Not Disabled, but Differently-Abled

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Walking past by the living room to the kitchen to get some midnight snack, I saw my mom watching Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho last Saturday. I am not really into those kinds of shows that I would rather watch series of Gossip Girl, New Girl, Pretty Little Liars, or Suits, but this certain episode got me staring. Single-legged Arnel Aba was captured as he hops off the water after a 1.5km swim in an open sea.

© Inquirer.net


Together with Aba was right foot clubbed Godfrey Taberna and one-armed Isidro Vildosola. Taberna joined the 40km bike and Vildosola for the 10km run. Their team was known for “differently-abled” triathletes who participated in the Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon at the Subic Bay last June 24, 2012.

Aside from their inspiring individual stories and story as a team as well, what strongly caught my attention was how they labeled these athletes. Instead of using the common title of “disabled,” this team was called “differently-abled.” For a while, I stopped and started to think. And yes, I completely agree with how those people who were born or because of a certain accident or disease they became blind, cripple, deaf, one-armed, one-legged, and the like are now labelled. The “dis” in the word “disabled” totally negates the “able” and gives the connotation, literally speaking, that these people are not able. However, I believe that they are not really disabled for they are only differently-abled. They are still able like most of us. And like Aba, Taberna, and Vildosola, others are still capable of doing things, only in their own different ways.