What I Thought Was The Definition Of Disability

1040 Words Dec 14th, 2016 5 Pages
At the beginning of the semester, I wrote what I thought was the definition of disability. Disability is “a socially constructed idea that being different makes you unable to be useful or valued in society” I wrote. This answer, while not wrong, only scratched the surface of how I define disability now. As a disclaimer, I do not believe I now have a full or encompassing definition of disability, but I do believe I have a better one. To start, the the definition I had written used the term “socially” constructed, which is seeing it from a limited perspective. Socially implies that society as a whole has widely adopted or at least acknowledged a movement. While attitudes and actions towards people with disability are widely adopted, they receive too little acknowledgement. For example, it is very common to infantilize people with disabilities, but that is not something that is spoken about, it is just accepted. For comparison, feminism is a social construction; the pay gap between men and women is frequently talked about, allowing people to recognize the issue or develop their own opinion about it. Infantilization, on the other hand, is hard to develop an opinion about when no one ever talks about it.
A more encompassing phrase would describe disability as a social, cultural, and political construction. Cultural refers to a specific group upholding a certain idea. This accurately implies that treatment of people with disabilities is different not only by country, but even…

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