"What does a definition do? It explains what a word is. If someone were to explain who I am, give a definition of me, my disability would only be part of it. A disability does not make a person, they are much more than what they "have" and how they get around. As a disabled person I do not let my disability define me. To me that means that I am more than just someone who happens to use a wheelchair to get around. When I meet someone new our "get to know you" conversation doesn't center around my medical history. My life and thoughts do not revolve around being disabled. Being disabled is part of me, I fully acknowledge that, but it's not all of me.”
"My problem with the words we use to talk about anyone, disabled or able bodied is that they are the perception of others who may or may not have an appreciation for the full human being. You've said it here, Andrew, when people talk to us, we have interests beyond our disabilities to share. Sometimes people have a hard time getting past whatever the body barrier is that exists. I actually think that very attractive people have some issues in this area. People are awed enough to keep themselves distant. People with tattoos scare some people. In the case of disabilities, people may feel awkward or scared and they keep distant. To be able to have a full sense of who I am, you have to be brave enough to dare to approach me and then look me in the eyes, not focusing on my wheelchair.”
"... Lets try that again and change the words around
Ex. “I’m a girl but I don’t let that define me! I like video games and sports. I don’t wear makeup and dress in casual clothes. I don’t diet or obsess about my appearance. I’m just one of the guys!”And more from Posts and Mirrors:
" ... There are parts of me that my disability has less to do with, but it’s such a pervasive part of my life that it touches on basically everything. I don’t get the option of ‘rising above’ or ‘conquering’ my disability, and I don’t prefer to spend my life unhappy about that fact. There are times I still rail against it, but mostly I work at learning how to accept the definition that is unavoidable and how to work with that to have the life I want."