Behind The Lower Case d
Author: Gregory Murray, Friend of the Lime Network, Toronto, Canada
I have recently been reflecting on arguably the largest breakthrough in genetics research – it changed the science world forever and has particular significance in offering insights behind The Lower Case d. Just bear with me.
It was 1995 when the Human Genome Project surfaced led by American scientists from the US Government. It imparted spectacular insights into the genetic make-up of humans. Its findings indicated that the genome of humans is unique across our race with each individual possessing a different genetic structure. The only exception being twins who share the same make-up.
But while genomes are unique, further research revealed that the genetic makeup of humans is actually remarkably similar. In fact we are 99.9% the same at the core.
As a businessman, the talk of molecular structures sounds less appetizing to me than cardboard for dinner does. But what this study imparted to me was a sense of wonder at how all the differences that we possess as humans – hair colour, personality, sexuality, gender, etc – are encapsulated within only that one tenth of a percent.
For me, the question became this. If we are so similar genetically, why do we spend so much time focusing on the one tenth of a percent that divides us? Why is it that this one tenth is such a big deal – why do we let it be such a big deal – and play such a large part in defining us, when there is an exponentially greater proportion that unites us.
In the world of disability, it’s evident to me that people with disabilities are treated more than only one-tenth of a percent different. Sometimes I feel that the mere addition of the three letter suffix “dis” onto “ability” translates across into the world more emphatically than the 99.9% of similarities proven through the Human Genome Project.
But it shouldn’t. While there are sometimes accommodations needed by those who identify themselves with a disability, they still possess the lion’s share of traits and genes that make the rest of the world – without the “dis” suffix – thrive and succeed.
And this is where The Lower Case d comes in. It is time we de-emphasize Disability. It is, after all, only a fraction of the one tenth of a percent that differentiates humans. It is time that we emphasize the human touch points and experience that is truly proportional with what we know to be biological fact: there is a whole lot more than draws us together than that which separates us.
On this blog Lime Connect hopes to inspire those the world over to realize that Disability – whether visible or invisible – is a mere fraction of our make-up. The content takes this fresh approach that those with a disability, as part of their one tenth of a percent, live equally as successful, passionate and interesting lives as those who have different components in their one tenth of a percent.
Whether the stories are about looking for a full time career, interning at a great company, or just giving advice – it will be presented with disability taking a back seat, and with what makes us all successful and joyful taking a front seat.