Has Disability become a 21st Century excuse?

When I was a child, having an impairment was a very big thing and people did not admit they were disabled unless they really had to, because of their appearance, like mine, meant they had no choice. The stigma was far greater as we were deems freaks.

Nowadays, everyone seems to be happy to be labelled disabled as they list their many impairments, as having one impairment is never enough these days. When I fought to be allowed to do things others assumed I  could not do, disability has now been reversed.

Disability now seems to be a label for individuals to self-define upon themselves as a reason why they are allowed to be considered unable to do things when other people think they can. ‘but I am disabled’ is something taught to people of all ages and backgrounds, as a secret weapon to avoid doing anything they do not wish to do.

Since few people in society have the knowledge, experience and skills to combat the negative brick wall of the disability excuse, the victory remains with those who use their impairments as a form of laziness. As someone capable of disarming people who use this excuse, softly or harshly if needed or deserved, I am regularly labelled a traitor to ‘my kind’.

Until recently, ‘a bad back’ was the magic term to get time off work and eventually end up on disability benefits. As medical science has caught up and is now able to better manage back pain, probably to some people’s annoyance, the new condition of choice is ‘stress and anxiety’. While I do not dispute either stress and anxiety exist, they are a symptom of everyday life comparable to mild hunger and feeling hot on a summer’s day. If you can say you have not experienced stress in the last 12 months, you are a very lucky person indeed!

Yet, welfare activists compare people just experiencing stress to people with severe cerebral palsy equally, and demand they receive the same level-based benefits, and they regard them both equally unfit for work, when I believe neither are. Making everyone ‘disabled’ means that people with real impairments, those who cause social disadvantage, and I do not know a better way to describe it, will end up losing the support they need as resources are wasted keeping too many people ‘disabled’.

This article will be ignored and labelled as reinforcing hostility towards ‘disabled people’ in line with the left’s obsession with Scrounger rhetoric. This is because society is not ready to face up to this huge sociological problem, or even admit it exists. Until then, I would remain feeling like the boy who knew the Emperor was wearing no clothes.

– If you like what I say, have a look at my website at http://www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74

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