In One Sentence: For some people — particularly those who subscribe to the social model of disability — disability is not only a diagnosis but a way of life, a culture and identity.
Disability studies — and we at SDS — construct disability as a minority identity, one that comes with positive and negative experiences. Disability, like any other minority, contains its own community, whose members often view it as a source of pride — dependent, as with any minority status, on their individual experiences with that identity. It’s important, of course, to note that this, like disability itself, is an intensely personal phenomenon. Acceptance and, later, embrace of disability occurs on a distinct timeline for each individual — and for some, it may not occur at all.
Some, though, claim disability as a point of pride and an integral part of their personhood, rejecting the larger societal conception of disability as a necessarily negative trait. In fact, disability is often the subject of or inspiration for art and self-expression.
Linton, S., & Von Tippelskirch, C. (Directors). (2014, February 2). Invitation to Dance [Video file].