The Right Word:
This is a debate I’ve been having with myself. My observation is that the world is currently undergoing a labeling and terminology crisis. There are so many labels and terms, and we just keep inventing more of them. And it makes things so bloody confusing!
They are created in order to define something, they are designed to be current and correct and specific. Unfortunately, often these labels and terms are used incorrectly, in a haphazard, general manner. They become interchangeable with one another; so we create a new label, a new term, and the confusion continues.
Some people say challenged, others use the terms disabled, handicapped, differently-abled, handi-capable, special… And can I just say that I prefer the term disabled? To me it offers the simplest and most accurate description.
Yes, I realize people everywhere have challenges. I understand that while some terms may be considered insensitive, others attempt to raise awareness and change public attitudes. But for me the term disabled works. It doesn’t define my whole being, but it is a part of who I am. It is an accurate assessment. It is a statement of fact.
I have a disability. My condition restricts my ability to carry out some daily living activities as easily as the average able-bodied person- and so I adapt. I am not trying to hide anything. I am not trying to “pass” as “normal.” I am confident in my abilities and have nothing to prove.