A question that I frequently ponder and has long since remained on my mind; is the World 'disabled'? Does this in turn create an inequality for people who are 'differently abled'?
As a lover of the English language, let this thought steep for a moment... The term 'Dis' in medicine has meanings that would strongly suggest that the world is disabled... Words that describe 'Dis' - ''Not, Absence of, opposite of, Deprive of and Remove".
Let's assume that the 1.6 Billion people in the world who are differently abled were included in a designer's thoughts or a craftsman' when planning the simplest of designs- a picnic table would automatically have the ability for someone in a wheelchair to roll in to a spot. When this is NOT done, has the world via this picnic table 'removed' us; thus 'disabling us?? I know this may appear a bit 'philosophical', kind of the 'what came first- the chicken or the egg'; however, man has been here a long time, Traces of the world's first known disabled, elderly human have been found in Spain.
The individual is thought to have been a male who received support from his group and lived 500,000 years ago.
This discovery suggests that our ancient human relatives were capable of compassion and social bonding.
"-A prehistoric pelvis, nicknamed "Elvis," and other fossilized bones are what's left of the world's first known elderly human with clear signs of aging and impairment, according to a paper in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The remains, which date back to 500,000 years ago, also represent the earliest postcranial evidence for an aged individual in the human fossil record.
The elderly fellow, who lived in Spain, was a member of the species Homo heidelbergensis, a type of ancient human believed by some to be exclusive to Europe and ancestral only to Neanderthals.-"
Perhaps, it is time to see the term 'disabled' in its literal meaning according to medicine and Latin. This demographic or group have not recently joined civilization and are now asking to be accommodated. This 'disabled' world did not have their thinking caps on when creating it.
We are 'deprived' of access to many, many beautiful things....
Let's look at this in terms that people will appreciate- Money! Let's consider one of life's greatest joys, travel- The Inclusive Tourism market has been estimated as being worth US$134 billion annually. Already a major tourism sector, it is a market driven by the retirement of the baby boomers, who command almost 60% of net US wealth and 40% of spending. In travel, boomers represent over 50% of consumption. The impact on the Inclusive Tourism sector is significant as over 40% of them will be retiring with some form of disability, raising the total value of this sector to over 25% of the tourism market by 2020.
As an Accessible Travel Specialist I encourage the world of business to become less 'disabled' and start putting the cart before the horse....