What does disability mean? We witness individuals that live their lives with specific challenges on a day-to-day basis, but we do not consider it part of life, until it becomes part of reality. People with disabilities have challenges because they either have an invisible, visible, sensory, mobility, or intellectual disability, which causes them to be distinguished as ‘different’ in the public eye. I will not be discussing disabilities, but discussing people with disabilities; it is the person we should focus on and not the disability itself. The Golden Rule is a key concept in multiple religions. Christians, like many others who follow other religions, have been doctrine at a young age by parents, teachers and authority figures to follow it. The Golden Rule is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights, which summarizes that we should treat others how we wish to be treated. A key element of the Golden Rule is that a person treats all people with respect, not just members of his or her in-group. The Golden Rule is endorsed by most world religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, but I will be discussing the Christian views specifically. In order to apply the Golden Rule we must acknowledge one’s existence. In today’s society, not a lot of people take the time of day to reach out to those with disabilities instead they place barriers between themselves and those with disabilities. Christians believe that everyone is made in the image of God. Looking into the mirror, we should be able to see the parts that make God. Knowing that, a person who has a disability was also created in the image of God.
The greatest barrier that people who are labeled as disabled is not the physical inability; it’s the attitude and perception of individuals, others, and society. Individuals are sometimes concerned that they will say the wrong thing; so they say nothing at all, thus, further segregating people with disabilities.
Positive language empowers. When writing or speaking about people with disabilities, it is important to put that person first. Group designations such as “crazy” or “nuts”, “retarded” or “cripples” and “mentally deformed” are inappropriate because they do not reflect the individuality, equality or dignity of people with disabilities. Further words like “normal person” imply that the person with a disability isn't normal, whereas “person without a disability” is descriptive but not negative (ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy).
Interacting with a person that has a disability is like interacting with any other person in society. Relaxation is essential; treat the individual with dignity, respect and courtesy, listen to the individual, offer assistance but do not insist or be offended if your offer is not accepted. According to the dictionary the word ‘retarded’ is defined as to be delayed or to hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment. We are not all perfect; we have our...