Updated: Apr 28
As the lyrics of a famous song say, “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you!”; have you ever wondered what it is like to have a different challenge than your own? Just like the rest of the world, people with disabilities are wrapped up in their everyday lives, wrestling with their own struggles, and often don’t consider others with different disabilities and challenges unrelated to their own. In fact, 1 in 4 adults in the United States are said to have some type of disability. With so many having challenges, it would help us all to get to know a bit more about the disabilities of others.
When we start to learn about one another, we open ourselves up to valuable resources. By learning about other types of disabilities we may find that they have found products, created “work arounds”, and are continuing to make changes through advocacy groups that can benefit us. If you have not done so for a while, I encourage you to do some research into your own disability first. As time marches on, you may find there is now new information and will notice that others have linked to resources outside of their disability.
Other ways of finding information about other’s challenges beyond simply doing some internet search, would be to make friends with someone who has a disability other than your own, or to watch movies that involve characters with various disabilities. By learning about others, you can be a better advocate, having a greater understanding of why others may do certain things or feel certain ways. Perhaps you may find a way to share your knowledge with others to help improve their lives and vice versa.
We all know having a disability is not always easy, but when we get the tools, and have knowledge and training regarding our challenges, it can make life manageable. When we who have disabilities are linked with others we can be encouraged, strengthened, and life may have an added interest and more enjoyable. As the disabled community gets together, we can even make changes needed to not only our lives, but more broadly for those in our community which in turn could ripple out to others far and wide!
Where to start? There is a lot of information out there, but here are a few links:
Types of Disabilities: