In 2013, Melwood adopted a corporate philosophy calling for the organization to remove “dis” from the term disability.
Members of our senior leadership team felt the term, defined as a limitation in the ability to pursue an occupation because of physical or mental impairment; a disqualification, restriction, or disadvantage and a lack of legal qualification to do something, was an inadequate or limiting “label” for a cross-section of people. After a lot of consideration, we now refer to all of the people we serve as persons with “differing abilities.” This is a much more accurate portrayal of their capabilities.
We recognize the specific needs of a person diagnosed with a physical, developmental, neurological, mental health, and any other impairment. We established our organization to meet those needs, and our decision to change the terminology we use will in no way change the care we give to people with differing abilities. Melwood will continue to strive to develop innovative programming to enhance the quality of life for the people we serve each day.
Our decision to use the term “differing abilities” was a natural evolution of the principles we were founded on: a vision of inclusion for ALL people. In support of our mission and core values, we will continue to cultivate the skills the people we serve have attained and empower them to pursue their career and personal goals, recognizing that we all have extraordinary abilities.