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Lots of people are thinking: “What is the meaning of a name? Does it matter what name you give a person?”
Yes it does! If you are a "man" and calls you "lady", how do you feel? If your name is Peter and your mother suddenly calls you by your brother's name - Chris - how would that make you feel?
If you think in that way, you will realise that a name is very important and often shows what a person thinks of you.
The same goes for the word “invalid”. If someone calls you an invalid, it actually shows that they understand think the fact you have a disability means you can’t do anything. Actually the term "invalid" is outdated and have negative connotations. "Invalid" equates disability with illness and can be construed as "not valid" or "worthless".
People who insist on using this word show they pity for you because they think you are incapacitated. But you are not incapacitated if you sit in a wheelchair and can't walk, you hear bad, or can’t speak properly, or …..? Are you really incapacitated?
We realize that people don’t mean it in that way most of the time. The word “invalid” is so commonly used, that most people don’t even really realize themselves what they are saying. They don’t mean to hurt people and mostly they mean well. Yet, as a person with a disability, must I simply accept it when people keep on calling me invalid?
Let's not forget that, while most of the time it is the non-disabled people who oppress people with disabilities, people with disabilities accept this and allow it to happen.
You have the right to feel that way, if you realize that "invalid" means nothing more than "not valid".
But is it right to do so of you realise that;
And who is allowed to say that a person does not have value, is invalid, is an invalid?
DISABLED OR A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY?
But are these words – “disabled” and “disability” - the rights words to use, then? Do they not refer to how society treats people with disabilities, and not their impairment, which is a medical matter? Is using these words as bad as the word “invalid?” And isn’t it society that disables people?
Isn’t it true that the common cause of the creation of the disability of impaired people lies within the organization of society?
Also here you can ask yourself: “what does a name mean?” But isn’t it so that it all is in the name?
How often do we use the word “disabled” in the wrong way? How often?
Don’t we all use the words “disabled toilet?” Don’t we all use the words “disabled parking space?” But IS the toilet disabled? Is the parking space disabled? Don’t we have to agree that both these terms are inaccurate descriptions?
Don’t we mean to say: “accessible toilet” or “accessible parking space?” Have we not actually known this for a long time? So why do we still use the inaccurate descriptions?
Won’t it be much easier if we start saying what we really want to say, and really mean to say?
The process of uncovering and dealing with the social cause of disability helps everyone.
We are sure that most people don’t realize themselves where this word comes from. If they did, we are sure, they would not use it for persons.
In the old days, in horse races, they let people who were winning all the time keep one hand under their cap (hand in the cap). In this way it was not so easy any more to win the race, allowing other people to win. The jockey with his hand in the cap literally had a “handicap,” which meant he could not perform in the normal way and experienced an obstacle at the moment he was doing his job.
He was not “disabled,” he did not have an impairment, but he was “handicapped.”
What does it imply when we call a person in a wheelchair or with loss of hearing a handicapped person? Aren’t we actually saying that the person experiences an obstacle at the moment he is trying to go from point A to point B, or is trying to hear something? He is experiencing an obstacle.
Don’t use the word “handicap” to describe a disability. However, this term can be used to describe the obstacles that restrict an individual’s participation, e.g. being handicapped by lack of accessible transport.