I am Disabled. You are Disabled. We are all Disabled.
There, I said it. It's a bold statement and I know it is so before the battle cries begin please hear me out. I am disabled because I do not have one shred of artistic talent. I can see art. I can appreciate art. I want to create art. But I can't. There is a disconnect between the visions in my head and my hands that have to do the creating. This disability causes me difficulty when I am asked to draw a picture. Even now, I revert to stick men and very little detail. In elementary school we were asked to draw a picture of our favourite season. I drew autumn because I had perfected drawing a tree and bare branches. This disability can paralyze me. It took me almost a month of hemming and hawing to get this website started because I couldn't imagine an original design and then actually produce it. I am disabled. In my disability, I have been able to show strength as I have approached the challenges. I chose to become a teacher where I could use my artistic skills minimally. When I need to create a bulletin board or prepare an art lesson, I have learned to ask for and accept help. Asking for and accepting help are hard things to do and they are humbling. In my disability, I have learned coping skills to help me minimize my weakness and maximize my strengths. I need to stop here and address something before I continue. In no way does my lack of artistic talents compare to the very real and frustrating challenges faced by a person with autism, Down's Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy or any other recognized disability. I know the challenges my "disability" present me with are incomparable to the the challenges of these other disabilities. Please do keep reading to hear my point. My point in stating my disability is to illustrate we all have weaknesses which can hinder us from reaching our full potentials. In recongnizing what our disabilities are, we allow ourselves to see those with a recognized disability as we would want others to see us. We open ourselves to interactions not stemming from pity or compassion but from the realization we are on the same playing field.
My point in stating the strength I have shown in overcoming the challenges of my disability is to illustrate how we all have used different coping skills to minimize our weaknesses in the hopes of maximizing our strengths. It is to show we are all in need of help. We are a community of persons needing to be taught coping skills and needing encouragement to go beyond what we think we can do.
Some disabilities are more overt. Some disabilities are hidden. Some disabilities present constant challenges wheras others present challenges which can be overcome with a little help. Regardless, in our own ways we are all disabled and we are all in need of a communitty of supporters.