The Concept of ability not disability.


Article by Margaret Moody A Disability is a lack of ability relative to a personal or group standard or norm. In reality there is often simply a spectrum of ability.Ability is about quality of life, it is related to how free a person is to make their own choices and live an equal life to their neighbour. They may need to do things in a different order, use specific aids or equipment but in certain areas they can be as competitive and cable as any other person. Unfortunately when people look at others with a disability they only see what they cannot do. Why is that? As with anyone else we all have our strengths and weaknesses. You have strengths. You have weaknesses. It is important that we stop looking at others in a negative fashion and we should not do so. We are all people and we all contribute. You only have to look at the news and see the people who have real disabilities but have strength far beyond most of us, think about Andrea Bocelli he is totally blind, he won a singing competition in 1970 and has gone on to be a great opera singer recognised the world over. Being blind has not stopped his attainment in the world. He also plays the flute and the piano; one might ask how he does this when he cannot read the music. These are his strengths. In the field of sport and physical activity, people are given the opportunity to compete both socially and formally in competition against, regional, national and international athletes, placing them in a stronger position to compete at the highest level, many of these people have achieved their inspiration and beyond. For a significant number of disabled people computer technology and the Internet holds the keys to their choices. It can help them to demonstrate to employers and the public that IT and the Internet are tools for equality in the workplace. Because a person sits in a wheelchair too many valuable skills can be overlooked and wasted, employers and the public should “see the ability not the disability”. People with a disability should be encouraged to utilise and develop their skills, to work and be competent at their strengths, to carry out normal every day activities. For people with physical disabilities accessibility and safety are primary issues. Access to public areas such as city streets and public buildings and restrooms are some of the more visible changes brought about in recent decades.Today a man walks with crutches, next week there is a meeting, he cannot attend this meeting as it is on a third floor with many steps, which he cannot climb. Whose loss is it that he cannot attend and offer his skills and knowledge? Another man who’s abilities outweighed his disabilities and with this he leads a professional and very productive life. His work involves providing materials for the visually impaired. The use of modern technology allows this person to use computers, Braille note takers, books, tapes, readers and many other devices. A guide dog aids him in using transportation and everyday walking to and from destinations.  It is important that we encourage the active involvement of people with disabilities to work to and develop their ability, and seek their feedback and support so that they can have a direct input into decisions which affect them.