Part of a Whole

My name is Nicolas Steenhout.
I speak, train, and consult about inclusion, accessibility and disability.

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A Cartoon

I was talking with someone who suggested this cartoon idea. I’m not an artist, but taking a little inspiration from OneFTE, I went ahead and "drew" this.


Cartoon Description

The cartoon shows two people talking together. The conversation goes like this:

Person 1: Amputees are an ugly sight. They should stay at home.
Person 2: There go Sarah Bernhart and Admiral Lord Nelson.

Person 1: People in wheelchairs should live in nursing homes.
Person 2: There go Stephen Hawking and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Person 1: The blind should live in their own institutions.
Person 2: There go Stevie Wonder and Helen Keller.

Person 1: The deaf should not be mixing with us.
Person 2: There goes Beethoven. Oh! And Helen Keller again.

Person 1: The mentally ill would be better off in psychiatric hospitals.
Person 2: There go Robin Williams, Buzz Aldrin and Winston Churchill

Person 1: Suddenly, I feel very lonely…

Update: A response from OneFTE

I shared this comic with Stuart from and he came back with one of his own. He gave me permission to post it here.

Two people talking. One is a barista making a coffee for the other.

Person 1: They should send all people with disabilities somewhere so we don’t have to cater for their needs wherever we go.
Person 2: When they add ignorance to that list, who’s going to make my coffee?

There is a caption reading: “IGNORANCE. There is no greater disability”

7 thoughts on “A Cartoon

  1. I’ve heard a variation of the first line most of my life.
    Unfortunately, too many people of influence in my early years associated a physical disability with an intellectual disability.
    It limited my own expectations of what I could achieve.
    Through perseverance, some wonderful support, and commitment to public service, I had the opportunity to grow into a level of confidence and expertise that has opened some doors a bit wider.
    I’ve outlived most of those stereotypes and proven them wrong. Archaic attitudes are still something I face regularly.
    Sadly, it is some the younger generation, obsessed with perfection, that will be the next barrier.
    Recently overheard: “People like that shouldn’t be allowed out” from some teeny-boppers as I went into a convenience store.

  2. Hey Steve, it is unfortunate indeed.

    I’ve been told to my face “I pay taxes so people like you can be in nursing homes”…


  3. Good one, Nic. I would also add Rachmaninof to the bunch for mental illness. :-)

  4. Great cartoons. The ignorance one cracked me up. :)

    BTW I am constantly fascinated by the (to me) equalizing effect of Twitter. I am clueless about the disabilities my Twitter friends/followers have unless they explicitly state something. I wish those with prejudices would learn to be as blind as Twitter, so to speak. They are also the real losers – they have no idea what great insights and friendships they are missing!

  5. Ha – I love the ‘Ignorance: There is no greater disability’ line. Will remember that one! Simple but effective.

  6. Comment to the second cartoon: One can cure ignorance by education. It’s hard but not impossible. Arrogance, on the other hand, is almost impossible. I would say arrogance/bad attitude is the greatest disability.

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