Can We Say They are Also Beautiful? Disability is Not a Curse

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Mahtab Ahmad

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Abstract

Throughout the world negative connotations and scapegoating of individuals with disabilities is far too common. The purpose of this article is to examine the history that shows how persons with disabilities are viewed, and ends with suggestions on how to improve this perception in countries where these productive citizens may not be fully valued. A critical review was conducted by dividing the definition of disability into five different perspectives (historical, religious and theological, legal, socio-cultural, and developmental), and concludes that when viewed through an international lens, traditional dogmas continue to exist. The belief that disabilities are ‘divine punishments’, and any subsequent miseries related to the disability are attributed to misdeeds from a past life. Beliefs that foster this negative perception support mistreatment and allow for the continuation of unfounded negative stereotypes. Understanding and exploring these beliefs is considered the first step in changing these negative perceptions.


 


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Can We Say They are also Beautiful? Disability is not a Curse by Mahtab Ahmad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://rdsjournal.org/index.php/journal/article/view/796. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://www.rds.hawaii.edu.

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