“I want the world to know that I don’t like the word disability, it herts my feelings. I can do everything.”
That charming and inspiring quote is from Leia, a dyslexic 10-year-old who authored this guest post on Learning Ally’s blog. Leia speaks her mind about the world’s views on dyslexia and the term “disability” in particular.
We’ve experienced for ourselves just how paramount it can be to stay sensitive to people’s feelings on this topic.
A reader commented that “suffer” might be the wrong word and suggested “struggle with” as a better reflection of what dyslexia entails. We thought she had a point, even though a similar post that used the same wording was actually shared and liked among other readers.
Going back to Leia’s feelings on the word “disability”, what alternatives for this exist? Well, the website Friends of Quinn refers to learning “differences”, while LDonline runs the whole gamut from disabilities, to disorders, to differences. Note that not all of those terms are used to apply to dyslexia. British professor Julian Elliot sparked a certain amount of controversy by suggesting the elimination of the very term “dyslexia”.
Clearly, thoughts and opinions vary on this topic, so that’s why we’d like to open the question up to readers. How do you feel about the word “disability”? In which direction would you point society on this search for the right words?
We started our search right here at Dybuster and asked Justin, our market research analyst, what he thought. Justin is dyslexic and his thoughts mirrored Leia’s:
Dyslexia is not a disability, far from it, it’s a different point of view. Just like you have brown hair and I have blond hair, it’s a different set-up in DNA… Living with dyslexia gives you a different perspective on situations.”
Are you or your child dyslexic? We’d really like to know what you think about this; please leave a comment below for us and other readers!