Spin-Off. Define "handicap" and "disability"

TheOracle

New Member
Since there seems to be a lot of steam about semantics here, I'm interested in your definitions of "handicap/handicapped" and "disability/disabled".

Is to have a disability mean that you are in the state of being disabled? Is a disability a handicap?

I know I love semantics...but humor me. (George Lakoff is a favorite linguist of mine.)

I've gotten some serious grief about using the term disability in a legal context. But what's a disability? What's not? Educate me!

So, shoot:

Disability
Disabled
Handicap
Handicapped

(and anything else you want to add)

I also noticed that people have said things about those who are "more" handicapped than others. If so, elaborate for me? Is Stephen Hawking "more" handicapped than a deaf person because he's in a wheelchair and he uses a voice synthesizer?

*edit I'm sure this has been debated before, no doubt. But I'm a newbie so I'd like to hear what other people think. I'm trying to understand the positions of some AD-ers and I'm thoroughly confused. When are these terms "off" limits, if ever?
 

TheOracle

New Member
* sigh * I have a feeling this thread will be a dud because people would rather get into arguments over these ideas in other threads instead of having a productive conversation here.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
I do think many Alldeafies don't quite understand that disabilty doesn't mean "sitting in a corner whining that "Oh boo hoo hoo....it's so horrible being dhh/blind/wheelchair user/ fill in the blank here with whatever disabilty.
That can be the case. BUT, what The Oracle is speaking of is what's called Disabilty Rights disabilty. Meaning they have a disabilty, but they don't see it as a barrier. Like they see it as a part of themselves, rather then as something abnormal that should be fixed or cured. They argue that it's not the disabilty that causes all the problems, but rahther enviomental barriers (that can be adapted to) and uninformed people.
 

dogmom

Well-Known Member
I have a learning disability. But I don't consider myself "disabled". Related to what DD brought up. The LD is just something I happen to have.

I personally dislike terms like "handicapped"
I think other people's attitudes are the real handicap.

I worked with people with cognitive disabilities and on the autism spectrum - severe-profound alleged range - for some time. One of the big things we learned about was the empowerment of words/signs/concepts and how individuals can choose words/signs for themselves.
 

blank canvas

New Member
I am deaf with a language disability, and socially handicapped by my own doing (both easily 'fixed' with asl classes, patience and rebuilding my identity) My oldest daughter is Deaf with neither disabilities or handicaps (or impairments for that matter)
 

Oceanbreeze

New Member
Well, I'll be quite honest, I don't know what the legal definition is. I ALSO wish they would use a different way to qualify someone for benefits, BUT, since we're stuck with the criterior, we might as well go with it, right?

To me, there is a LEGAL definition of the term, and, then there is the idea of it being a state of mind. There is also such a thing as calling a spade a spade.

For my own personal reasons, I DO call myself disabled. Because, well, I AM! To me, it means that I CAN'T do something; in this case... WALK. It means nothing more than that to me.

The problem is that SOCIETY places limitations on those who are different. It's sucks, but that's reality. The problem is that government itself places such limits, too. If you're on SSI, you can't do a myriad of things because you're supposed to be "disabled". Your very life is defined by these terms, but not in a postive way at all. It comes down to hyprocrisy for me. There are those who SAY they are building us up for success, but the reality is this...The world itself sets us up for failure by throwing barrier after barrier at us.

We are often put into the position of having to prove ourselves to people repeatedly and it gets tiresome. It really does.
 

deafgalO01

New Member
Wirelessly posted

I think disability act should be renamed Accessibility act. We all need some sort of accessibility. (Yes, everyone, but they call it for safety. For example When we need strobe lights, they need alarm with sounds, for without it, they would be dead too. We both have the same accessiblity needs but different methods.
 
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TheOracle

New Member
I worked with people with cognitive disabilities and on the autism spectrum - severe-profound alleged range - for some time. One of the big things we learned about was the empowerment of words/signs/concepts and how individuals can choose words/signs for themselves.

