Many people, myself included, struggle with the word normal. Not just with what it means, but how it factors into their lives. dictionary.com defines the word normal as: “conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural”. Based on that definition disability in its very nature falls outside of the definition. Be it in how one moves or the means by which they communicate.
I especially noticed social stigma surrounding my education. My peers in college seemed to think that because of my disability I wasn’t of equal intelligence or as highly cognitive as them. This in part is why I created this website, to educate people and hopefully help others by sharing my own experiences.
For me disability by its very nature tends to suggest that social interactions and life experiences will be vastly different from that of my peers. This is not something I want people to take pity on me for, as it is all I have ever known, and thus ‘normal’ for me. I do however feel that it allows me to be more sympathetic to the viewpoints and understandings of societies diversities.
I understand, that people take their abilities for granted. As a child I thought that I was excluded because of being disliked, but what maturity has allowed me to see is that it is difficult for people to think outside the box. For example when I was growing up it never occurred to my peers to invite me out. The main reason for this was that they couldn’t figure out how we could transport my wheelchair. It simply never occurred to them to have me meet them at their chosen destination. As a result, I often simply wasn’t invited.
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