FYI: People are not "handicapped"

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Mexdeaf, Nov 13, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    The purpose of this post is not to cause debate but rather to inform and perhaps encourage some discussion.

    On another thread I took offense to a brother over a matter and I think the real reason was his lack of understanding the proper terminology to use when referring to people with disabilities. (Remember that term- PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.)

    There are three terms commonly used to refer to people with disabilities:

    Impairment- this refers to anatomical or structural abnormalities that typically call for medical assessment and treatment.

    Disabilities- are tasks, skills or behaviors that are affected by impairment.

    Handicap- refers to a disadvantage stemming from the interaction between an individual's impairment and the environment.

    Note that the impairment is not the handicap, the environment is.

    The proper way to refer to a person with an impairment is this- "Person with (impairment or disability)". Remember that we are people first.

    The veteran in your church who uses a wheelchair? He's not a "cripple". He is a person with a mobility disability. The dear little child who has Down's Syndrome- she's not a "retard", she is a person with a developmental disability.

    And it's not just semantics, it has to do with the value we place upon people that are different from ourselves. (Kind of like calling a not-yet-born baby a "fetus" somehow makes it seem less like a person that we are killing, if you catch my drift.)

    The second thing to remember is that WE do not have handicaps- rather we are handicapped by the environment around us. For example- I am not handicapped by my inability to hear. I am handicapped by other people's inability to communicate in my language, which is American Sign Language, or refusal to write in English, which is also my language.

    So (and I use myself as an example because I'm here on the BB :smilewinkgrin:) just because I am different from you in that I cannot hear, I am no less valuable or usable to God than you are. I am not handicapped in my ability to hear God speak. Perhaps I cannot "hear" music. but I sure can "see" it signed in ASL just as beautifully.

    Hopefully this has been an educational (and encouraging) experience for you. I do not take offense easily, but it does bother me when "hearing" people try to tell me all the things that I "can't" do because I am deaf. My wife is deaf also- we both (thankfully) have jobs. I am a pastor to the deaf. I have a Bachelor's degree and am in process of working on a Master's through a State University. We have raised two hearing sons (who can speak just fine, thank you!) We have two hearing grandchildren and our oldest son and his wife are in the process of adopting a deaf girl from Peru. Our sons are gifted ASL interpreters and highly thought of in their community.

    Well, I have to run now for work, but I hope that this will help us all be more aware of how the words that we choose to describe others can either help or hurt.

    God bless.
     
    #1 Mexdeaf, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2012
  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,293
    Likes Received:
    783
    Neither should we belittle people with disabilities by strongly pointing out that because of their disability their experience in this world will be less than those without disabilities therefore implying that they should not have the same access to things that those with disabilities should have.
     
  3. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    128
    So arthritis is my impairment
    Resulting in a movement disability
    Leading to a significant handicap in the game of golf.

    Rob
     
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,293
    Likes Received:
    783

    Shame on you.
     
  5. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for bringing this up, Mexdeaf. You are exactly correct. While on this subject, I'd like to point some things out that I have experienced due to my physical limitations.

    1. If you are NOT handicapped, please, please, please, do not park in the handicap parking spaces at church, at the store, at the doctors, the school, etc. You have NO IDEA how difficult it is for some of us to move and what we have gone through to get a special placard giving us the right to park in those spaces. If you are able-bodied, have the kindness to park further away instead of grabbing the "best spots" or worse yet, parking in the fire lane and making it harder for us to see when walking or wheeling to our car from the store. Will it kill you to park 10 spaces away and use the two good legs God gave you to walk to the door? I wish to heaven I had the ability to park in the back of the lot and walk to the door!

    2. When someone is in a scooter or wheelchair, do not stand between them and a zoo exhibit, the ball field, etc. to "get a good view." You can easily see by looking over their head. All they will see is your rear end and it will frustrate them. This is really rude.

    3. Don't ignore a person in a wheelchair or scooter when in line, as if they are not in line simply because they are seated. At the sporting goods store, I waited in line forever because MEN kept cutting in front of the scooter and the cashier thought I was invisible. I finally had to loudly say, "Hey, excuse me, but I was next!"

