I am Uniquely-Abled, Not Disabled

Several questions emerge when a loved one, maybe someone in our family, is diagnosed with a medical condition. What will it mean for their future? How will they cope with the real world? How will their life change after the revelation? How will others deal with this person who is different from others? “Disabled” is a term often associated with people who are diagnosed with various types of physical and mental conditions. But labelling someone as disabled is hopelessly incorrect.

Acceptance of Uniquely-Abled People in India

Any person, regardless of his/her condition, should not be labelled anything. If an individual is diagnosed with a certain condition, like autism or Asperger’s syndrome, they are not autistic. They HAVE autism. Labelling them with a term won’t contribute to their identity. In fact, their capabilities are unique than their neuro-typical peers, and they are uniquely-abled in this regard.

Uniquely-abled people are such because they have a special set of perspective and abilities. Every person has unique abilities and each one of them matters. What matters is acknowledging these abilities. Those who are uniquely-abled, never hide the fact that they have been diagnosed with some condition. It’s this condition that empowers them.

Challenges to Special Education in India

Many times, these special people understand what we can’t. This makes their abilities unique. Not superior, not inferior, but unique. The term uniquely-abled recognises value and talent among everybody and treats all of them equally. While some conditions, like autism, may restrict some people from certain functions, it should not raise hurdles in enjoying an enriched and fulfilling life. Such people, with the right kind of support and opportunities, are known to flourish in life.

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