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Focus on Abilities not Disabilities

  • Published: 2008-12-23 (Revised/Updated 2012-09-21) : Author: Sandi Baker
  • Synopsis: Most times when people look at others with a disability they only see what they can not do.

Main Document

Most times when people look at others with a disability they only see what they can not do. Why is that? As with anyone else we all have our strengths and weaknesses. You have strengths. You have weaknesses.

I wanted to put this before you because we often look at others in a negative fashion and we should not do so. We are all people. We all contribute.

Let us look at some real life cases that show abilities, not just the disability.

Total Blindness - the inability to see anything visually Abilities:

Growing up this man gradually lost his sight until he was totally blind. The abilities outweighed the disabilities and with this he leads a professional and very productive life. His work involves providing materials for the visually impaired. The use of modern technology allows this person to use computers, Braille notetakers, books, tapes, readers and many other devices. A guide dog aids in using transportation and everyday walking to and from destinations.

Seizure Disorder - the onset of seizures that are not completely controlled Abilities:

Seizures are disabilities that are unique in reference to other disabilities, especially in this particular person. I can speak as such as I am this person. In most cases they can be controlled and with accommodations they can be abated. My seizures are not completely controlled.

Instead of taking this disability and turning into a negative I use it as a positive. With this I have the compassion and understand for those with disabilities. I have thus Co-Founded a Non-Profit Foundation for the visually impaired and disabled. Working in controlled situations and around others aids in my ability to function with less risk of danger to myself which is the best practice. I ask for accommodations for transportation and at functions.

Legally Blind- Vision 20/400 Abilities:

This woman started life with poor vision. In her 20's she had a detached retina. As time went by she became legally blind. Nothing stopped her as she continued to work. Then went on to college and received her Master's Degree. Afterwards she was a Mental Health Counselor for the visually impaired. With the aid of technology she had books on tape and computer programs such as JAWS.

There are many more abilities these people have. These are just some of them. Three cases are shown here. There are hundreds of thousands more. Look at abilities, not disabilities.

I am the Co-Founder of Visual Innovations & Solutions. We are a Non-Profit Foundation dedicated to bringing visual aids and technology to the visually impaired. Please visit our website at:

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