One of my favorite courses in college was philosphy. We learned about how philosophies are developed and their impacts on society. This involved in engaging in discussions and presenting both sides of the argument to determine the undisputable fact.
I think, therefore I am.
You will probably recognize one of the most famous philosophical statements of all time. René Descartes who came up with that is one deep thinker. Allow me to take that statement one step further.
I think none of us have a disability, therefore we all have abilities.
Allow me to illustrate.
I have the audiological condition of not hearing.
That does not mean I have a disability.
The reason why I have this audiological condition of not hearing is because I was born deaf. This is a human condition. Not a disability.
Allow me to explain why.
I love being deaf. While being deaf does present communication challenges, it is no different than communication challenges hearing people deal with all the time. Maybe you recognize one of the most famous questions.
“Can you hear me now?”
Regardless of the challenges, by thinking, we figure out how to overcome them.
For example, I am able to read what other people write, as well as communicate using sign language. In addition, I can use lip-reading skills but it is not 100 percent effective as the other two methods.
That is an ability.
I can even talk. However, I notice hearing people have trouble listening or understanding. Does that mean hearing people have a disability?
I don’t think so. I think that means hearing people have an ability to communicate. It’s just hearing is not an effective form of communication for them.
That is why I will try to see if they know how to communicate using sign language or see if they can read what I write. After all, I don’t want to make the mistake of repeating myself again expecting a different outcome if hearing people have trouble listening or understanding.
Not everyone has the same abilities though.
If we use that logic as the basis for defining a disability, then people who do not know sign language have a disability. Even though they are still able to communicate by other means. Such logic is flawed in its’ design.
I often like to point out Stephen Hawkins, a Nobel Prize scientist who is hearing, uses a software program that converts his texts into speech. People who talk can use the same program. Even deaf, hard of hearing people can use the same program too.
I think it is not a disability, therefore it must be a human condition.
What do you think?
I would love to read your comments here.