Aimee Mullins at the TED conference
Is that a WOW or What?
TED is for the “thought leaders” of our generation. I’m so glad Aimee Mullins stood up in front of the world and talked about the words we use, the way we tell stories, our prejudices about people with disabilities and our ability to change and influence lives.
I’m thrilled she is beautiful, an accomplished athlete, and can deliver a message with the best communicators in the world. Chalk one up for our side. Aimee you did us proud.
I was really struck by the definitions. Yes, even in 2010 the words “disability” and “handicap” carry such derogatory connotations. Every time I hear the traffic report and they say, “there’s a disabled blocking the west lane” I just cringe.
I recently spent some time looking up the words: “retarded, moron, idiot and imbecile” and their histories (click here for related article).
Aimee talking about the negative effect these labels would have made on her when she was a young child was sobering. (See related article on the difference between handicap and disability.)
I particularly liked Aimee’s references to Darwin. Our ability to adapt, change, and transform determines the “survival of the fittest”.
Inclusion is our “survival of the fittest.”
This is why I believe in inclusion I agree it means the difference between survival and a decent quality of life. (related article).
Inclusion is about adapting, changing and transforming. It is about blending into the normal population the same way animals learn to camouflage themselves into their environments
The medical doctor saying that she was an example of the “X” factor was my takeaway moment.
WE ARE THE X FACTOR.
If you are interested in my take on the differences between the label of “disability” and “handicapped” (click here). I would love to be able to pass this information on to Aimee. Perhaps it might help.
Come Dance With Me: Share your thoughts.
Were there any new ideas? Which of Aimee’s stories did you think were the most powerful? Do you have any stories about Medical or Educational professionals? What message would you want to send to Aimee? To her parents? To the medical professionals? If you had a chance to be a thought leader, what would you talk about?
Keep Climbing: Onward and Upward
All my best, Mary