Why I Refuse To Call Myself ‘Disabled’

I was born with cerebral palsy, which in society’s terms makes me disabled. Still, I refuse to call myself “disabled” because there is nothing wrong with me. I simply have different abilities, but doesn’t everyone else, too? We all have different strengths, weaknesses, wants, and desires.

When you think of the word “disabled,” you may think of incapability or struggle, but I refuse to see my condition as a struggle. I see my cerebral palsy as something that makes my life different and occasionally harder, but I’m living my life to the fullest.

I’m an author, advocate, and radio show host. I recently finished school, and I hope to travel the world. I also want to share my life story through the many books I hope to publish one day. I have the best, most inspiring friends, a supportive family, and a loving boyfriend, so am I really disabled?

The answer is “no.” Unfortunately, though, our society loves labels, and those labels seem to matter more than who we are as people.

do have abilities, but most people can’t see them because they think that as a “disabled” woman, I can’t accomplish much. I do things a bit differently, but I never let that stop me from achieving my goals. For instance, I write my articles and books with text-to-speech software. It may take a little longer than most people do when they type, but I still get everything done.

I just want to be known as a woman who stomps on cerebral palsy each and every day. I want others to see me as an advocate and author because it highlights what I can do rather than what I can’t. I want to make the world a better place, even though others may doubt me.

So please don’t call me “disabled,” because I am so much more than a label.


Tylia Flores

Tylia Flores is a 23-year-old born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination.

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