Misconceptions About Physical Disabilities

Misconceptions About Physical Disabilities

Written by Alisa Matsushita-Bomba & Reviewed by Gurnoor Mand


MYTH: All individuals who use wheelchairs are chronically ill or sick.

FACT: This association could have been from hospitals using wheelchairs to transport people, but everyone who uses wheelchairs are not sick.

MYTH: The lives of people with disabilities are totally different than the lives of people without disabilities.

FACT: People with disabilities can do all of the tasks people without disabilities do like get married, go to work, start a family, and shop.

MYTH: People with disabilities always need help.

FACT: People with disabilities can do things on their own. If you want to help someone with disabilities, ask first, and if they are comfortable then do so. 

MYTH:  A person’s disability defines who they are as an individual.

FACT: Individuals with disabilities are people first. They are not defined by a disability. Instead of saying “The disabled”, use phrases like “people with disabilities”. 

MYTH: People with disabilities are a one-dimensional group

FACT: People with disabilities reflect the same diversity as the rest of society. They may share similar characteristics, but personalities, interests, opinions, and needs can be different, just like people who are able bodied. 

MYTH: People with disabilities cannot lead a full and productive life.

FACT: People with disabilities can be a part of community life. They can lead “normal” lives and do everyday tasks. Needing assistance to do certain tasks does not mean life is not productive. 

MYTH: All disabilities are visible, meaning you can look at someone and know they have a disability.

FACT: not all disabilities are visible, like chronic pain disabilities, mental illnesses, restricted vision, and hearing impairments. 

We should stop focusing on limitations and focus more on a person's capacity to eliminate stereotypes as well as preconceptions about people with disabilities. The perceptions of society toward disability can be positively affected by changing the way we think through self-education. Do you want to make an impact? 

1 comment

Love it! Very thoughtful and creative post.

Krishna Sabaratnam

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