Erik Witteborg, a man whose handle on YouTube is “ewitty” uses his channel to explain concepts and bring a new perspective to medical terminology in ASL. One of his latest videos zones into the target curiosity of what “senses” pertains of. When a person watches the video, they can see that when he signs the word sense, he uses the sign for “feel” because that is one of our “five senses”. He then stops himself and shakes his head, this is in regard of sense not being limited to feel. He then uses a new sign to show what sense truly is, a simulation in your body.
The main point of this video is that there are not just five senses. There is a lot more to the concept of sense than people know or realize. When somebody is focused on the idea that somebody is disabled when one sense isn’t present in their body, they often don’t realize that there are many “invisible” senses that people lack such as pain receptors or somebody that is unable to identify color difference due to being color blind. If the number of senses were to expand, more people would be classified as disabled.
With the word sense broadened, the world has expanded the perception. This is not a new concept however it is something that is usually very limited to the medical community. With these ideas spreading to the community and beyond thanks to ewitty, people have more of a reason to be proud of who they are and what their areas of talent are.
To take a deeper look at the concept of disability, look at the definition of disability.
A physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities. (Google)
A limitation on a person’s senses, movements, or activities Watching ewitty’s video on senses, a better understanding of senses is adopted and the perception on the word disability widens. People that were born without or lost one sense are usually elevated in another to compensate for that sense not being available for use. While people can claim that not hearing elevates vision, that’s not true for every single person that doesn’t hear. They might see that they are hypersensitive to their surroundings, can detect change in temperature better, or even have quicker processing abilities. There are many ways that a person’s body compensates for the lack of one sense.
A new way of thinking is becoming a norm for those that are in different types of communities perceived as a group of people with disabilities. They have adopted the sense of belonging rather than the feeling of loss. Why try to take it away by being oppressive using words that are hurtful or language that is intended to put somebody down or place them in a lower caste? Take a few minutes, watch this video and determine if your perception has changed.