The Meaning of “Not Broken”

One of the messages at “Bitty and Beau’s Coffee”, the place I work at, is Not Broken. Bitty and Beau’s is a coffee shop that hires people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Now, what exactly does Not Broken mean?

Not Broken

Just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean they are any different from anyone else. Disabilities come in different forms and are so wide-ranging. The word “disability” is so misleading- the word literally means “not able”. That sounds like we are not able to do certain things, but that is far from the truth. I have a nonverbal learning disability, on the autism spectrum, and have epilepsy, but still capable of many things. In my opinion, the correct word to use instead of disability is difference—-meaning we only learn and accomplish things differently. We don’t need to be fixed or seen differently.

Not Broken literally means people with disabilities are just the same as everybody else. It even means we can do the same things as everybody else- as in going to school and getting a job. Define “normal”- it is no more than a setting on a washing machine.

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