I’d love it if they stopped using the phrase “despite their disabilities”
Oh, gosh, I would love this too.
Ever notice that 99 percent of the time someone uses the phrase “despite their disabilities, they’re talking about something that isn’t even affected by the disability in the first place? Like praising a deaf student for being good in calculus (what, do they think that all math is done via sound? Or that we do math with our ears?). Or praising a wheelchair rider for doing their shopping (at a wheelchair accessible grocery). Etc.
Most of the time they use phrases like “despite”, particularly when used in contexts where the disability doesn’t have the relevance that the person seems to think … that can only be read as a compliment if you are operating on the assumption that disabled people are helpless, passive creatures who can never be competent or do anything except sit there and wait for the benevolent charity of others.