Challanging Disabilities

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People with disabilities are being portrayed and seen as helpless people, to be pitied and cared for. Many people are oftentimes embarrassed about disability and have come up with words to describe it. People with disabilities are often being described with words that are derogatory like Mongoloid, cripple, deaf and dumb, or retarded. These words are rude and focus on the disability instead of focusing on the person. There are acceptable words that can be used to refer to people with disabilities. Acceptable alternatives are ‘person with mobility impairment’, ‘person with down syndrome’, a person with hearing and speech disability, and ‘person with intellectual disability’ ( “Language both reflect and shape social reality” ( It is therefore of utmost importance how the language reflects how disabilities are perceived and understood.

For decades governments have been trying to promote equality for all citizens. Discrimination is utterly discouraged and efforts have been made to foster unity and equality. In trying to achieve this noble goal, policies were made to protect the right of every individual regardless of gender, color, and ethnic backgrounds. The same is true for people who have disabilities. But looking at these people’s needs are sometimes more complex than it seems. In the present educational system ‘inclusion’ is the prevalent code of practice.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 amended the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) to make it unlawful for education providers to discriminate against disabled pupils, students, and adult learners.

Norwich’s dilemma, however, is pointing to the complexity of the matter. His position on the matter of approach is on the dilemma of difference. One example in his book “Dilemmas of difference, inclusion, and disability-international perspective” is the case of Amy Rowley.