It’s the UN’s International Day of (Dis)abled Persons, and now is the time to reframe the conversation and make people think differently about (dis)abilities. The first step is changing the word we use. That’s why we want to throw away the ‘dis’ from (dis)ability.
There are an estimated one billion people with (dis)abilities across the globe, and a lot of them still face immense challenges and barriers to inclusion and equal participation in society. The UN’s International Day of (Dis)abled Persons aims to promote the rights and well-being of those living with physical challenges in all spheres of society. But the way we talk about (dis)ability as a society is still rooted in stigma.
At UNYQ, our objective has always been to empower the physically challenged community. What we have found is that it takes very little to empower this community, because they have almost superhuman abilities. They aren’t (dis)abled, they are unique. We therefore think it is time to reframe the conversation. Instead of merely talking about the challenges faced by people with ‘so-called’ (dis)abilities, we should be celebrating their achievements and talk about their abilities and the new abilities they have developed. (Dis)ability does not stop people from living. On the contrary, people with (dis)abilities innovate and adapt to their challenges in remarkable ways. We at UNYQ see this tenacity and strength every day.
The first step to changing the perception people have about (dis)abilities is changing the way we talk about it. Language is a powerful tool that transforms the way the world approaches a subject. This is why we put the ‘dis’ in brackets. (Dis)ability might mean living with challenges but it does not define people. It is ultimately about discovering new abilities, not being (dis)abled.
People with (dis)abilities have to overcome the difficulties of everyday life by developing new skills and unlocking humanities greatest assets: creativity, innovation and strength. We believe that people and society should focus on their extraordinary achievements and abilities, making the ‘dis’ in (dis)ability disappear.
We invite you to join us and throw the ‘dis’ away.