differently abled



The term differently abled is sometimes proposed as a substitute for disabled or handicapped. Differently abled emphasizes the fact that many people with disabilities are quite capable of accomplishing a particular task or performing a particular function, only in a different manner or taking more time or effort than people without the disability in question. It can also be taken to mean that a person who is incapable of one act may nevertheless be capable of many or even most others. These are useful reminders, but the fact remains that differently abled has won little acceptance among the general public and is often criticized as being both awkward and condescending.    1
  An even more notorious example is the use of challenged in combinations, such as physically challenged, that are normally formed with handicapped or disabled. The purpose of this proposed substitution is to emphasize the positive aspect of the challenge that a particular condition presents over the negative aspect of hindrance or incapacity. However, the widespread parody of this usage in such expressions as vertically challenged for ?short? or melanin challenged for ?white? has effectively eliminated this construction as a serious alternative to disabled or handicapped.    2




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