Sticks And Stones And Other Student Essays
As you can see, noticeable diversity exists among us as disability activists. But in all reality, that list was nothing more than a glimpse of the range of terminology being used when including the disability community, as well as its friends, parents and allies.
These terms came from parents, community members, medical professionals, siblings, friends and even from people with disabilities.
But I am also posing the challenge, myself included, to look at the bigger picturegetting past terminology to the point that we can focus on working together and achieving our movements larger goals: such as education, employment and healthcare.
And in this process, allowing people to see for themselves just how wrong and offensive terms like debilitated and invalid really are. But those in the disability community have countless opportunities to influence change in our daily lives.
Teachers described being so proud of their special students simply because they came to school that day rather than noting the childs legitimate academic accomplishments.
And greater diversity on a range of fronts could, in turn, lead to increased awareness, understanding and respect which, ultimately, could lead to social change.One activist uses the term special needs, while another prefers the word crip.Some found the first phrase too dated or derogatory to ones self, while others felt the latter descriptor was too aggressive or discriminatory.On more than one occasion, I sat at my computer and watched as my frustration crept into the article I attempted to write. Ultimately, I filed away my notes, and decided to begin my own investigation.It entailed simply listening to people in the disability community describe themselves.Admittedly, there are words in both lists that make me ill, and if I heard them spoken, I would be forced to ask if the user knew what was being implied.I would note offense taken and why, and I would provide alternative,socially appropriate language that might be used in its place.And you still want health insurance that doesnt penalize you because you were born with CP, had a brain tumor removed as a teenager or select holistic medicine rather than the chemicals your doctor prescribes.The question then becomes: Is any one of us, as an individual, in a position to define right and wrong when it comes to referring to a disability, since a range of language is used within our community? As the disability community, what are we really looking for, and to what should we give priority, equal rights or universal terminology?They described weeping for days, praying and wishing that they could make their child normal.I read how medical professionals felt pity for families who had children with defects and abnormalities that would impair them for life.