Gregorio Lizalde He became a quadriplegic about 30 years ago. This native of Zaragoza, native of Sádaba, and resident of the neighborhood of La Jota has lived for many years in the residence of the DFA Pomarón Foundation and lives with enthusiasm for the reform of Article 49 of the Constitution, which was approved by the Congress of Deputies last week.
“It’s time for them to change that shameful adjective,” said Lizalde. “The development of the language society and the Constitution, in this term, is anchored in the 1970s,” he explained. “At that time, “in the certificate issued by administrations for people with disabilities, words like subnormal, ‘useless’, or ‘idiot’ are still included,”Lizalde remembered. Some adjectives were not explicitly intended as an insult to them, but rather, at that time, were only qualifications to indicate that they were people with some kind of disability. Now they seem unimaginable, demeaning, and destructive, and it almost makes us blush to be able to even say them out loud to address this group.
Nowadays, they seem unimaginable, humiliating, and pitiful, and it almost makes us blush to even say them out loud.
“Then they moved on to terms like ‘disabled’ or ‘invalid’.’And when the Constitution adopted the adjective ‘disabled’ it was almost pioneering and modern at the time,” he said. Martha Valencia, president of the DFA Foundation. In fact, “our association was created in 1976 as ‘Diminuidos Físicos de Aragón’ and we changed our name in 2008 to the DFA Foundation to adapt to the new needs of society and to move away from the previous terminology,” he recalled.
“When the term became’minor’, in the 70s, the group accepted it with joy. But the next step, ‘people with disabilities’, I think is broader and less harmful,” said Lizalde. Since 2003, we have asked Article 49 to be changed because we believe that the terminology is not appropriate,” said Valencia, his part. Now, “this has finally changed, and a historic demand from the disability community has been met,” he said.
“Since 2003, we have been asking for article 49 to be changed because the terminology is inappropriate.”
“People with different abilities”
For Juan Chimeno, a 47-year-old from Madrid who has lived in Zaragoza for more than a decade and suffers from multiple sclerosis, “society has changed a lot, and the words show it. Since 1978, there has been more knowledge, but there is still a long way to go, and there is a tendency to talk about people with different abilities instead of people with disabilities, he declared.
“Television and cinema have done a lot in favor of this change in mentality, and films like ‘Champions’ put the value of people with disabilities on the table,” emphasized Chimeno, who travels in a small adapted scooter and works in the field. of justice until he was given full unemployment in 2017. “I started experiencing my disability at a time when terms like ‘disabled’ or ‘invalid’ were still being used. and I was sad when I heard this because I was never crippled. I have always considered myself a valid person, and my illness does not make me less valid compared to others,” he said.
“I was very sad to hear the word ‘disabled’ because I have always considered myself a valid person.”
“These changes that we are talking about, which are positive, are only in forms, and what is important is the substance. Greater investment and more resources are needed for disability and awareness-raising, which guarantees equal opportunities for this group and contributes to the elimination of all kinds of obstacles,” said Chimeno.
“Society has evolved a lot in language so as not to offend any of the minorities, so this is the right way, but there is still a long way to go,” introduced Gregorio Lizalde, who was a postal official until he was 40 when he was granted early retirement due to disability.
“The RAE has the best linguists, and they should have intervened to find a more suitable word for the constitutional amendment than ‘people with disabilities’, because “disability should not target a specific group of people,” the Mint said. “In society, there are many types of disabilities, some visible and some invisible, but this change directly targets those of us who were previously disabled. The real progress is when the terms referring to disability disappear and we just talk about citizens with equal rights, continued Lizalde. “Then it is when there is no class inequality and everything is achieved for this group,” he added.
“Real progress is when we only talk about citizens with equal rights.”
“Nobody said Goya was crippled and deaf.”
“Today, the youth are more aware and sensitive, and they don’t point to you as disabled when they see you on the street or look at you with pity. like saying, ‘poor guy’. Because “it should be put on the table that throughout history, the term ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled’ was reserved for the lower class of society, for ordinary people,” Lizalde defended.
“No one has ever said that Beethoven was a deaf-disabled musician or that Goya was a deaf-disabled painter.”, He pointed out and continued: “Neither has it been said about Stephen Hawking that he is a disabled scientist or that the Aragonese Teresa Perales is a disabled swimmer, because in addition, in water, it is possible that he can beat any citizen without any type of disability. Therefore, I believe that we have left a society that is blasphemous in its signaling to an evolved society that is understanding of people with disabilities,” Lizalde concluded.