My name is Kristin M. Palmsiano and I am in my sophomore year of undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I am currently double majoring in psychology along with sociology, in the hopes of becoming a behavioral analyst. The idea that people’s behaviors and thoughts have the ability to not only change the course of their lives, but others as well, has always intrigued me. The University of Illinois at Chicago has provided me with a new found sense of understanding for many cultures, ethnicities, and standpoints different than my own. Overall it has taught me a lot about the world around me other than the “bubble” known as my hometown.

The first word that comes to mind when I hear the phrase “differently able” is strength. The terminology “differently able” is used to describe people who have disabilities or are handicapped. However, by using that phrase it gives a new found sense of optimism and provides a nondiscriminatory perceptive on those with disabilities. It shows how people who are disabled in some areas are that much more special because they excel in many other ways. The phrase “differently able” gives the world of psychology and sociology a whole new perceptive on the disabled because its conation is replaced from negative to positive. 

Instead of people feeling bad for those who are handicapped they now can see them in a new light just because people are not looking at them as damaged or not useful, but rather now see them as people who are proficient at many other things.   If everyone used the phrase “differently able” there is no doubt in my mind society views about the handicapped community would vastly change in a positive direction. 

Quote for thought: “The problem is not the person’s disability... The problem is society’s view of the person’s ability.”

To find more information about Kristin, please visit her here