“It’s addressing who we are, what defines my life, what makes my identity.” The word disability has been stigmatized to the point where people are afraid to say it. But the stereotypes and discrimination against disabled people, stem from the ubiquitous fear of saying the word. Today is the day we stop dancing around the subject and address it. Disability.
Nikhil Kishore was born with Fibrous Dysplasia, a condition caused by scar-like tissue growing in the place of bone. This often leads to bone deformity, and makes the human bone extremely fragile, almost like glass.
“I can walk, but when I do, I need to be supervised, because I could get hurt.”
Kishore has undergone multiple surgeries and countless micro-fractures. Despite this, the biggest misconception one may have about disabled people is that they need help. Just because someone is disabled, does not mean they are incapable. People tend to look down on those with disabilities, assuming that these people are in need of sympathy from able-bodied people.
Besides being an avid Taylor Swift fan, a journalist for The Pirates Eye, and a passionate musician, Kishore mainly works instituting disability awareness throughout WWP. So far, he has worked with curriculum supervisors, Richard Stec, Cathy Reilly, and Carl Cooper. He has woven disability awareness into the curriculums of College Prep Biology and as well as LA I Honors. Kishore’s goal is to integrate disability awareness into every classroom in WWP. The impact of Kishore’s addition to the school curriculum will continue to change WWP forever. With his help, we can finally destigmatize the word disabled.
When Kishore was younger, even he thought “disabled” was not the right terminology to use. It scared him. “It wasn’t until I had surgeries and I came home after the surgery and realized that there’s nothing wrong with being the word disabled because it was the truth. It’s the way people look at it that needs to be remedied.” Kishore is disabled, and so are millions of others. Refusing to use the word is what gives it negative connotations, not the disabilities themselves.
Kishore stated that he aspires to become “someone who helps people.” Be it a doctor, or a computer scientist working to enforce disability equity in upcoming technology. He strives to work passionately to make a positive effect on the world, leaving it a better place than they found it, a place that offers opportunities, innovations, and ideas for the next generation.
Although enforcing disability awareness in WWP is a big step in the right direction, there is much to be done for the community of disabled people. We need to see the same initiative being taken with North in other schools as well. Kishore wants to find an accessible college, someplace with ramps or elevators, and he wishes to see disability accommodations for the AP or SAT exams which he and thousands of other disabled people have to take this year.
As the interview closed, Kishore shared one last morsel of truth with the world about accepting one’s true identity. “10 percent is what happens to you. 90 percent is how you choose to react to it. Fibrous Dysplasia happened to me, it is me. But I view it as my identity, it can’t be pulled away from me.”
Photo Source: Parenting Special Needs Magazine
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