Once upon a time, we lived in a society where referring to someone with Cerebral Palsy as “crippled” was okay but truth be told it was never okay, to begin with.
First of all, referring to someone as “crippled” is so disgraceful and disgusting to society altogether, to be honest, and that word should be removed from the vocabulary of our citizens of society.
Mainly because it’s a toxic word to describe our disadvantages and the struggle we have to face in society and using the word “crippled” to describe someone with Cerebral Palsy is just continuing the stigmas that people with Cerebral Palsy have to face every day.
For example, I remember being in the 8th grade in English class reading “A Christmas Carol” out loud with my class and in the book, it referred to Tiny Tim as a “crippled boy” because he had to adapt to the world in a different way.
I remember feeling sick to my stomach as my teacher called upon me to read the part of Tiny Tim I looked at her as she had her glasses to her nose and I said Mrs. I’ll gladly read this part of a Christmas Carol but I will not refer to him as “crippled” she looked at me oddly and why not it’s a part of literature and you must.
Then I got all feisty and debatable and said that was part of literature back then it isn’t the way society should see people with disabilities now and that’s the problem everyone seems to think that is right because of what people taught people back in the day about people like me with disabilities and it’s not right and I’m going to stand my ground on this.
Long story short, after standing my ground I was allowed to call Tim just him I guess because the teacher saw my point of view and how using different vocabulary to describe a person could affect the way we view people that are different from each other.
In my opinion, that’s how stigmas continue within our society and within our history because we’ve allowed it to continue without even thinking twice.
So the next time you see someone in a wheelchair be cautious with your words.
Words can hurt; even those who are hurt enough.