Are you “disabled”? (Who this course is for)

I really dislike the word “disabled” because it suggests that disabled people are not functional in any way. It is a word I use in relation to apps, features and programs on my phone and computer that I don’t want to interfere, for example when I am making a video, or that I have no need for or that take up too many resources.

I prefer to use the word “non-mainstream” instead, but that still leaves me with a bit of a problem because women, people whose skin tone isn’t lily-white and people who are over 30 or 45 can hardly be considered “non-mainstream”.

The discrimination they have experienced, however, has turned them into minorities within specific settings (such as boardrooms) and if I take that approach, I see that lily white people, young people and men are also minorities in certain settings. NOn-mainstream.

Men are still a minority in the caring and supporting professions, for example. Throughout my entire life, I have encountered only one male secretary of the kind that assists a higher-ranking person in a professional hierarchy. This likely means that there is a number of unemployed men out there who would make perfect secretaries, but aren’t getting hired because they aren’t female.

The word “secretary” is gender-neutral in English, but it isn’t in for example Dutch, in which it is exclusively female.

It also used to be the case that you couldn’t become a full professor until you had acquired a large enough number of grey hairs or had gone bald.

In certain musical genres, being white can now also hold you back considerably, just like being female or being black did in the past and still does in many settings.

So, make no mistake. If you are “disabled” or chronically ill and interested in this course, you too are very welcome. I didn’t mention you specifically in the video in which I explained who this course is for. My mistake. Or maybe not. I don’t tend to think in terms of disabled people versus non-disabled people, or white people versus people who are non-white, for example, though I too have my biases.

But I am pretty much practically oriented. People with baby carriages or people with wheelchairs or mobility scooters have in common that they can’t easily step off a sidewalk (pavement), while I can. I know that people with wheelchairs or mobility scooters – or elderly people and young people – can be just as grouchy or friendly or happy as anybody else. The practicalities they deal with, those are different. Those I may often be able to do a tiny little bit about.