:gpost:
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
I learned in the educational program that to never refer children as being handicapped or disabled but to say that they "have" a disability.

However, I really like deafgal001's idea.
 

drphil

Active Member
Is the problem with the "labels" that the state MAY pay funds to certain groups that "fit the label" out of the whole population? People with say-no legs needing assistance?

Implanted Advanced Bionics-Harmony activated Aug/07
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
Is the problem with the "labels" that the state MAY pay funds to certain groups that "fit the label" out of the whole population? People with say-no legs needing assistance?

Implanted Advanced Bionics-Harmony activated Aug/07

Just a different lifestyle ...look at it that way.
 

chipmunkis

New Member
My son has a disability, but he is handicapped only by lack of accessibility and by the attitudes of others. He can't walk, but it's a problem only when buildings, etc, aren't wheelchair accessible or when people think he is incapable.

To me, though, the big issue isn't word choice so much as word placement... my son is NOT "a disabled kid", he's a kid WITH a disability. Worse yet, he is not, "the wheelchair"... he USES a wheelchair (and yes, he has been referred to as "the wheelchair" :roll: )
 

chipmunkis

New Member
Is the problem with the "labels" that the state MAY pay funds to certain groups that "fit the label" out of the whole population? People with say-no legs needing assistance?

Implanted Advanced Bionics-Harmony activated Aug/07

The problem with labels and how they are used is that, to many people, they define WHO the person is rather than what the physical or mental issue is. If my son is a disabled kid then, to many, he is disabled first and foremost. If he is a kid, with a disablity, then he is a kid...who just happens to have a disability.
 

donotfeedbsugar

New Member
Two years ago, I used to work for a contractor for the government. It was a job placement for people with disabilities. I didn't like it. I did what I could in terms of applying for a government job and succeeded...but before I left the job that I was a contract for for 7 years...(yikes) wanted to give me an award for my achievements and for me breaking out of the contract. I gave a speech about the word "Disability" and how it should be a misnomer. A misnomer is a term that is construed as untrue. I felt that disability was a wrongly suited label for my audience and myself as we didn't get here being disabled and not able to do anything. We got here (here being working and being assisted) by being able to do the things we have to do...and so on and so on...and I was applauded for it....so yay...but yeah. I'm not really big on disability. I don't make a big deal about people who say it because I know that me being hard of hearing I am able to hear with the support of a hearing aid as well as my hands. Even without my hearing aid I can hear some so....misnomer....tada
 

donotfeedbsugar

New Member
My son has a disability, but he is handicapped only by lack of accessibility and by the attitudes of others. He can't walk, but it's a problem only when buildings, etc, aren't wheelchair accessible or when people think he is incapable.

To me, though, the big issue isn't word choice so much as word placement... my son is NOT "a disabled kid", he's a kid WITH a disability. Worse yet, he is not, "the wheelchair"... he USES a wheelchair (and yes, he has been referred to as "the wheelchair" :roll: )

*thinking* not to be a hard arse but isn't that an instant legal case if they don't have wheelchair accessability ramps for an individual.......hmmmm...just saying...
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
I think it more about the way the public treat you when they hear you say you're Disability,Disabled, Handicap, or Handicapped! If the public did not react the way they do there would be no issues with what 'word' we use!
We know what we can and can't do and know that is does NOT mean we're
S L O W , it is the public that is S L O W !
 

chipmunkis

New Member
*thinking* not to be a hard arse but isn't that an instant legal case if they don't have wheelchair accessability ramps for an individual.......hmmmm...just saying...

Government buildings are required to be accessible, as do institutions such as schools, but I do not believe that older buildings (aside from those in the before-mentioned categories) here need to be altered to become accessible. In addition, many stores are not terribly accessible, and of course, few homes are. Bathrooms are often the biggest PITA.

Also, having a ramp which fits the "standard" does not necessarily make a building accessible... often there are not automatic doors, and the doors are awkward and heavy... There are always issues that can make access difficult for someone who uses a wheelchair.
 
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