What is a disability?

Discussion in 'Disabled Martial Artists' started by Pog, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. Mrs Owt

    Mrs Owt New Member

    Sorry to drag this up, but as someone in the orthotic and prosthetic industry I don't think anyone would trade a normal healthy leg for ANY prosthetic leg out there.
  2. CobraMaximus

    CobraMaximus Banned Banned

    I would trade my arm for a prosthetic arm. There is a new one from japan with greater grip than most humans and also adapts to your brain signals so it is effectively a robotic version of your normal hand.

    Anyway I would define a disability as something that limits an aspect of you compared to the general populace
  3. MarioBro

    MarioBro Banned Banned

    Aside from all the specifics, here is what I feel a disability is:

    A disability is any reason, physical or not, that hinders us and makes us unable to do something. I know many people who are in perfect physical condition but yet are disabled by their lack of drive, ambition, etc. I know many people who have artificial limbs, serious medical problems, sit in a wheelchair, etc..but they are not disabled because they are not afraid to try anything and usually succeed very well at it.

    There are of course disabilities that cannot be worked around such as being a quadrapalegic, etc...but often these people still do all that they can to make a difference and be part of the world.

    In summary, I think a disabled person is anyone who does not perform to their own maximum ability. An enabled person is anyone who uses the maximum of their potential to do what they want in life. I do not think that a disability should be compared to what the rest of the world are doing, as we are all unique with our own minimums and maximums.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2005
  4. OneArmedBandit

    OneArmedBandit Types with one hand...

    Wow... how political
  5. WhiteWizard

    WhiteWizard Arctic Assasain

    Frist i'd like to say i'm loving the nice open minded debate going on here.

    Secondly i beleive everything is relative. The term disabled will always mean different things to different people and thats why discussion about this is important so we all know what song sheet we are singing from. People will have differeing opinions and that is fine. Always remember that different people see the world in different ways what may seem a disablity to some will not seem so to others.

    I've got ridiculously poor eyesight am i disabled technically yes you probably wouldn't know it from meeting me but then because you have a disabiltiy doesn't make you any more different from the next person who isn't disabled.
  6. Jang Bong

    Jang Bong Speak softly....big stick

    Disability - and interesting and 'loaded' question. Loaded because it is very much down to the individual and what they want to do in life. The last time I saw it asked on telly (some years ago), a comedy actor was having rings run around him by the local wheelchair basketball team - he was 'disabled' as he could not use and control his wheelchair (I know - that is 'training' as well as 'physical ability'). He then went on to admit that he couldn't swim - a serious 'disability' in certain circumstances.

    Some disablities are clearly visible, others far less so. That is why it is important not to judge people on appearences alone. My wife's condition varies on a day-to-day / week-to-week basis. She does not know till she wakes up how 'able' she is going to be during the day and how much energy she will have.

    When her energy runs out - it runs out totally, and all she can do is go to bed. If she is ILL on top of her condition (like now :cry: ) then it hits her like a ton of bricks.

    People who meet her and find out that she has a condition often say "You always look great when we see you" - the answer to that is that when she doesn't look great, they don't see her.

    She pushes herself to every gym class that her body will allow, as she is concerned about brittle bones in the future. (She also gets a 'buzz' out of aerobic type exercises). On that basis she would be seen as very FIT, but that doesn't exclude disability. Today she did two sessions - aerobiking (all 4 limbs holding on is GOOD :D:D), and a dance-like aerobics class that she complains about the beginners holding things up. By comparison, last Sunday she was being pushed along the seafront in her wheelchair.

    We used to regularly pass a gent in the street who was paralysed from the waist down. He gets all around the area using his wheelchair, and public transport. I commented to my wife that although his visible 'disability' seemed far greater than hers, his 'mobility' was vastly greater. He knows that tomorrow he will wake up and his legs won't work - and all the plans and arrangements he has in place will allow him to do whatever he plans. My wife doesn't know if she will be able to get up tomorrow (which makes 'planning' a bit of a pain in the a$$).

    IMHO - disability is a lable that can be attached (rightly or wrongly) by people against other people. What is more important is how people see themselves, and what help they can be offered to do what the want to do.

    Yes there are legal implications of these lables, and grey areas abound. Very dangerous waters to get mixed up in - especially when you start messing with 'Disability Discrimination' or benefits issues.

    Just my 2 peneth from someone severely short sighted and mildly asthmatic (but not disabled :D)


    On other bits of this thread... CobraMax. How good is that prosthetic hand your after at appreciating the texture of a ripe buttock of the appropriate opposite sex?

    Laser Eye Correction - used to work for a company that did it. Had mine checked, and fortunately I don't have enough 'material' on the front of the eye to be 're-worked' to correct my sight. So SilatPupils line should have read "Even high-prescription sight problems can be corrected 100% for a proportion of eyes (but not all)". I personally wouldn't chance it - you only get one pair of real ones, and I'm not gambling them. ;)
  7. Sgt_Major

    Sgt_Major Ex Global Mod Supporter

    True. Only some eye problems can be solved with laser surgery. Does your wife have ME? I think you said already. My mum has that, so I can appreciate exactly what you mean.
  8. Pog

    Pog New Member

    Trust me - I would give anything to have two legs. No matter how good my prosthesis is (and it is a cutting edge one), I cannot feel the floor, I cannot manipulate my ankle, there is movement at the socket and I cannot effectively provide power through it. I'm also not allowed to compete as it's classed as a weapon!
  9. Dr NinjaBellydance

    Dr NinjaBellydance What is your pleasure sir

    No way?! How bizarre.... :rolleyes:
    As an aside, did anyone see any of the wheelchair rugby at the Paralympics last year? Excellent! I dont remember ever having seen so many tattooed rugby players! Huzzah! :D
  10. Pog

    Pog New Member

    It seems to me that this is breaking down into two sides:-

    a) The physical - actual defects that exist, on a sliding scale from the perfect to the chronic

    b) The psychological - how much we let it affect us (or how much work we are prepared to put in to overcome it).

