabilities are the nation’s largest minority group, and one people from all genders, ethnic backgrounds, ages and socioeconomic levels can join at any time.

Yet unfortunately, we still live in a world where people with disabilities are defined by a medical diagnosis, devaluing everything else about who they are as people and reducing them to just being “different than me.” We use terms like “blind woman,” “autistic student,” or “handicapped neighbor” — lazy labels that ignore the person behind the disability.

The words we use to describe people with disabilities in conversations, in writing, in social media and elsewhere are powerful and can shape how the world perceives these issues. Simplified labels cause society to have a narrow view, exacerbating stereotypes and fostering attitudes that make it harder for people with disabilities to integrate into mainstream society.

Read more at Kokomo Tribune.