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Escola de Arquitetura

Universidade Federal

Minas Gerais

Rua Paraiba 697
sl 125

Belo Horizonte


(5531) 3409 8810



People with disability as "disability bearers"

Nobody bears a disability as no one holds it like a portable load in life: instead, everyone undergoes a disability as everyone experiences the lack of fit between abilities with the surrounding environment.  The meaning of 'bearer' is normally associated with the image of someone carrying something on his or her body that is concrete, material, consistent and real...

The term 'disability bearer' appeared to oppose the previous definition of 'disabled person.' Representative institutions, authorities and students agreed that disability should always be recognized as s external and dissociated from the self.

Throughout years, the political effort aimed at developing a positive image for people who experience a disability constantly seems to have lost meaning. Is there anyone who bears a disability like carrying an ID card? Even so, can anyone looses identity when loses the wallet? Can anoyne get rid of disability like letting it stand somewhere far from the self?

The "disability bearer" definition may be better understood by use of a metaphorical application that translates its ideological basis. The metaphor is disability as a "message" about the existing flaws in the minimal infra-structure that supports people to become the best they can be and they can offer to the world.

Therefore, a disability bearer is a "messenger" that reminds people who are unaware (even though these people may suffer with general mobility problems) that all must work together in search for improvements through universal design applications in inclusive built environments.

In case some people may not feel comfortable to see themselves as "messengers for universal design," it is recommended that they avoid keeping the adjetive "disabled," since it well illustrates the passive role expecting that complete solutions may reach them at no effort. Otherwise, their disability may become too much of a heavy burden to bear.

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