In our society that considers being an able body as normal and being disabled as abnormal, we cannot define disability without first defining ability. Just the same as you cannot define abnormal without defining normal first, anything abnormal is, by definition, not normal. So if being able is the norm, being disabled is not normal.
Not to say that it is right, but this is just how our society treats someone and views them if they stray from the norm. In our Women's Studies class we have certainly seen a multitude of different examples in regards to this idea of what is normal. Just the same, there is a beauty norm that women in our society attempt to reach; there is a sexual norm in our society to be heterosexual, and so on. Being an able bodied person is considered the norm as well.
Even when someone is considered disabled, in any spectrum of the definition, our society tries to make their life as close to able as possible. There are laws and rules that govern our society into making public places wheel chair accessible. If a person is missing an arm, generally they receive a prosthetic arm to “live a normal life.”
Say you are a ‘normal’ able bodied person and you walk into a room where the organization of Disabled American Veterans is meeting. The room would essentially be full of disabled veterans. Not only would you be in the abnormal category because you are not a veteran, but also you would be in the abnormal category because you are not disabled. In this case you are abnormal in comparison to the rest of the people in the room.
My point, the majority is most of the time considered to be normal and anything outside of that majority is the abnormal. Case in point, dis/ability.