I attended a disability training last week given for a large group of teachers. During the training, I repeatedly heard the idea that we need to be mindful of accessibility issues because we all have a disability. The presenter was trying to get across the idea of a very broad definition of disability that would probably include wearing glasses, being left-handed or not liking brussel sprouts- characteristics that may at times be an inconvenience. While this statement might convey the idea to some that we all have strengths and weaknesses, I don't think that the statement, "we all have disabilities" is an effective way to change attitudes for a couple of reasons.
First off, inherent in the statement is the assumption that disability is a negative thing, but that's okay because we all have negative things about us. I believe it more helpful to simply look at disability and whatever other positive or negative characteristics that each of us has as differences. This approach then leads to a broader understanding and acceptance of disability and can easily lead to a helpful discussion of universal design.
Second, when we state that everyone has a disability then the definition of disability becomes so broad that it really isn't useful any more. Besides, not many people are really going to embrace the idea that because they are left handed they fit into their already defined paradigm of disability.
With all of that said, I do think it can be helpful in this kind of training to convey the likelihood that everyone will eventually have a disability through either aging or some type of accident.
I'm still working this idea out in my head, any have any feedback?