The common misconception of the general population is that physical disabilities automatically equates to an intellectual disability. To these people, they are not concerned about my degree, my skills, my talent, to them, my career means nothing since, at the end of the day, I still have a disability.
I am a student and I have cerebral palsy, to me, my disability meant "Ability." My disability made a lot of people think I am intellectually deficient, especially, when I meet them for the first time, they often have difficulties understanding me because my speech patterns are not the ‘norm,’ so to say. The way I speak is affected by my cerebral palsy because the messages that the brain sends to the muscles have difficulty connecting with the tongue which is also a muscle. My disability will always affect the way I speak. It also affects my walk and gait — once in a while I use a wheelchair, I prefer to walk for the most part of my days.
Well, my disability is visible and I was called all sorts of names at school when I got admitted into the University of Washington where I am studying Journalism. On my first day in class, a student called me "retard" because she thinks my disability also affected my brain, she held the belief until when my first assignment at school caused drama, my lecturer was surprised I got all his questions right, so he decided to set another test for me in class to make sure I actually did the test on my own, I got everything and the whole class went agog, everyone was surprised. Even today, I still lead my class in all tests, examinations, and assignments. My aim is to graduate out of school as a first-class student.
Image credit: CEFutcher