Reprinted from Vicki's Blog on Disaboom: Disability from A to Z

I decided to make a Disability Alphabet, and I made a goal of emphasizing only positive words. I was inspired by Missy's
ABC's of Caring Game, where she started a challenge asking readers to submit a word about care giving for each letter. My disability alphabet took me through a kaleidoscope of words. Here are my words. Suggestions?

"The only disability in life is a bad attitude." ~ Scott Hamilton

The letter A could stand for so many things that are important to the person with a disability. However, I chose Attitude. A positive attitude allows each of us to accept ourselves and enhances each day. Besides, we can control our attitude and keep it positive.

Other good words: Acceptance, Accessibility, Accomplishment, Action, Answers and Assurance

I must choose Butterflies for the letter B after seeing the movie The Diving Bell and The Butterfly. Butterflies are the imagination that allows us to go anywhere, any time, even flying over a magnificent garden and lighting on a single perfect rose.

Another good word: Balance

C represents
care and all that it brings to mind. It includes our indispensable caregiver and other people who care and contribute. But it also represents the care we have and show, whether or not we can participate.

Other good words: Capability, Celebration, Challenge, Compassion, Continuation

"It's what you Do that counts - not what you can't." ~ Garry Jenkin

A particular disability may not mean we cannot do something. It just means doing it in a different way.

Other good words: Difference, as in making a difference; Determination and Dignity

Every great and commanding movement in the annals of the world is the triumph of enthusiasm." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1888)

Enthusiasm gives us the energy to learn new things It is often a driving force.

Other good words: Education, Empathy, Energy, Entrepreneur and Experiment

There is nothing funny about disability. Well, actually, sometimes there is.

Once again a positive attitude allows us to laugh and have some fun. This subject is a bit sensitive, especially when a joke comes too close to some situations. However, that is true for everyone, whether a disability is involved or not. We all need to laugh, so funny is a good word for F.

Other good words: Faith, Foresight, Forgiveness and Fortitude

help keep minds active while providing fun - whether we're with friends and family or alone. They exercise our minds and sometimes our bodies. They can be exhilarating, maybe help with socializing, but always deliver fun. Yes, "Games" is a good word.

Other good words: Gallantry, God and Gratitude

"Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it." ~ Bill Cosby

Laughter is the best medicine. Embrace humor because it's healthy in addition to being fun.

Other good words: Happiness, Health, Helpfulness, Hero and Hope

Innovation works for this letter I. Innovation in medical research produces treatments and sometimes cures. Innovations have produced all kinds of assistive devices to make daily life just a little easier. Individuals are often innovative when trying to accomplish daily tasks. Innovation is a good thing for the disability community.

Other good words: Imagination, Initiative, Inspiration, Integrity

With the recent revamping of the ADA, rules and guidelines have been tightened to ensure equal justice for us all.

Other good words: Judgment, Juice and Just, as in Just keep going and Just try it

K is for
Kaleidoscope. The colors in a kaleidoscope are delightful as they change. Disability, too, may change from day to day. I know my MS does.

Kaleidoscope Magazine explores the experience of disability through literature and Fine Arts. Do you have a good story or picture? They take submissions.

Another good word: Kind for kindness and for the different kinds of disability

"One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love." ~ Sophocles (496BC - 406 BC)

My L word, Love, covers platonic and romantic bonds, love lost and found, remembered and forgotten, perhaps best epitomized in The Bible.

Other good words: Language, Learning and Locality

Mobility provides the means for the non-ambulatory to participate fully in society.

Another good word: Memories

Nutrition is especially important to people with disabilities. Just like everyone else, we fare better when healthy. Good nutrition is a path to good health.

Other good words: Nature, New, Nursing and Nurture

Optimism is often self- fulfilling. Believing today will be a good day is a good start for a good day.

Another good word: Originality

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish
." ~ John Quincy Adams

Many things are accomplished with Patience. Patience often leads to good decisions.

Other good words: Paralympics honoring the world-class athletes who happen to have a disability; Persistence and Progress

Embark on a Quest to discover, and then create life as you want it to be.

Other good words: Quality and Quiet

"Men are respectable only as they respect." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1888)

Respect yourself, and respect others.

Other good words: Refreshment and Regeneration

"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." ~Mother Teresa

Smile when you can, enjoy your good humor, and share it. Any day you just don't feel like it, visit Smile of the Day for a little help. Remember a smile is worth even more when it is given away. You won't lose anything because you are likely to get it back.

Other good words: Skillfulness, Spirit, Strength and Success

T is for Therapy, another way to strengthen our health. It helps keep movement in our bodies, balance in our thinking, and peace in our souls.

Other good words: Thankfulness, Tenacity, Time, Toughness and Treatment

Understanding a disability often determines the path to living with that disability.

Other good words: Usefulness and Union, as in uniting for a stronger voice


"Your attitude is an expression of your values, beliefs and expectations." ~ Brian Tracey

Our values help make our lives worth living.

Other good words: Vigor, Virtue and Vitality

"We are made wise not by the recollection of the past, but by the responsibility of our future." ~ George Bernard Shaw

Wisdom allows us to accept what we cannot change and continue on to build the life we want to live.

Other good words: Wellness, Wishes and Words, as in choosing our words wisely

X-ray represents advances in technology such as the x-ray, MRI, MRIf, cat scan and more.

Other good words: X chromosome because of the gender differences as they are affected by conditions and treatments.


Yes is a positive attitude said aloud.

Other good words: Yearning and Youth


Zest adds charm and spirit to your life.

Other good words: Zounds, because we need to express anger sometimes and Zero - okay, I'm stretching here, but I've used up my energy and I have zero left.

In a word, what does disability mean to you?

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