A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 12, 2013
“Disability is not inability” ("Disability does not mean inability")

"Disability is not inability” (or “disability does not mean inability") is a popular saying about people with disabilities. “Disability does not mean inability” was said by New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia (1882-1947) in October 1945, referring to the handicapped—specifically those returning from combat in World War II. “Disability is not inability” was said by Harold Russell (1914-2002) in May 1947. Russell won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), where he played the role of Homer Parrish, a sailor who lost both hands during the war.

“Disability is not inability” (or “disability does not mean inability") began to be repopularized in the 1990s.


Google Books
The Elements of the Law of Sale of Personal Property
By William Livesey Burdick
Chicago, IL: T. H. Flood and Company
1901
Pg. 82:
Disability is not inability. The latter is the same thing as impossibility, and denotes an inherent quality. The former state implies that the thing itself is possible, but that the promisor is prevented by some cause from carrying it out.

6 October 1945, New York (NY) Times, “Aid Urged for Disabled: Mayor Pleads for Employment Consideration for Handicapped”:
Pointing out that disability does not mean inability, the Mayor said that the average job does not require the fullest capacities of the able-bodied worker, ...
(Fiorello La Guardia, 1882-1947—ed.)

Google News Archive
2 May 1947, Montreal (Quebec) Gazette, “Ailing Needy Children the World Over Is Path to Peace Says Harold Russell,” pg. 4, cols. 3-4:
Disability is not inability, the speaker emphasized, telling of many men he had met who through rehabilitation are able to return to normal happy lives.

4 February 1948, Lowell (MA) Sun, pg 7, col. 1:
Estimating the number of disabled Americans as between 12 add 28 million with 8000 daily being added to the statistics, he (Harold Russell—ed.) held out great hope .to the handicapped saying, “Disability does not mean inability, for a person can overcome any handicap if he has enough aid.”

18 November 1949, Augusta (GA) Chronicle, “Horace Heidt Show Will Boost National Polio Emergency Fund,” pg. 8-D, col. 2:
And to launch the campaign, Mr. Piggott himself will be in Augusta to prove that “disability is not inability.”

Google News Archive
8 June 1979, The Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT), “Dear Abby” (Abigail Van Buren) syndicated advice column, pg. S3, col. 5:
Disability is not inability

Google Books
My Life as a Paraplegic
By Esther Owuor
Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers
1995
Pg. 118:
Disability is not inability. Dreams and ambitions should not go down the drain after a spinal injury. The patients should do everything within their power to make achievements even beyond their wildest dreams.

OCLC WorldCat record
Disability does not mean inability
Publisher: Brighton : Machinery Pub. Co.,
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Machinery and production engineering. 154, no. 3929, (1996): 3
Database: ArticleFirst

OCLC WorldCat record
Disability is not inability
Author: Quinn, Richard J.; Mulinya, Shiela Joy; Muriithi, Anthony
Publisher: Ukweli Video Productions ©2004
Edition/Format: Downloadable archival material : English
Summary: This documentary is on the life of Anthony Muriithi, a parapelgic who was crippled by polio since the age of two but has overcome the odds of disability to attain university education. Anthony left no stone untouched to accept his disability and lead a very normal life. “Disability in not inability” is the motto behind his motivational drive and is printed on the back of his wheelchair for all to see.

OCLC WorldCat record
Disability is not inability : disability through the eyes of Anthony Muriithi
Author: Anthony Muriithi; Richard J Quinn; Sheila Joy Mulinya; Ukweli Video Productions.; Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America.
Publisher: Nairobi, Kenya : Ukweli Video Productions, ©2004.
Edition/Format: VHS video : PAL color broadcast system : VHS tape Visual material : English
Summary: This documentary is on the life of Anthony Muriithi, a paraplegic who was crippled by polio since the age of two but has overcome the odds of disability to attain university education. Anthony has left no stone untouched to accept his disability and lead a very nomral life. “Disability is not inability” is the motto behind his motivational drive and is printed on the back of his wheelchair for all to see.

OCLC WorldCat record
Disability is not inability : report, July-Dec 2009.
Author: Foundation for Human Rights Initiative.
Publisher: Kampala : Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, [2009]
Edition/Format: Book : English

(Trademark)
Word Mark DISABILITY DOES NOT MEAN INABILITY
Goods and Services IC 036. US 100 101 102. G & S: charitable fund-raising services. FIRST USE: 19910000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19910000
IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: educational services, namely conducting presentations to educate the general public about people with disabilities. FIRST USE: 19910000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19910000
IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: training and providing dogs to assist persons with disabilities, and assisting such persons with regard to proper care for and handling of the dogs and legal rights relating to the dogs. FIRST USE: 19910000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19910000
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 74693724
Filing Date June 26, 1995
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition January 16, 1996
Registration Number 1967099
Registration Date April 9, 1996
Owner (REGISTRANT) Paws With A Cause NON-PROFIT CORPORATION MICHIGAN 4646 SOUTH DIVISION WAYLAND MICHIGAN 49348
Attorney of Record RICHARD A GAFFIN
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20060823.
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20060823
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Monday, August 12, 2013 • Permalink