Some people see there as being disabled people and disabled people. However, if it were not for people who insist on making that distinction, it might not exist at all. These people like to say that some disabled people are making the best of their situation while others are not. The former is somehow still "making the best of it" while the latter is "using their disability as an excuse". The former is most likely employed, while the latter is unemployed. What the people who make this distinction are missing, is that so often a person in one of these categories changes into the other with time. Or they misunderstand that one person's disabilities are not another’s, and that there is a scale of how disabled a person is. The important thing to remember is that all disabled people are people.
Let us examine the first misunderstanding. My friend who was paralyzed in an accident took time (years) to be able to get to the point where he could be off social security and work a full-time job that keeps him totally self-sufficient. This was also only possible because he had the support of a family with a loving father and mother. Without those things, it could have taken much longer. Not all people with disabilities are blessed with those support systems. Additionally, not all individuals with disabilities are like him. His accident left his brain totally intact, and he still had full use of his hands sand arms, by the grace of god. Some persons who are disabled in accidents become quadriplegic, loosing the use of their entire upper body. Still others have permanent brain damage.
This does not even begin to mention those who are disabled from birth or early child-hood. These people often have to struggle more than most people just to get through each day. They may be unemployed and on social security. This does not make them lazy and it does not mean that they are scamming the rest of us by receiving welfare or social security. It means that they are doing their best every day to live in a society that (by and large) wants to forget about them and their struggles. However, given enough time, many of these people will find ways to contribute to society. It is up to the rest of us to do what we can to help, not hinder, this very difficult process.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.