Six Common Myths Around Disability

Many misconceptions exist around disability and how to approach or deal with people who are disabled. Many of these myths arise as a result of lack of information and awareness. At Resilience we aim to break down as many barriers and stigmas as possible so here are our top six myths that we often encounter:

Myth 1: People with disabilities are brave and courageous.
Fact: Adapting to a disability involves adapting to a lifestyle which is often difficult and painful. This is not about bravery and courage, but rather a matter of necessity. Romanticizing disabled people and their struggles is not helpful or supportive.

Myth 2: All persons who use wheelchairs are chronically ill or sickly.
Fact: Many misconceptions arise around the tendency of hospital to use a wheelchair to transport a sick person. However, many people use wheelchairs for a number of reasons. 

Myth 3: People who use wheelchairs are “wheelchair-bound” and confined by it.
Fact: A wheelchair is simply a mobility tool to encourage people to move around. Many people use wheelchairs for a limited time or only when required.

Myth 4: All hearing-impaired people can read lips.
Fact: hearing impaired people have varying levels of lip-reading skills. Lip reading itself is not an absolutely reliable method of understanding others. 

Myth 5: All People who are blind develop a “sixth sense.”
Fact: Blind people do not develop a sixth sense nor are any more attuned to using their other more strongly than others. 

Myth 6: Disabled people are most comfortable around other disabled people.
Fact: Historically society separated disabled people into separate schools or institutions which continued to perpetuate this myth. Disabled people are just as inclined to enjoy life, work, relationships and so on with mainstream society as they are with disabled people. 

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