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Posted by cakfu @ 02:27 on September 27th 2006

I am a Difable Person not a Disabled Person

Normally persons who have a different physical or mental condition are called as a disabled person. It is not clear the root of the term of disabled people is created. But in the reality disabled people seems to be the right word to describe the condition of persons who have – according to common people- difficulties to perform their daily life. The common people have a negative perception toward disabled people that they are unable to perform their daily activities without help of other persons. In addition, disabled persons are also regarded neither as ineffective nor inefficient individuals. Therefore, it can be assumed that this negative perception perhaps becomes the reason where the term of disability comes from.

I think that the definition of disability basically is not fit with what disabled people experiencing in their life. There is dissimilarity among scientists in the definition of disability. Therefore, this dissimilarity causes differences in defining the data of disabled people which are published by institutions. For instance, data from medical institutions often refer to the medical term while social institutions use a broader definition which includes the social condition of the disabled person such as ability to perform normally in a society. Lexically, disability is defined as: 1) a physical or mental condition which means that you cannot use a part of your body completely or easily. 2) The state of not being able to use a part of your body completely or easily; the state of not being able to learn easily. Further, Oxford dictionary specifies the definition of disability in terms of the causes of being disabled. Disabled is defined as ‘unable to use a part of the body completely or easily because of a physical condition, illness, injury, etcetera; unable to learn easily, mentally disabled’. These definitions are normally used in common conversations when people refer to the definition of disability or disabled people.

Scientists have also given a social definition on disability. Handicap is a state of disadvantage for a given individual resulting from an impairment or disability that limits or prevents the fulfilment of a role that is normal (depending on age, sex, and social as well as cultural factors). In this definition, handicap is related to the cultural condition of the given person, which describes his social and also economic roles in the society compared to other members. Further, the status of the disabled is linked to the interaction of the persons with specific circumstances and culture. Someone who is considered a handicap in a certain society may not be considered as one in another society.

Impairment is defined as any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological, or anatomical structural or function. In addition, impairments are disturbances at the level of the organ which includes defects in or loss of a limb, organ or body structure as well as defects in or loss of mental function, for example, blindness, deafness, loss of sight, paralysis of the limb, and amputation of a limb, mental retardation, and autism.

However, it is still widely debated among social scientists to distinguish who should be called a disabled person. Some sociologists have a definition on disability which is based on medical terms, while others prefer to use social terms on disability. Medical terms are related to physical impairment of the person which is normally caused by sickness. A person who is recognized as being disabled is basically one who is unable to help himself or herself practically (lame, crippled, amputated) or is constrained in his or her activities by one or another disabling condition (blindness, deformity, epilepsy or others).

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation’s definition of disability is based on the model of the International Classification of Diseases which defines disability as any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological, or anatomical structure or function. Disability has been defined as biological or physical impairment that limits major life activities like walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and performing manual tasks. Thus, disability in medical term is an impairment which is understood as any restriction or lack of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being. Whichever definition one takes, the fact is that disabled people are having a negative image and also a negative treatment from the society.

Based on the definition of disability which is not representing the fact of disabled people above, Indonesian disabled movement activists in 1998, created a new definition which is expected to be an appropriate definition to represent the real life of disabled people. DIFABLE is an acronym from Different Abled People or People with Different Abilities. This definition is believed as an appropriate definition to describe person who has a different physical and mental condition by reason that every human being own an ability to perform everything in a different way from others. This new understanding on seeing disability has deconstructed the definition of disabled people itself. People change their perception that basically no body is disabled, every body is able because the God has given a talent to every body in order to survive in their complicated life.

An example, I am as a disabled person can perform driving car and cooking food. Obviously the way I am driving and cooking are different from other normal people, but output of these activities are not quite different from other people have done. So, I fully believe that NO BODY DISABLED, we are just different from others. Different in performing and enjoying our life. Never look at our physical and mental condition as a tragedy but look at our body and what the God has given to us as a blessing from Him. Because however we feel and we do, life always goes on and today always change become yesterday. I am not Disabled Person, but I am a difable person because I still can do what you do even the way to do it is different.