    4. Do not let your children play on scooters at the store. When those of us who need them get there, the batteries are dead and the scooters are broken or gone. If you must use a motorized scooter, make sure you plug it in to recharge for the next person. If you cannot do this, tell the cashier so they can do it.

    3. Do not rush around wheelchairs, scooters, or person's with canes and walkers as if you will die of old age waiting because they are slower than you while moving around. Also, if someone is seated in a chair/scooter shopping, don't get between them and the shelves to grab something because you think they are taking too long. Not everyone can move at the speed of light. Learn some patience or shop another aisle until they move out of your way.
     
  6. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,162
    Likes Received:
    368
    Thank you Mex. We just had an amazing weekend dedicated to the disabled - I wish I had pictures! Even dealing with not being able to get gasoline, the group homes and facilities where the disabled live near us still brought them because it blessed them. A whole day of skits, teaching, worship and loving - along with food of course - blessed them and all of those involved. We had Jennifer Shaw come and perform - what a blessing!!

    I thank God for the heart for the disabled that my church has - from cerebral palsy to deafness to blindness to autism. My children have grown up in this environment and have a tenderness and awareness that many other children just have not been able to develop because of being segregated from this portion of the population. That is sad.
     
  7. Benjamin

    Benjamin
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    4,878
    Likes Received:
    109
    I’m glad you brought this up because I saw the mentality on the other thread and it made me cringe. Although, I must admit that I am much more sensitive to way to speak about “persons” with disabilities after having a class that covered the subject. I was seriously considering digging out my notes (which I REALLY didn’t want to do because I just finished my board exam and am SO tired of my study notes!) so I could do a good job addressing this subject as it had some great examples (which cut to the heart) of why it is important to “put the person first” (#1 Rule!).

    As a matter of fact, in my field (Physical Therapy) I would frown at a “person” telling me he/she is disabled in most any area of movement, sport, ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) etc. because there are remarkable ideas out there which work toward to changing the environment so that they are in fact “able” to do a multitude of things that even just a few years ago would have been thought of impossible. No one likes being told they "can't" (which in effect is what some are telling others) and today I don't even like being told I can't help others to be able.


    To think of it as or declare the way people are addressed as merely semantics is very disrepectful of other persons. If one doesn't know the best way to address another person or the challenges he faces in an evironment that is often better or even neglectfully suited for themself they should respectfully ask, not tell.


    Agree, people need to spend more time thinking about the other side of this coin. It is enlightening to learn just how ignorant and self-centered we can be when addressing other people.
     
    #7 Benjamin, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2012
  8. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,087
    Likes Received:
    218
    Everyone of us is disable in some way
     
  9. Benjamin

    Benjamin
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    4,878
    Likes Received:
    109
    By the way, ...WOW!, what a blessing upon that little girl to be in such understanding and capable hands! I'm sure it will be quite rewarding for her parents also. I love success stories that just keep giving and will forever remember this act, ...unless I get dementia or something. :smilewinkgrin:

    On a smaller scale I overcame a severe speech impediment to where no one would recognize that I ever had one and last summer I took in my great nephew in for a couple weeks who also struggles with that condition to work with him. The smile I saw on his face about the reassurance I gave him by proving with a recorder that he was going to improve with diligent practice left me with an immeasurably rewarding feeling.

    May I ask how old the girl is?
     
  10. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,646
    Likes Received:
    223
    :thumbs::thumbs:
     
  11. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is just so wrong. To say I am disabled because everyone is, trivializes people with down's syndrome or are deaf.
     
  12. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    44
  13. exscentric

    exscentric
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    16
    Just thinking through all I have read in the last hour or two. No offense meant to anyone, just showing my ignorance probably.

    "The second thing to remember is that WE do not have handicaps- rather we are handicapped by the environment around us. For example- I am not handicapped by my inability to hear. I am handicapped by other people's inability to communicate in my language, which is American Sign Language, or refusal to write in English, which is also my language"

    You are not handicapped, but you have handicaps (the environment) is that not splitting hairs pretty close?

    The normal idea of handicapped all my life has been a person has a limitation and is handicapped. This has never been an accusation or belittlement. Has this definition changed? By what you said I assume it is changing.

