We’ve all heard of them. People who have suffered accidents or were born with severe disabilities who have gone on to achieve unbelievable feats, impressive even for individuals without a disability. Think of paralympians who win gold and beat records held by non-paralympic athletes, pianists living with blindness who manage to blow our minds with beautiful works of music despite their inability to see, or a wheelchair dancer who spins circles around the dance floor. Individuals like these have proven time and time again that disability is not a liability – it’s your SUPERPOWER! How can you turn your disability into YOUR superpower? Check out some ideas, below.
Know that having a disability gives you a unique advantage, an edge even, over others. You have a perspective unlike any other around you so use that perspective and make it known. Share your perceptions with your church group, at work, in your children’s school circles or via social networking sites. Sharing your perspective not only helps raise awareness of issues important to differently-abled people, but your perspective might even make a difference.
Leave your mark
Once you have owned your disability as a superpower, why not use that power for the greater good, much like our favorite superheroes? If it wasn’t for the spider bite Spiderman received or if the Hulk was not exposed to gamma rays, they would not have discovered their true potential and turned it into a power that helped saved others. Much like these superheroes, how can you turn an unforeseen circumstance or a trait the mainstream would consider a disadvantage into an advantage? Why not use your superpower to help advocate for the greater good of others? Call your senators or local representatives when there is a disability issue that is important to you. Join a local organization where the perspective of disabled individuals is valued. Write a letter to the editor of your newspaper or a magazine to advocate for issues important to you. Use your voice to make a difference.
Get out there
There’s no better way to show people your superpower than to get out there and actually SHOW them. Are you surprised to see someone out in public or in your workplace that has a disability? If having a run-in with another fellow disabled community member is not commonplace, do something to change the perspective of those around you. Seeing someone in public with a disability should not be a surprise and it’s up to those of us with disabilities to get out there to change that perspective. Wish there wasn’t job discrimination when you went to an interview? Would like to be able to access any building in your community without barriers? Wish transportation was easier and more accommodating of your mobility equipment? While we may not be able to change all of these things just by ourselves, each time we get out there, we raise awareness and the collective consciousness that we, too are an important part of society and deserve the same access. And we, too can and will accomplish great things.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get out there and share our superpower with the world. What difference will your disability make today? Share in the comments.