Dr. DARREN CHUA

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19March

2016

Defining Disability Rather Than Allowing Disability to Define Us

What does it mean to be disabled? Is it different from having a handicap? Is it possible for an able bodies to view themselves as disabled or, vice-versa, a handicapped person to view himself as being abled?

When I had my stroke at the age of 24 in 2000, these questions became very real to me and I had to answer them very authentically to define myself in a rather ‘new’ world which I was in. I speak, vocally, about my experiences as a stroke survivor because I do not want others to define what disability means for me. In fact, it is my belief that it is only I who can defines my disability rather that allowing the disability to define me.

And which is why I often share this thought, “Disability is only in the mind”. I believe that a disability is merely a handicap. But just like in the game of golf, having a high handicap does not necessarily mean we cannot play a good game. Similarly, just because I may be handicapped, it does not mean I cannot live life to the fullest.

Ultimately, a disability refers to a lack of power over one’s life and I hope that today is the day that we seek a deeper definition over our lives!

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