Introduction To DisabilitiesPresentation Transcript
Introduction to Disabilities Lasted updated 6/21/2008
For people with disabilities, we must use
People First Language
A commentary by Kathie Snow
“ The difference between the right world & the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”
Who are the so-called Handicapped?
Society’s myths tell us they are:
People who “suffer” from the “tragedy of birth defects”
“ Paraplegic heroes” who “struggle” to become “normal” again
“ Victims” who “fight” to “overcome” their conditions
Categorically: the so-called disabled, retarded, autistic, blind, deaf, learning disabled, and more
Who are they, Really?
They are moms and dads and sons and daughters
Scientists (Stephen Hawking)
Friends and neighbors
Leaders and followers
Movie stars (Marlee Matlin)
Students and teachers
They are people.
They are people, first.
The Beginning of Wisdom is to Call Things by Their Right Names ( Old Chinese Proverb)
Are you myopic or do you wear glasses?
Are you cancerous or do you have cancer?
Are you freckled or do you have freckles?
Are you handicapped or disabled or do you have a disability?
People First Language describes what a person HAS, not what person IS?
People First Language put the person before the disability!
The Disability Rights Movement
Is the following in the footsteps of the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960s and the Women’s Movement of the 1970s.
While people with disabilities and advocates work to end discrimination and segregation in education, employment, and our communities-at-large.
We must all work to eliminate the attitudinal barriers that percent people with disabilities from joining the main-stream of American society and taking their rightful places as citizens of their communities instead of clients of the systems.
Language is at the root of these attitudinal barriers!
“ Disabilities is a natural part of the human condition” U.S. Developmental Disabilities Act & The Bill of Rights, 1993
Disability is not the “problem.”
We need to rid our vocabulary of the word “problem” when talking about people’s needs!
A person with glasses doesn’t say, “I have a problem seeing.” She says. “I wear (or need) glasses.”
Recognize that what we call a “problem” is actually a need.
The real problems are attitudinal & environmental barriers.
If educators-and society-at-large-perceived children with disabilities as boys and girls who have to potential to learn
Who have the need for the same education as their brothers and sisters.
Who have a future in the adult world of work
We wouldn’t have to fight for inclusive education.
The real problems are attitudinal & environmental barriers…Part 2
If employers-and society-at-large
Believed adults with disabilities have valuable job skills
Contribute to the success of business
We wouldn’t have to fight for real pay in the
real community .
The real problems are attitudinal & environmental barriers…Part 3
If business owners-and society-at-large
Viewed people with disabilities as consumers with money to spend
We wouldn’t have to fight for accessible
entrances and other accommodations.
In our society, “handicapped” and “disabled” are all-encompassing terms that are misused.
All-encompassing terms that are misused...Part 2
People with hearing or vision impairments don’t need “handicapped” parking or restrooms.
Many people with physical disabilities do need accessible parking and restrooms.
All-encompassing terms that are misused...Part 3
Accommodations that enable people with disabilities to access a facility-regardless of their disabilities-are accessible!
All-encompassing terms that are misused...Part 4
“ Disabled” is not accurate, either.
Our society “corrupts” language.
When a traffic reporters describes a traffic jam, we often here, “There’s a disabled vehicle on the highway.”
Disabled,” in that context, means “broken down.”
People with disabilities are not broken!
All-encompassing terms that are misused...Part 5
If a new toaster doesn’t work, we say. “It defective!” and we return it and get a new one!
Do we return babies who have birth “defect?”
The respectful term is “congenital disability.”
It’s time we understand the power of language
When we misuse words, we reinforce the barriers created by negative and stereotypical attitudes.
When we refer to people with disabilities by medical diagnosis, we devalue and disrespect them as members of the human race.
Disability labels are simply sociopolitical terms that provide a passport to services.
For long, labels have been used to define the value and potential of people who are labeled.
It’s time we understand the power of language…Part 2
People will live up (or down) to our societies expectations.
If we expect people with disabilities to succeed, we cannot let labels stand in their way.
We must not let labels destroy the hopes and dreams of people with disabilities and their familities.
Disability can be defined as a body function that operates differently.
Contract that meaning with the origin of “handicap,: from the dictionary, which refers to “hand in cap,” a game where the losing player was considered to be at a disadvantage;
And a legendary origin of the word which refers to a person with a disability having to bed on the street with “cap in hand.”
“ Handicapped,” “Disabled,” or People with Disabilities: which description is most accurate?
“ Handicapped,” & “Disabled”
Evoke negative feelings (sadness, pity, fear, and more) & creates a stereotypical perception that people with disabilities are all alike.
All people who have brown hair are not alike.
All people with disabilities are not alike.
If fact, people with disabilities are more like people without disabilities than different!
The Disability Community
Is the largest minority group in our nation, and it’s inclusive!
It includes people of both genders and of all ages, as well as individuals from all religious, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic levels
The only Things people with disabilities have in common
Having a body part that is different and
Facing prejudice and discrimination.
Unique to the disability community is that it’s the only minority group that any American can join in a split second of an accident.
If an when it happens to you, will you have more in common with others with disabilities or with your family, friends, and co-workers?
Many people who do not have a disability will have one in the future Others will have a family member or friend who acquires a disability. If you acquire a disability in your lifetime: *H ow will you want to be described? *How will you want to be treated? Disability issues are issues that affect all Americans!
USING PEOPLE FIRST LANGUAGE IS CRUCIAL!
If people with disabilities are to be included in all aspects of our communities-in ordinary, wonderful, and typical activities most take for granted
We must use the ordinary, wonderful, typical language used about people who don’t have disabilities.