• Ashley Frimpong-Manso

What is disability?

Image: collage by student


I have created a small collage of images that represent disability. From past courses, I have learned that the disability is not within the person/body but rather the outside forces that do not allow the individual to participate in society. I have learned that society values abled bodies, so we tend to neglect the needs of people with disabilities. They deserve to feel comfortable and welcome in outside spaces just like everyone else. Stigma and labeling can make it hard for someone to seek the help they need. Budget and program cutting take away part of their support, it could potentially be taking away an activity they enjoy or a source of therapy. Buildings without ramps and elevators are not welcoming to people in special chairs as there is no way for them to move around the establishment. Those are just a few ways society disables people with disabilities.


I created this piece because I feel as though this community deserves more awareness. I have once done placement in an elementary school where there were one teacher and one assistant for the special ed class. I saw how hard it was for each student to get the support they needed to learn. With low budgeting and teachers being cut, there is not enough one-on-one time that one teacher can provide. This is just one example of a larger issue. I find this topic to be important because it is a common belief that people with disabilities can’t do things because of their illness and this type of thinking leads people to believe that the person with the disability needs fixing rather than society. With this piece, I hope that people can see where society plays a role in what disability truly is.


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Aging Activisms is a program of activist research, academic mentorship, and intergenerational community-building led by
Dr. May Chazan, Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Gender and Feminist Studies at Trent University.

Thanks to Ben Hodson for our graphic. The photos on our site have been taken by members of the Aging Activisms research team and our participants and collaborators. Web design by Eugenia Ochoa and Melissa Baldwin.