A disability is largely defined as a physical or cognitive attribute that makes it difficult to participate in a mainstream environment. Notice that many of the main challenges facing those with disabilities are societal in nature; if buildings were constructed so as to allow a person using a wheelchair to have easy access, much of the limitation disappears.
It’s important to remember that “disability” certainly does not mean inability or untalented. Many individuals with Down Syndrome are prolific writers, speakers, and artists; many individuals with Autism work in military intelligence, are notable engineers, coders and innovators and renowned for their contributions to science. Indeed, Stephen Hawking, Charles Krauthammer, and Jim Abbot all have/had a disability and were nevertheless incredibly successful.
Ultimately, a disability is just a superficial difference that might affect a person’s speech, mobility or cognitive functioning but that’s really about it. The more a person recognizes an individual’s abilities, the more he’ll come to embrace differences and see them as virtues.
Check out these helpful resources to learn more about disabilities.