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Disability implies that something is impaired or not fit for use. Humans are not perfect. Some think they are – this is delusion, some behave as if they are – this is arrogance. So in one way or another all humans have some level of disability. Ergo- Humans are not fit for use – wrong!

Humans are social creatures and by cooperating they bumble along. Where they are going is another matter best left to philosophers, spiritual leaders and drunks.

A small, but related digression -unfortunately humans do seem to have an inbuilt awareness that they are not perfect, but is something to strive for; if not themselves then for others. This condition is fueled by the media whose job it is to find and promote individual humans to a higher state of ‘perfection’, called celebrity. It takes place in specific areas of human activity so that they can be knocked down again. In theory it makes the rest of the population feel better, promotes competition and makes money. Not all humans agree with this.

Disability falls into categories and is for the ‘disabled’ to be recognised.

• Temporary - ‘we can fix it’
• Permanent - ‘we have not fixed it yet’

• Physical – there’s something missing or it does not work properly
• Mental - they have has difficulty learning
- their thought processes, concepts and behaviour is ‘abnormal’

• Congenital - born with it
• Developmental - what ever it is it, when ever it starts, it gets worse over time
• Imposed - due to an intervention such as an ‘accident’

More complex categories are to be found amongst ‘the disabled’ themselves, the medical and legal professions and the world of competition such as the Special Games, the Para-Olympics etc.

Disability is fraught with concepts and issues – starting with life, conception and termination to death and euthanasia – ultimately the universe and everything, except the answer is not usually ‘42’.

Just some of the issues:

• Normality - do they fit in
• Integration - can they join in
• Access - can they get in
• Discrimination - they can not be treated differently
• Independence - can they do it themselves
• Vulnerability - they are at risk
• Legal - useful to force issues and money
• Rights - they have rights, as do all humans
• Responsibilities - to whom, by whom and what
• Protection - who protects who and how
• Support - do they need support or do they qualify
• Advocacy - they can’t all speak for themselves
• Recognition - do they take sugar?
• Acceptance - they are who they are!

The list could go on and on as there is no area of human activity where the dimension of disability is not present.

Indeed, the social context of disability will, to a degree, determine whether the label of disability is appropriate or not. A what point does the gradual and normal deterioration with age in faculties become a disability?

In the main ‘disabled’ humans are no different from non disabled, they have their joys and sadness, their dreams and aspirations, their personalities and creativity, their disputes and reconciliations.

All human beings have more in common than any or all of their differences – once this is universally recognised and acted upon more of the human race might get past the starting line.

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