    I like your idea, I am dyslexic which I have seen as limiting, but under your definition I am not handicapped or limited but I am handicapped by all the normal people that spell incorrectly :)

    I wondered what all the uproar was about so searched, found the offending thread, read it and am a bit amused at the reactions.

    I was sired and raised by a guy that had his back broken in several places, was paralyzed from the waist down and shuffled along very slowly with two canes. He farmed till a couple years before I was born. I used to ride with dad to his work then walk home for something to do. Now and then he would give a ride to the war vet that had one leg and walked on crutches. I always thought dad was a nice guy for giving the crippled guy a ride. It was several years later when it dawned on me that dad was crippled :) He did everything he ever wanted to do, fishing, camping etc. I never saw him as limited by his environment but by his inability to walk. "Crippled" was not a term of disparagement at all, and in many cases it was sort of honoring the person for their condition and their ability to cope with life in a way that was harder than for most of the rest.

    Personally I had no idea you were deaf either, I assumed your name was related to your ministry.

    On the serious point, it seems that there is nothing that "normal" people can say these days that is correct and acceptable to those that have or are _________ I don't know what to call them cuz I'm not sure anything is acceptable anymore. From what you said I gather that ALL mankind is normal but the environment limits some in different ways than others handicapping them but they themselves do not have handicaps.

    PC is run amok in my mind.

    Returning control of the thread to its original purpose. :)
     
  14. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is nothing "PC" about understanding the differences between correct and incorrect terminology and showing basic respect for the differences between people- especially those differences we have no control over.
     
  15. exscentric

    exscentric
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    16
    May not be correct/incorrect but when someone takes offense to how someone talks you can give it a new name but to me if I offend someone innocently I feel I've done/said something incorrectly. "respect for the differences" would have nothing to do with it unless I was trying to disrespect or deride the difference.

    It seems that no one can say anything that does not offend someone be it over color, politics or what have you. Example: Negro, black, people of color, crippled, maimed, republican - which is correct and acceptable to all? All have been acceptable in the past from what I've seen/lived through and saying that is probably going to offend someone. :) Sorry, further afield of the op, I now shuteth my moutheth.
     
  16. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,934
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exscentric, I have a similar view, but didn't know how to express it.

    I've had a physical limitation all my life. Throughout the years I've had to endure words far worse than "handicapped" spoken by people with the intent to inflict hurt. And, I've been subjected to boat loads of friendly teasing by well meaning folks. And, that fine line between good natured teasing and teasing with the underlying intent to do a little stabbing at the same time.

    I am handicapped as there are things I cannot do. Learned a long time ago that being on the defensive, demanding PC language, expecting apologies for every slight, intended or not, wasn't the way I was going to live my life. And, it isn't the way I live my life.

    I am not offended when the word "handicapped" is included on designated parking place signs. I am not offended nor do I give lectures when someone uses a word that isn't PC by today's standards. For the most part, I don't give it a second thought, as there are more important things to worry/think about. Such as finding alternative, sometimes non-traditional solutions, to problems that I encounter due to my limitations.

    IMO, there's way too much PC in this world today. It's a form of limitation of freedom of speech that's reaching the point the average person doesn't know what to say without offending someone.

    Instead of dwelling on this aspect of my life, I'd rather focus on the blessings that God did bestow on me when He created me. IMO, each of us has a cross to bear in one way or another. And, we have a choice as to how we bear it, day in and day out.

    This life is short. When He's ready, I'll have a new body without limitations. With that promise for the future, the use of a word that some deem to be inappropriate matters little. If I become angry over such a word, then I'm putting myself and this lifetime ahead of the focus I should have on promises that will be kept in due time.
     
    #16 Oldtimer, Nov 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2012
  17. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,148
    Likes Received:
    1,309
    Amen and amen! I too have a handicap.

    I am not offended when I have a parking place reserved for other people like me.

    I am not offended when I get head of the line privileges at banks and other places where I would normally have to wait in line.

    I am not offended when someone notices I am handicapped and holds the door open for me.

    I am not offended when someone offers to carry my groceries or other purchases for me.

    I am offended by mindless insistence on politically correct speech. Time to get over it!

    :)
     
  18. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    I apologize for trying to enlighten anyone on anything that's not a theological subject. I forgot that's all that is important around here.
     
  19. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    A very good thread closed by request of the originator.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Loading...