  1. […] Namun kurang lebih 15 menit yang lalu saya merasa amat bersyukur atas segala hal yang telah terjadi, atas semua karunia yang disiramkan tanpa batas dari Sang Maha Segalanya. Dihadapan saya adalah orang yang sedianya mengerjakan pekerjaan tersebut, usianya sekitar 30-40 tahun. Dia kelihatan antusias dengan pekerjaannya, semua alat telah disiapkan dan dia menunggu di teras. Kali pertama kita berkomunikasi saya baru menyadari kalau dia tidak bisa mengucapkan kata-kata dengan sempurna dalam bahasa Indonesia, mungkin dalam bahasa lainnya juga. Maaf, saya bukan tipikal orang yang bisa bilang DISABLE, apalagi cacat. Saya jauh lebih suka menyebutkan sebagai DIFABLE (Different Ability). […]

    Pingback by achmadi’s sanctuary » Blog Archive » Sumpah serapah insan nista — 31 December 2006 @ 13:37

  2. It’s a great article. Thanks for giving such an excellent enlightenment. I’m fully agree with you, there isn’t anything perfect in this world. Standards are being made by person and sometimes it’s very subjective.

    If we can change our point of view and able to understand each other (including to non living creature), the whole world will be a better place.

    Comment by achmadi — 31 December 2006 @ 13:46

  3. saya ingin bertanya bahan yang cakfu sertakan dalam setiap artikel sumber bahannya dari buku atau tidak ya???
    karena ada beberapa tulisan yang anda sertakan saya gunakan untuk bahan skripsi…

    Comment by nova — 19 March 2007 @ 20:45

  4. Thank you for such a great article!!!!

    Comment by Cinthya Garcia — 30 March 2008 @ 01:42

  5. sebagai salah seorang difable (kaki saya pincang jalannya), saya sangat setuju dengan apa yang cakfu tuliskan. orang sekitar saya memang sering memandang apa yang terjadi pada kaki saya adalah sebuah tragedi yang menyedihkan, tapi anehnya mereka tetap menuntut saya agar cara berjalan saya sama dengan mereka yang tidak pincang itu, sebab kalau tidak maka saya akan disingkirkan. Dan itulah yang sering terjadi. Orang normal itu cuma bisa ngomong doang bisa mengerti tapi pada kenyataannya pada saat saya berjalan lebih pelan dan terpincang-pincang mereka tidak sabar untuk menunggu. akhirnya semua jadi disable buat saya, padahal yang membuat disable itu orang normal itu sendiri karena mereka tidak mau bersabar saja. padahal semua bisa saya lakukan walaupun lebih pelan dari mereka yang normal. Maka itu untuk semua orang normal saya minta untuk berhenti menTuhankan diri sendiri sehingga merasa punya hak untuk menentukan apa yang bisa dan tidak untuk orang difable, walaupun untuk alasan demi kebaikan orang difable itu sendiri, karena hasilnya sama saja yaitu kami dihakimi oleh manusia bukan oleh TUHAN. Hanya TUHAN yang berhak menentukan apakah seseorang bisa melakukan sesuatu hal atau tidak.

    Comment by vera — 30 June 2008 @ 13:29

  6. […] ya, ada artikel yang bagus mengenai hal ini dari Cak Fu. Lebih lengkap dan lebih bagus dari ocehan saya Kalo butuh penerjemah, gunakan google terjemahan […]

    Pingback by 3 Desember: Hari Difabel Internasional « katasapril — 7 December 2010 @ 07:45

  7. izin copas ya mas.


    Comment by Fazri — 8 December 2010 @ 13:24

  8. Dear Cak-Fu..
    Artikelnya bagus dan mudah dipahami. Saya penasaran tentangistilah DIFABLE yang menggagas para aktivis disabiilitas Indonesia..kalau bisa mohon diinfokan sumbernya untuk dijadikan referensi dalam tulisan saya untuk sarasehan para penyandang disabilitas di Semarang.
    Terimakasih ya..

    Comment by Wijayanti — 28 April 2012 @ 15:40

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