    I once saw a really good play on TV called "Dreams are the worst". In it the central character was in a wheelchair. In his dreams, doors were 3ft wide and 4ft high and everything was set out for him. People with working legs were at the disadvantage, because they had to crawl everywhere, kitchens were awkward to use, etc. Then he would wake up....
  11. Dr NinjaBellydance

    Dr NinjaBellydance What is your pleasure sir

    That's an interesting concept, but I'm wondering where mental rather than physical disability fits into it. Maybe in this case the 'psychological' effects are more attributable to treatment by other people?
  12. Pog

    Pog New Member

    Interesting - I wasn't really considering the mental disabilities, which was remiss of me.

    However, probably the same rules apply. As you say, there are no physical aspects for others to react to, but they are still affected by what others perceive they can or can't do.
  13. faster than you

    faster than you Valued Member

    in the final analysis all disabilities are mental. just ask jj macahado. i doubt he considers himself to be disabled.
  14. OneArmedBandit

    OneArmedBandit Types with one hand...

    I have one arm *and as such I am a physically 'disabled' person, and even though I do not consider myself disabled, except when i'm applying for disability allowance or whatever it is :) , there are only a few things I cannot do such as lifting awkward shaped objects or tieing shoelaces, I hate shoelaces...

    And as for 'obese' people being classed as a disabled,that is a load of ****, when you lose a limb, or contract a mental disease then your disabled, but until then your just FAT!!, stop blaming the media for your obesity, take responsibilty for yours actions, cut out the McDonalds and go to the gym.
    :woo: :bang:

    *EDIT: I also have a cleft lip and palette, i'm half deaf in my right ear, I have NO sense of smell and that Tinnitus thing.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2005
  15. faster than you

    faster than you Valued Member

    i'm in a similar situation to you, onearmedbandit, and jj machado.
  16. Dr NinjaBellydance

    Dr NinjaBellydance What is your pleasure sir

    I'm pretty much with you guys on the 'fat' thing, but a thought did occur to me. If someone has a mental disorder which affects their eating habits, such as bulemia, and it results in them being physically incapacitated to whatever degree, so they count as 'disabled'? If so, why would someone who has a mental disorder resulting in overeating not also qualify?
    Playing devil's advocate, I know! ;)
    Your thoughts?
  17. OneArmedBandit

    OneArmedBandit Types with one hand...

    Well, yes they would technically qualify as being disabled, but not in my eyes, unless they have a mental illness that prevents them from going to the gym.
  18. Battle Sword

    Battle Sword Valued Member

    Living with a real disability is a challange, to say the least. I am fortunate to still have my arm, which was severely disabled & maimed over 10 years ago. What I began to realize at the beginning of this horrific experience was that my mind was a lot stronger than I had thought. I began to set goals for myself. Spending year after year in agonizing pt/ot treatment just to prepare myself to join cma kung fu was in and of itself a paramount achievement. People with disabilites can overcome many obstacles & achieve many goals. Only if the goals are set will there ever be a drive in a person to achieve that goal. People with disabilities may not be able to do everything a non-disabled person can do, but the disabled person will drive themselves to figure out another way, a way to compensate for thier disability, a way to overcome, a way to achieve. If a person is not inspired from others to achieve, then it is ultimately thier own responsibility to inspire & overcome. Kick Chick had posted some great articles here somewhere on the forums about the ability to stay inspired while living with a disability. Maybe she can repost those for the rest of us again soon. Remember, others ppl's perceptions are different. Gets back to the old indian prayer about walking a mile in someone's moccassins & also to judge not, lest thee be judged. Set some goals. Overcome some obstacles. Learn a way to compensate within your abilities as a disabled person to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. Do not limit yourself or define yourself by your disabiltiy, but rather believe in your dreams to go farther than ever before. You might get amazing results.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2005
  19. Pog

    Pog New Member

    Whilst the viewpoints being given now are interesting, and valid, it seems to me that we are veering from the original question of "what is a disability", and more into what it takes to overcome it.

    On the original subject, We have had everything from missing limbs to Bulemia and obesity. On the obesity subject - why do we have to define whether it's a disability or not? I'm sure that to a quadraplegic, losing a limb is but a meer scratch!

    On a personal level, when I first lost my leg I had people shouting at me - so I would shout back "I've lost my leg not my hearing". I also had people come up to a friend sat next to me and ask them how I was - I would then reply through the friend - very funny. The reality was that, whilst they genuinely cared, they did not know how to deal with the situation.

    Point for discussion - what do we do to make people feel "normal" and what is "normal"?
  20. ladystar

    ladystar Valued Member

    yer on a good track there, Silat...one person's stumbling block may incapacitate another, while another just plows right on! :eek:

    Bunny, I went without my glasses for a few weeks once (prescription error). While I limited some activities, using centeredness, I bowled my best game ever, won an archery competition, even drove (only because there was an emergency) without an accident. There's a lot to be said for sensing, and trusting..and putting things together from very fuzzy clues...most of all, centering.

    As for me, most folks don't know I am disabled much of the time. I deal with a brain injury. If my docs had their way, I'd be imprisoned in my house...hmmmm...so memory ain't what it used to be...and a few other things..I can't do 10,000 things anymore. Yet, I find I CAN do about 6,000...

    A true disability is when you buy into a disability! Another true disability is when you ignore your disability...

    Just a little thought or two... blessings.... Jess :eek:

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