I Choose To Not Put ‘Dis’ In Front Of My ‘Abilities’

April 13, 2015

“I choose to not put DIS in front of my abilities,” paralympian Jessica Lewis said, adding that “as a society we need to move away from viewing individuals who have a disability as a personal tragedy and focus on the person and realize it is not a tragedy.”

The athlete said she is a big fan of quotes, and said that two that stand out to her are the one above, as well as “the only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

Ms Lewis certainly backs up both quotes by successfully juggling her college studies with her athletic training, which has seen her win medals at numerous international competitions and become the first Bermudian sprinter to appear at the Paralympic Games.

Lewis racing in the 2013 World Championships in France, she appears at the 0.43 mark

This was contained is Ms Lewis’ latest blog post, which said, “As another year at Brock University is winding down for me I am so grateful to have had another amazing year where I met some more incredible people and continued on my journey to becoming a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist [CTRS].

“I will be completing my fourth year of study this year and will have 2 more years left to get my undergraduate degree as I am taking a light course load to balance school and training. As I put more time into this I know that I am definitely in the right career path. Being able to work with people and help them is something that I can’t wait for.

“Being a CTRS is going to be an experience that I can bring first hand experience to as I know the amazing benefits that leisure and recreation can bring to people with different abilities as it has helped me so much. Also, advocating for people of different abilities is something that I am truly passionate about.

“I can’t wait to empower these incredible groups of people to embrace themselves, to love themselves and show them they can do anything they want and their “disability” doesn’t define who they are and isn’t a limitation. In classes we always discuss looking at the person and focusing on their abilities and that is something I aim to do and advocate for.

“Just because people have disabilities doesn’t mean they don’t have incredible abilities to show the world! If we all focus on our strengths and the strengths of other individuals the world would be a much more positive place and every individual would feel accepted for who they are and what they are able to bring to the world!

Ms Lewis said, “I am a big fan of quotes and the two that stand out to me when I think about “disabilities” are:

  1. “The only disability in life is a bad attitude!” and
  2. “I choose to not put DIS in front of my abilities”

“As a society we need to move away from viewing individuals who have a disability as a personal tragedy and focus on the person and realize it is not a tragedy. It is just something that the person deals with just like everybody else has something to deal with in life.

“It is something that the person is able to use to bring a different perspective of the world and bring different abilities and strengths into the world!

“To end the blog I will repeat myself….I choose to not put DIS in front of my abilities”

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Comments (4)

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  1. Barbara D Cooper says:

    Jessica – your philosophy is amazing – and is the core of your being !

  2. Jeremy Deacon says:

    I was lucky enough to meet Jessica last year – we could all do with taking a leaf out of her book ….

  3. Big D says:

    Jessica, you brighten up my day with your amazing attitude!! You go girl!!!

  4. St. D says:

    Jessica, thank you for representing all of those in Bermuda with disabilities, whose life’s pathways may not take them on a route with a public face or who may not be comfortable with the public limelight. There are hundreds of individuals (or more?) in Bermuda with personal challenges who require assistance with daily living tasks – some visible and some not. All Bermudians with dreams, ambitions and abilities to contribute to our society.