I’m thankful that more people are talking about disabilities these days. But what do we mean by disabilities? Some may refer to “people with disabilities” as if they are one monolithic group but that is not the case.
There are many different types of disabilities and each group will have different needs. I could add that each individual in a category will also have their own unique strengths and challenges.
Here are some of the disabilities that come to mind. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.
- Those born with physical disabilities.
- Those who acquire physical disabilities.
- Those born with developmental disabilities.
- Those who acquire a brain injury or neurological condition.
- Those with an invisible disability (chronic pain, etc.)
- Those with mental illness.
- Those who have accepted or are even proud of their disability.
- Those who dislike their disability and are seeking a cure.
When you look at these different categories of disabilities, some of which overlap, you can see how complex it can be to minister to or with people disabilities. There is no one size fits all. We should not try and treat one person with a disability based on one other experience with a person with a totally different type of disability.