World (dis)ability Day 2020
Hey you, yes you, can you read the text?
... try turning the screen and reading it from another perspective.
Good, now we are already on the right track.
The concept of disability has undergone a profound revision over time, both from a scientific, cultural and social point of view. This evolution is evident, also by comparing the text of Law 104/1992 and that of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (dated 30 March 2007).
In the text of Law 104 defines a “handicapped person” as someone «having a permanent or a progressive physical, mental or sensory impairment that determines difficulties in learning, social relations and work integration, in such a way as to determine a process of social disadvantage or marginalization". The International Convention, on the other hand, states "Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others’".
In 15 years, therefore, beyond the variation in terminology that led from "handicap" to "disability", what has really changed is the perspective from which the disability is looked at: in the first case the disability is inherent to the person while in the second it is related to the surrounding barriers and to the possibility, or not, to actively participate as much as the others in the social dimension.
It is the social factor that transforms disability into handicap.
Not being able to walk is a disability. It becomes an handicap when, for example, it does not allow access to a room, because the steps or the sidewalk are too high for the disabled person's wheelchair and the place is not equipped with the appropriate stairlift that would allow overcoming the obstacle.
Being repetitive or manic, or losing the ability to communicate rationally are intellectual disabilities that become a handicap only with social stigma. Those same disabilities can also represent extraordinary opportunities to express forms of creativity out of the ordinary, such as those that allowed, artists considered “disturbed" as Michelangelo or Van Gogh, to create extraordinary works such as the Sistine Chapel Vault or the Starry Night painting.
Disability, whether physical or intellectual, becomes an handicap only when it encounters obstacles, barriers that prevent the person from manifesting all his abilities.
Barriers and obstacles that we all create, often unconsciously, every day.
A disabled person, however, before being a "bearer of difficulties”, is also and above all a bearer of dreams, hopes, of abilities, attitudes, skills, which require the effort of a change of perspective by each us so that the "dis" does not get the better of the “abilities” .
Let's start here.
Let’s turn the screen: “Disability is a matter of perspective ”