It seems that we can’t avoid the labels others put on us. One of mine is " disabled “, denoting that I have a disability or disabilities, terms that I’m not really comfortable with. The prefix " dis” before “ability” implies the impairment or lack of ability, and differentiates me from the “general population”.

Everyone has different, and varying levels of ability, but society doesn’t, apply the label of “disabled” to anyone who can’t play football, understand physics, drive, swim etc. Isn’t everyone “disabled” compared to Usain Bolt. So why must I carry this label because I can’t do certain things?

What people lack, is the means to fulfill their own individual potential for whatever reason. So from now on, if an arbitrary label is going to be applied to me, then I would prefer it to be, something like, " UNENABLED". This can be applied to, not just me, but anyone who has yet to been given the opportunity to make the most of what that can do, rather than what that can’t.


Excellent post :slight_smile:

well disability means the inability to do something.

Now, I cant walk, I cant swim, I cant run, I cant dance…at all! I used to be able to do all of these.

No one could say I now do any of these things to a lesser degree than Usain Bolt, nor anyone else for that matter!

I cant do them at all…therefore I AM disabled.

Maybe you can still do them, but not as well as you used to.

Do you see?


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Hi Steve. I love your blog.

Here are a few alternatives that Francesca Martinez gives for “disabilities”:

I think she once said she was asked,

She replied,

Have a look at her YouTube performances.


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If you don’t mind an Americanism, there’s always ‘differently abled’.


It has a lot to do with context, doesn’t it? ‘Disabled’ can be a useful widely-understood shorthand for ‘I need a bit of extra help/time/patience’, and that can be a good and useful thing. I think I would prefer to keep the term for when it suits me and ditch it when it doesn’t!



I’m going to bloom where i’m planted . I’m still me . I will just do things differently or do other things x

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Thanks Anthony, I’m sure that my old English teachers would consider my writing as a perfect example of how not to use the English language, or worthy of a Nobel Prize. No matter as I write mainly for myself, the fact that anyone else can get something from it, both surprises and pleases me. In equal quantity, and is a bonus.

I wish I had even the tiniest amount of the talent that Francesca Martinez possess, that woman is one of my heroes, actor, writer, comedian, and activist. A wonderfully fantastic person, though I think she would f***ing hate me for saying so.

Oh that’s beautiful!

pollsx, you are correct, ability is the skill needed to do something. The problem I have with the word disabled, is that it applies only to certain types of inability, I like you can no longer walk, swim, run, dance or drive etc. I lack the skill to move from A to B, without some kind of assistance, but put a wall between A and B, most members of Joe or Joan public would also need assistance. Why then am I termed disabled because I cannot walk unaided, and not them, for being unable to climb unaided.

Every single person on earth needs help sometimes, to enable them when they lack the ability to do something. Those (like me) who are rubbish at mental arithmetic, can use a calculator, the short sighted glasses etc. etc.

When only certain disabilities are singled out, the effect is to set us apart from the rest of society, different from the rest. I am not! Just someone who needs, what should be, a fundamental element of any civilised society, and that’s access to help when I need it.

Since being diagnosed and having some problems with mobility, amongst other things, I’ve described myself as “less able”. This is fine, in a way. I’m not in a wheelchair yet, although my walking speed and distance are much less than they were. However, I have found that there’s a disadvantage to not applying the “disabled” label. There are discounts for disabled people, especially those who need a carer. I got reduced price admission to Leeds Castle and hubby got in free because the woman selling tickets spotted that I’m “disabled” (two walking sticks are a giveaway!) and classed hubby as a carer, which he is in a way.

I don’t like the term “disabled” and I’ve resisted applying it to myself for more than ten years. But it’s the accepted descriptor for those of us who are less able, so I’ll go with it for the few benefits it gets me.

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ok, I accept how anyone wishes to see or describe themselves.

personally, I dont have a problem with being labelled disabled…hey, that rhymes!

have a good day each!



Steve you raise a complex issue.

Sometimes it’s external things that make us disabled. We have a fantastic local sports centre with all ares completely accessible etc.

This situation was brought about by intense lobbying from various disabled groups. So if people do not identify as disabled their needs are not going to be recognised.

In employment, disabled people have legal protection because disabled people identified themselves as such and fought for their rights.


Yes, people throughout history have banded together to fight for different rights, and the caurse was what mattered, not the name.

My fear is that when society puts people into different groups, it becomes easier to scapegoat them for society’s ills.

I’m not sure how I feel about the term disabled.

we went to New York in October people couldn’t have been more helpful because of my disability. However I found the descriptors the Americans used very different I was called handicapped, the old lady with the stick (still in my forties lol) I do feel old some days but don’t want to be described by others as old. My disability enabled me to que jump on many different days as no one wants a wobbly woman with a stick collapsing in the que.

Do I use my disability to my benefit yes I will when necessary x

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My daughter calls me a ‘liability’.!!!

She is right of course.

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Yes, I fondly remember being whisked like royalty to the front of a massive queue for security at Lima airport on account of my hiking pole, while the rest of our party, sweating in line, receded into the distance. Mr alison100 was allowed to hitch his wagon to my star and go with me. We were deep in our Pisco Sours before the rest of those babies even made it to the bar.

When the compensations come out of the blue, it is nice to make the most of them!


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My daughter calls me “Wonky Donkey”…I ask ya - is there any need! rofl

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Love it.