Nannette Oatley Resiliency Expert


Join the Strengths Revolution

“Consider me the newest member of the
 Strengths Revolution!”
                                                                                    Tom Gardner – Columbus, OH

Beforehand, I didn't know how much I would enjoy reading a book by a West Coast woman as old as my mom, being myself a twenty-something college student in the Midwest. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed it. Woven beautifully into Nannette's story of resilience are countless practical suggestions for living a healthier, more joyful, more resilient life. Several of her tips spoke very strongly into my life, and have actually helped me change my thinking. The thing that most impacted me, though, was the brand new perspective I gained into the sit-down world, one I had never been exposed to before. I definitely am a better person for having read this book!

(After writing this book review Tom and I spoke. He is the man who designed my NEW book cover for Pain, Power and Promise. Thank you Tom for creating the WOW factor.)

So just what is the Strength’s Revolution?

It is a grassroots movement by a community of people who are committed to building and implementing a Strength-Based Model to replace the current pathological Dis-abled Model.

In the field of psycholinguistics, experts say that language has a close relationship to thought and so, to one’s very consciousness. Language shapes our perceptions and perceptions shape our language.

Therefore, a Strengths Revolution must begin with a paradigm shift in both thought and language.

Would you use the N-word today when referring to Barack Obama? Of course not. Then why the hell are we still using the D-word?
Why are we still allowing disabled, diseased, disordered, deformed, abnormal, invalid, handicapped, impaired, wheelchair bound, and a host of other denigrating and derogatory terminology to go unchallenged? If you think this is no big deal I hope you think again after reading the following egregious Nike advertisement (Backpacker Magazine, October, 2000).

            “…Right about now you’re probably asking yourself, ‘How can a trail running shoe…help me avoid compressing my spinal cord into a Slinky…rendering me a drooling, misshapen, non-extreme-trail-running husk of my former self, forced to roam the earth in a motorized wheelchair with my name embossed on one of those cute little license plates you get at carnivals or state fairs…”

Where was the voice of the sit-down community?

If something so denigrating were written about the black community by a major sports company you can bet the lawsuits would have been legion. The time for change is NOW!
Over the last year Oprah has had a multitude of guests on her show who get what I’m talking about. The hermaphrodites now want to be called Intersex. Polygamists now prefer the term Plural Marriage. And Indians have long since chosen Native American as their ethnic title.

Language reinforces perceptions!

Helen Keller once said, I am one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything but still I can do something. And I will not refuse to do the something I can do.
In order to create and implement a Strength Based Model for those who are challenged we must eradicate words like disabled and handicapped from the universal nomenclature and legal terminology.

Nothing less than a revolution will do! And it begins with YOU and ME.

I, for one, will not refuse to do the something I can do. The victim mentality and its accompanying language must go. We are vibrant human beings who navigate the world differently. So what? Different is not deficient. If we want to change the world’s perception of us, we must begin by changing our own. What language do you use to describe yourself?

I am proposing the term physically challenged because everyone is challenged in some way, mine just happens to be physical. This is the most honoring, respectful and accurate term I have found. It’s not cutesy like disAbility or handicapable, and it’s definitely not demeaning.

We must honor ourselves and use language to reflect that. Next, we are asking our family and friends to join the Strengths Revolution, transforming their language out of love and respect. If we can create positive change at a grassroots level with the Strengths-Based Model, the ripple effect will revolutionize our communities and ultimately our world.



Use physically challenged instead of disabled or handicapped, reserved parking instead of handicapped parking, accessible bathroom instead of the handicapped bathroom, a wheelchair user or sit-down person when referring to an individual who rolls through life, sit-down community or physically challenged community rather than disabled community, etc.

By adding your name and city to the online registry, you are proclaiming your commitment to the Strengths Revolution! Join with others to raise the level of compassionate consciousness toward the physically challenged by incorporating respectful and honoring language toward the sit-down community.


Join The Strengths Revolution Now!